All Best of the Best ‘medalists’ are winners

Published 9:46 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

In the Olympics, anyone who makes it to the podium is a winner. With that in mind, the special section inside today’s newspaper will serve as our virtual podium, with hundreds of amazing businesses receiving gold, silver and bronze medals in Leader Publications’ 2015 Best of the Best readers’ choice contest.

Setting new records for participation and community support, this annual project showcases the most popular businesses in our region as determined by you — our readers and citizens.

Thousands of votes were cast for favorite businesses in more than 100 different categories that ranged from best hamburger to favorite dentist, and all points in between. The list includes many familiar businesses that have long been community staples and a variety of new additions as well.

We applaud all the businesses and individuals that are recognized in this contest each year because we know it doesn’t happen by accident. Earning votes from our readers takes hard work, commitment to customer service and just generally being good corporate citizens.

It was with that in mind that we modified the format to the gold, silver and bronze medals this year. After all, each business in the top three should be considered a winner. Many of the races were close, often with just a few votes separating them.

For the second year in a row, the Wonderland Cinema received the most overall votes in an individual category — Best Movie Theater. Amazingly, their total of 262 was nearly double the votes the theater received last year, which was first place then. too.

Shelton’s Farm Market led in total votes with 354 in numerous categories where the business finished in the top three. Pizza Transit was third in total votes with 221 in several categories, including taking home a gold medal for Best Pizza.

Martin’s Super Markets took home first-place in Best Grocery with 116 votes, garnering 148 total across multiple categories. Wings Etc. grabbed 121 votes for Best Wings. Many of our public institutions also did very well, with the Niles Public Library, Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College all earning more than 75 votes each.

On behalf of Leader Publications and all the businesses receiving votes, we want to say ‘thank you’ to the readers for taking the time to show you care about the community and making your voices heard.

Again, there are only winners here. Anyone recognized as a medalist in the Best of the Best readers’ choice awards is making a positive impact within our communities and customers are noticing. Congratulations and keep up the good work.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at