Scout’s Honored 2016: Services

training room2016's reader-voted best gym in Somerville is The Training Room. Photo by Jess Benjamin.

You voted for Somerville’s best service providers—from car repair to real estate—in the 2016 Scout’s Honored Awards. Here are your winners!

Looking for the best places to shop? Those are rounded up here. Check back later this month for the winning dining destinations and the city’s coolest arts and entertainment options.

COMMUNITY CLASSES
SCATV
SCATVSOMERVILLE.ORG | (617) 628-8826
In this noisy media landscape, getting a handle on how to create your own documentary or podcast might seem impossible to the average Joe or Jane. But SCATV—the oldest public access center in the state of Massachusetts—not only offers community courses about everything from shooting and editing your own video and audio to running a radio station, they do so at an affordable rate.

INSURANCE AGENCY
JOHN M. COSTELLO INSURANCE AGENCY
JMCOSTELLO.COM | (617) 628-5847
When it comes to insurance, you want a steady and responsible hand. John M. Costello offers just that. The agency is committed to serving the needs of local residents and businesses, offering a range of insurance that includes workers comp, liability, fire and theft, as well as personal insurance for your home, auto and recreation vehicles. Here, professionalism, responsiveness and quality are the name of the game.

REAL ESTATE AGENCY
CENTURY 21
COMMONMOVES.COM | (617) 666-2121
You have certain expectations from a real estate agency that’s part of a national operation. What does it take to stand out? Perhaps it’s that they speak your language—literally. The list of languages offered at Century 21 Commonwealth is impressive: multiple dialects of Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. They’re ready to do what it takes to see that your home is, “Ch?shòu,” or “Sprzedany,” or, as we say in English, “Sold!”

REAL ESTATE AGENT
AARON AUGUSTEN AT MAVEN REALTY
MAVENREALTY.COM | (617) 868-0100
“The people I work with come from all different backgrounds, but the ones that choose to live here love the uniqueness of the city as much as I do!” Aaron Augusten says of his clients. That’s one of his favorite things about this job. Augusten has been in the real estate biz on and off for most of his career, but he’s been helping people in Somerville rent, buy and sell homes full-time for seven years now. Working with Aaron also means picking an agent who lives and works where you do—he and his wife happily call Davis Square home.

training room

Photo by Jess Benjamin.

OVERALL GYM
THE TRAINING ROOM
THETRAININGROOMBOSTON.COM | (617) 284-6088
The Training Room has not one but two killer locations in Somerville where city-dwellers can get themselves in shape. Studio sessions? Small-group workouts? Private instruction? Boot camps? Spin classes? Nutrition services? The Training Room offers it all and operates simply—no memberships, just individual class purchases and class packs. Both gyms have a crisp, airy, open layout and scores of shiny new equipment. Whether you want to get toned, lose weight or bulk up those muscles, the all-star staff at either location is there to help you reach your fitness goals.

BANK OR CREDIT UNION
SOMERVILLE MUNICIPAL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
SOMMFCU.COM | (617) 625 0898
Somerville’s Credit Union is here to help you save. They want members to understand the importance of saving and how to build good credit, and their friendly staff will happily answer questions you have while helping you meet your financial goals. And you can trust them, too. They’re a member-owned, not-for-profit institution.

SHIPPING
THE UPS STORE, SOMERVILLE AVENUE
519 SOMERVILLE AVE. | (617) 591-0199
The UPS Store may be a national chain, but you’ll find the friendly attitude that abounds at local mom-and-pop shops here. Conveniently located between Porter and Union Squares—just a stone’s throw from Cambridge—the UPS Store on Somerville Avenue is the perfect place to get Somerville goodies—Q’s Nuts? Taza Chocolate?—sent off to envious relatives and friends. And the services don’t stop there. This location also offers a gamut of printing options, as well as notary services and passport photos.

DENTIST
KATIE TALMO
(617) 864-6111
When you’re treated by Dr. Talmo, you’re not only getting top-quality dentistry, you’re becoming part of a family legacy. Her parents, Paul and Mary, first set up the long-running practice. Today, Katie, a top graduate of Tufts Dental School, makes it a family affair. Of course, there is her brother Carl, who turned his back on the family interest in teeth—and became an orthopedist. As one patient cheekily noted on Yelp, “I’m cared for from head to toe by the Talmos.”

Photo by Jess Benjamin.

Photo by Jess Benjamin.

MOVING COMPANY
THE GUY WITH A TRUCK MOVING COMPANY
THEGUYWITHATRUCK.COM | (617) 901-9761
David Norris, The Guy With A Truck himself, promises to personally respond to every call and email. It’s that commitment to service that brings customers back. The personal touch extends to his automobiles, all of which are named—from “Whitey” and “Beefy,” who are available for larger moves, to “Blue,” a smaller, fully restored 1975 Ford F250 with Buick Regatta Blue paint. Norris even has pictures of two retired trucks, as if they’re old friends he can’t bear to say goodbye to.

MECHANIC
MIKE’S AUTOMOTIVE
MIKESAUTO.COM | (617) 623-1009
At Mike’s Automotive, your cars can get all the TLC they need with a lot less hand-wringing. The top-notch mechanics at Mike’s help Somerville keep rolling—or get rolling—with personal care, friendly service and expertise in spades. Mike’s also tries to tread lightly on the environment, emphasizing a commitment to sustainable practices in their mission statement, and offers re-refined motor oil for oil changes, something they proudly call a “Green Oil Change.”

FLORIST
NELLIE’S WILDFLOWERS
NELLIESWILDFLOWERS.COM | (617) 625-9453
Situated just outside of Davis Square, Nellie’s Wildflowers is not to be missed. Step inside their charming storefront and you’ll find a collection of unique flora that the staff are ready to craft into your own original bouquet. Nellie’s offers floral arrangements for any occasion, with plenty of organic options to boot! No surprise, then, that Nellie’s is a perennial—get it?—Scout’s Honored awardee.

LANDSCAPING
GREEN CITY GROWERS
GREENCITYGROWERS.COM | (617) 776-1400
Green City Growers isn’t your average landscaping company—you might think of them more as “ambassadors of urban agriculture.” Founded in 2008, GCG installed more than 100 raised beds around the city within its first year. Today, the company has grown more than 150,000 pounds of organic produce. And in a city with plenty of concrete and not much wiggle room for new green spaces, the sharp thinkers at GCG continue to find creative solutions in a community full of city-dwellers eager to make their rooftops productive or overtake abandoned lots with greenery.

YOGA STUDIO
O2 YOGA
O2YOGA.COM | (617) 625-0267
Conveniently situated between Davis and Porter Square, O2 sets itself apart with its welcoming yogi environment. The studio offers classes throughout the day, as well as periodic yoga teacher trainings. Almost as good as the classes themselves? When you’re done with your sweaty, blissful yoga class, you’re within an arm’s length of a latte at 3 Little Figs.

metro pedal power

Photo by Todd Danforth.

ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS
METRO PEDAL POWER
METROPEDALPOWER.COM | (617) 776-3700
Thanks to Metro Pedal Power, you don’t need a box truck— or even a car—to ship goods throughout the area. And MPP’s commitment to green living goes beyond its shipment methods. Cyclists can deliver weekly farm shares right to your home. This is a community-supported agriculture network that looks to connect farms with local businesses to bring you the freshest and healthiest vegetables around, all while reducing carbon footprints. It’s a win-win for you, for your family and for our community as a whole.

WELLNESS SERVICE
MASSAGE
MASSAGE THERAPY WORKS
MASSAGETHERAPYWORKS.COM | (617) 684-4000
Wedged between the storefronts along Elm Street in Davis Square, there’s an oasis of self care. Massage Therapy Works offers an array of services ranging from—you guessed it— massage therapy to acupuncture to ayurvedic health counseling. And MTW isn’t only committed to providing a variety of care options but also to helping you decide what’s right for you. They even offer a discount for a particular profession each month as a way to say thanks.

MANICURE
LISA’S NAILS | (617) 776-0023
With hardly a web presence to speak of, the fact that Lisa’s Nails is such a success says volumes about the quality of their work. Faithful customers have spread the Lisa’s gospel by word of mouth—although the shop’s bright yellow awning doesn’t hurt. Today, their fabulous manis and pedis are a local staple. Take a moment for yourself and sit back in the sun-lit, quaint interior while watching the hustle and bustle of Davis Square through huge windows.

SKINCARE
SKIN & BODY WORKS
SKINANDBODYWORKS.NET | (617) 623-9100
Even as the summer wanes and bathing suits are reluctantly packed away, Skin & Body Works will be there to offer their top-notch exfoliating, hydrating and purifying skincare services. This Davis Square favorite prides itself on best practices, technology and first-class service, whether you’re a brand new client coming in for a facial or a regular returning for their hundredth visit.

HAIR SALON
HAIR COLOR
HAIRCUT
HAIR BY CHRISTINE & CO.
HAIRBYCHRISTINEANDCO.COM | (617) 776-6470
If this salon’s bold, black awning featuring the Eiffel Tower isn’t enough to intrigue the commuters of Highland Avenue, the stellar hairstyles strutting out the front door certainly do the trick. Founded by Somerville native Christine Andrade in 2011, HAIR by Christine & Co. stylists are dedicating to giving the perfect haircut for each individual client, with a special emphasis on making LGTBQ clients feel comfortable and listened to. It’s summed up succinctly in their mission statement: “We at HAIR by Christine & Co. are about so much more than just hair.”

BARBERSHOP
RAZORS
RAZORSBARBERSHOP.COM | (617) 625-4444
Since 2004, Razors owner Anthony Berriola and his team have made Razors the neighborhood barbershop that can give you a classic trim or a modern, cutting-edge (pun intended) style without any pretentions or Newbury Street pricing. And they’re serious about the shaves, offering classes in using a straight razor and even private shaving events.

starlab studios

Photo courtesy of Starlab Studios.

PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEOGRAPHY
STARLAB STUDIOS
STARLABSTUDIOS.COM | (617) 381-4622
Starlab Studios is a full-service multimedia production company, and it’s that “full-service” thing that sets them apart. At Starlab, you’ll find support for each stage of your work, from the initial concept to the technical behind-the-scenes to capturing and editing the final project. With a staff that specializes in videography, audio and photography, you’ll find both the creativity and technical skills you need under one roof at Starlab.

VETERINARIAN
PORTER SQUARE VET
PORTERSQUAREVET.COM | (617) 628-5588
With a 40-year presence in Somerville, Porter Square Vet emphasizes teamwork and compassion when it comes to keeping your pets healthy. This dream team offers tons of services under one roof: basic exams, oral surgery, spaying and neutering, and has on-site x-ray and ultrasound technology. Porter Square Vets can even do ACL repairs for when your fetch game gets a little too rough-and-tumble. And the naturally sun-lit waiting room, complete with three resident office cats, can help soothe antsy patients!

DOG WALKING
PAWS IN THE ‘VILLE
PAWSINTHEVILLE.COM | (410) 530-4780
Four-legged Paws in the ‘Ville clients love this badass band of local dog walkers almost as much as their two-legged parents do. PITV walkers don’t just take your pup for a five-minute stroll around the block. They’re bringing them to the park, playing until they’re worn out and showering them with endless love and affection. Maybe it’s a cliché—a leash-é?— but this gang will tell you that when you love your job as much as they do, it hardly seems like you’re working a day in your life.

This story originally appeared in our September/October print edition, which is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout Somerville (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription.

Looking for the best shopping spots in the city? You can find those here. Check back later this month for Somerville’s best dining and arts options!

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