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Best of Manteca: 24,000 ballots cast
Public picks favorites in nearly 100 categories
Justin Lebon strikes a pose with his Best of Manteca award for Strings Italian Café for best Italian food. - photo by HIME ROMERO


The 2010 Best of Manteca winners are: Agribusiness: New Buds Nursery; Auto/RV Vehicle Dealer: Cabral Chrysler Jeep Suzuki; Auto/RV Vehicle Repair: Precision Automotive; Bakery: Costco Bakery; Bank/Credit Union: Delta Bank; Barber/Hair Stylist: Arlen (Arlen’s Barber Salon); Bartender: Lisa Garcia (El Jardin); Beauty Salon:

Klassy Kuts; Boss/Supervisor:  Dave Cox (Manteca Family Chiropractic); Burger: In-N-Out Burger;

Car Wash: Quicki Kleen Car Wash; Caterer: Main Street Café & Coffee Co.; Chiropractor: Michael Erdman (Erdman Chiropractic); Christmas Display: The Brock House; Church Choir: St. Anthony’s Catholic Church; Cleanest Restrooms: New Buds Nursery; Contractor: Roddan Construction; Customer Service: Bean & Leaf Café; Dance Studio: Sondance Christian Dance School; Day Spa: Mimosa Spa & Salon; Dentist/Orthodontist: Sean A. Sangalang; Dessert:

Baskin Robbins; Dining Establishment: Tommy’s Beach Bar & Grill; Drinking Establishment/Bar: Tommy’s Beach Bar & Grill; Dry Cleaners: Parklane Cleaners; Electrician: Tubbs & Sons; Family Entertainment: Kerasotes Showplace 16 Cinema

Financial Planner: Norm Knodt Financial Network; Floral Shop: Manteca Floral; Furniture Store:

Hafers Home Furnishings; Grocery Store: Save Mart; Handyman: Jorge Gomes Appliance Service;  Health/Fitness Center: In-Shape Health Club; Hospital/Clinic: Doctors Hospital of Manteca; Hotel: Holiday Inn Express; Ice Cream/Sundae: Baskin Robbins; Instructor/Personal Trainer: Kerri Tapia; Insurance Agent: Cliff Jorgensen (Allstate); Loan Officer: Dori Beck (Guild Mortgage Co.); Local Attraction: Big League Dreams Sport Complex; Local Band: 209 All Stars;

Local Chef: Isadore Fang (Isadore’s); Local Columnist: Dennis Wyatt (Manteca Bulletin); Local Event: Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair; Local Female Singer: Cheyenne Milligan; Local Male Singer: Matt Vaughan; Local Youth Baseball/Softball Team: Spreckels Park Little League; Local Youth Football Team: Manteca Chargers; Local Youth Soccer Team: Manteca Area Soccer League; Mailman/Mailwoman: Katy Mattingly; Manicure/Pedicure: Forever Nails; Margarita:

Las Casuelas; Martial Arts Studio: Taberna’s Tae Kwon Do Academy; Martini: Isadore’s Steak & Seafood; Massage Therapist: Marla Nunes (Marla’s Massage): Mattress Store: Manteca Bedquarters; Meat Department: Fagundes Meats & Catering; Milkshakes: Chubby’s Diner; Nachos: El Jardin; New Business (Large): JC Penney; New Business (Small): Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop; Non-Profit Business: Give Every Child a Chance; Number Crunchers (Accountant, CPA, etc.): Newman & Jones; Omelet: The Waffle Shop; Optometrist: Dr. Gregory L. Miller; Painter

Dan Luna; Pet Groomer: Jackie’s Dog Grooming

Pharmacy: Bob’s Pharmacy; Photographer: Chris Leonard (Leonard’s Photography): Physician

Terry Croasdale, MD; Pizza: Mountain Mike’s Pizza; Place For a Child’s Party: Manteca Bowl & Family Fun Center; Place to Buy Athletic Supplies: Bass Pro Shops; Place to Buy Bicycles: Anderson’s Mower & Bike; Plumber: Discount Plumbing; Private School: Manteca Christian School; Product Made In Manteca: Delicato Vineyards Wine; Pub Grub: Tommy’s Beach Bar & Grill; Public Elementary School: McParland Elementary School; Public High School: East Union High School; Realtor: Glenda Herrera; Restaurant (American Food): Kelley Brothers Brickyard Oven; Restaurant (Asian Food): Yukimi; Restaurant (Italian Food): Strings Italian Café; Restaurant (Mexican Food): El Jardin; Retail Store: Target; Retirement Community:

Woodbridge by Del Webb; Roofer: Elite Roofing; School Administrator: Greg Leland; Service Club: Sunrise Kiwanis; Specialty Coffee Shop: Bean & Leaf Café; Taco Taqueria La Costa: Take Out: In-N-Out Burger; Tow Service: Vern’s AAA Towing; Volunteer (Adult): Misty Macky-Peters;

Volunteer (Youth): Ayla Fleming; Waffle: The Waffle Shop; Waiter(tress): Tenisha Valenzuela (Perko’s Café); Youth Organization: Give Every Child a Chance

Unofficially, the home of Mick and Kristin Founts could’ve easily been deemed as the “Best of Manteca.”

Their Union Road property with the Victorian-style structure did provide a turn-back-the-clock setting for the 2010 Best of Manteca Awards Show and Celebration hosted by Manteca Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, and eManteca.

Mick Founts, who is the current Deputy Superintendent for Student Programs and Services and the next San Joaquin County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools, agreed to open his home for the fifth annual event honoring the Best of Manteca winners.

The request came from Thomas Reeves, a CVB board of director and chairman for the Best of Manteca Committee, and past president Steve DeBrum.
“We’re trying to thank you for being here,” said Reeves, who congratulated the winners while also serving as master of ceremonies.

All told, they were the best of the best representing nearly 100 categories, from local businesses, national retailers, personal services and restaurants, to non-profit organizations, schools and churches.

The awards were distributed according to the categories – You’re the Best, Shop ‘Till You Drop, Super Heroes, Kids & Pets, Body Beautiful, Personal Faves, and Eat, Drink & Be Merry.
This year’s Best of Manteca, according to Reeves, consisted of 24,000 ballots and 2 million votes.

In some categories, the winner was determined by a single vote, with the tallying conducted via electronically, Reeves said.

Overall, he was thrilled with the voter turnout.  “We’re getting bigger and bigger each year,” Reeves said.

Winners in each category received a Best of Manteca plaque, advertising in the visitor guides, and website advertisement on the CVB and chamber website for one year.

Meanwhile, Mick Founts mentioned the history behind his home to those attending the Best of Manteca event.

“It was the dream of my wife, Kristin,” he said.

The house was pieced together using parts from other structures – mostly Victorians – and completed about 23 years ago. “We duplicated an old house we bought in Stockton that was condemned,” Founts said.

About seven years ago, Mick and Kristin Founts added another Victorian to their property.

“Some of the old timers might remember the old yellow house on French Camp Road that was about to be torn down,” he said.

During the move, Founts recalled that the house had to be cut into three sections, undergoing various obstacles along the way.

Evelyn Prouty, president of the Manteca Historical Society and Museum, said the Victorian setting is perfect for the area.

“There was a Victorian home right here,” she said.

Back then, Union Road was known as Reynolds Road.

Appropriately, Prouty and members of the Historical Society came to the Best of Manteca event wearing the style of clothes from yesteryear.

Mick and Kristin Founts will have an open house once the structure that stood on French Camp Road is refurbished.

“But in order to see it you have to join the Manteca Historical Society,” Founts said.