Best Of People, Places & More Part Two

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Shopping

Best Appliance Store
John D. Marcella & Son Appliances, 560 Broadway, Schenectady
The 87th largest appliance retailer in the country, Marcella’s offers the most extensive line of major appliance brands (Bosch, Viking, Sub Zero and Kitchen Aid, to name a few) and a friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you select the right items for your needs. It’s a family affair at Marcella’s, and that’s just what you’ll feel like when you shop there.
2. Earl B. Feiden Inc., various locations
3.Adirondack Appliance, 67 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Best Furniture

Mooradians Furniture, 800 Central Avenue, Albany and 1758 Route 9, Parkwood Plaza, Clifton Park
Mihran Mooradian, founder of Mooradians Furniture, always stressed to his three sons that if you work hard to provide the best value and treat people fairly, your customers will reward you with their patronage. That hard work paid off and Mooradians’ loyal customers know that they will find a wide variety of styles and prices when they shop in one of their two furniture locations. They also offer two-day delivery, financing, interior design and a relaxed, easy to navigate environment.
2. The Old Brick Furniture Co., various locations
3. TAFT Furniture, 1960 Central Avenue, Albany and 121 Ballston Avenue, Saratoga Springs

Best Antiques

Dater Cottage Antiques and Collectibles LLC, 135 Meyer Road, Clifton Park
A multi-dealer shop that offers new merchandise arriving each week, Dater Cottage has a wide selection of antiques, collectables and estate jewelry. Stop in and find treasures from years past and spruce up your home with small pieces of history. At Dater Cottage, what’s old can be new again!
2. Stone Soup, 19 Low Street, Ballston Spa
3. Daisy Dry Goods, 28 Front Street, Ballston Spa

Best Apple Orchard
Indian Ladder Farms, 342 Altamont Voorheesville Road, Altamont
Gala, Empire, Cortland, oh my! There are so many different apple varieties grown at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont that it can be hard to choose just one favorite. Mix a big bag of freshly picked apples with warm cider and homemade donuts, and it sounds like the perfect fall day to us! However, with the farm opening this month, we might not be able to wait that long.
2. Golden Harvest Farms, 3074 US Route 9, Valatie
3. Altamont Orchards, 6654 Dunnsville Road, Altamont

Best Bargain Shopping

Finders Keepers Consignments, 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
Finders Keepers’ diversified product line continues to grow every day by following trends, providing innovative services and listening to their customers. The goal of the mother-daughter team is to bring you upscale merchandise at affordable prices, which is exactly what they do. At this store, there is always something on sale!
2. Clothes Mentor, 818 Central Avenue, Albany and
2330 Watt Street, Schenectady
3. Something Olde, Something New Consignment, 1969 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands

Best Bike Shop

Blue Sky Bicycles, 71 Church Street, Saratoga Springs
Liz Gormley, former USA cycling coach, established Blue Sky Bicycles in 1998 after working as an independent sales rep and national sales manager for several bicycle companies. Setting out to create a retail store that reflected her love and enthusiasm for the sport of cycling, Blue Sky now represents the best brands in the industry. Staff at the bike shop pride themselves on attention to detail and fit; every road bike purchased from Blue Sky even comes with a complementary basic fit.
2. Steiner’s Sports, various locations
3. Klarsfeld’s Schwinn Cyclery, 1370 Central Avenue, Albany

Best New Bookstore

Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany
In the age of the big-box chain store, the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza is cozy, intimate and full of character, just like the books inside! With a staff known for its sense of humor, competency and dedication to customer service, there’s no better place to find the hardcover or paperback you are looking for. Frequent buyers can even sign up for their Bookaholic Bonus Card, so if you spend $150 you are eligible for $15 store credit.
2. Blackwood and Brouwer Booksellers, 7 Hudson Street, Kinderhook
3. Open Door Bookstore, 128 Jay Street, Schenectady

Best Used Bookstore
Tattered Pages Used Books, 365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont
At Tattered Pages Used Books, you’ll find the latest bestsellers at a big discount – 20-60 percent off. Better yet, you can earn an additional 30 percent off the price of future book purchases through their trade credit program! They are also very community friendly, donating over $3,000 worth of books to community organizations throughout the year for fundraisers or charities. Sign up for their mailing list to receive monthly specials, read about featured authors and learn of their new acquisitions.
2. Book Barn, 200 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
3. (tie) East Line Books, 1714 Route 9, Clifton Park, Good Buy Books, 330 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer

Best Bridal Shop
Angela’s Bridal, 1811 Western Avenue, Albany
When Janet Cooper, the current owner of Angela’s Bridal, took over the business in late 2008, she demanded an unprecedented attention to detail and a focus on providing the best customer service in the region. Their selection of couture and designer gowns are second-to-none and their staff knows their stuff. At Angela’s, each bride enters with hopes of finding their dream dress and leaves knowing that they have done just that.
2. Annette Bridals Inc, 1526 Central Avenue, Albany
3. Bridal Gallery by Yvonne, 895 New Loudon Road, Latham

Best Car Dealer
Keeler Motor Car Company,1111 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
If selling new models of Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and MINI isn’t smart enough, they also have the Keeler Quality Pre-Owned Center. There truly is a car there for every person and every budget. Keeler’s location on Rt. 7 in Latham truly makes it easy to get to, but hard to leave…without a new set of wheels. Their knowledgeable staff makes buying a car an excellent experience.  Go ahead splurge…you know you want to!
2. DeNooyer Chevrolet, 127 Wolf Road, Albany
3. Northway Toyota, 727 New Loudon Road, Latham

Best Chocolate Shop (tie)

Uncle Sam’s Candy, 2571 Albany Street, Schenectady
Krause’s Homemade Candy, 1609 Central Avenue, Albany
We eat it when we want to de-stress, to satisfy a sweet tooth, and even for its health benefits. But really, we don’t need a reason to enjoy chocolate. Lucky for Capital Region residents, we have popular spots like Uncle Sam’s Candy and Krause’s Homemade Candy to indulge us with chocolate treats in all shapes and sizes. Each place uses only the finest ingredients to make their delicious creations. We think we feel a craving coming on!
2. Vasilow’s Confectionery Inc, 741 Columbia Street, Hudson
3. Chocolate Gecko, 21 Colvin Avenue, Albany

Best Clothing Boutique (tie)

Fancy Schmancy, 1800 Western Avenue, Albany
Circles, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
With so many great options in the area to find that special outfit, it was hard to choose just one, so our readers picked two! Established in 2001, Fancy Schmancy brings a unique sense of style, trend and elegance to the Capital Region. Their extensive line of merchandise ranging from designer jewelry, purses, handbags, evening wear and contemporary casual women’s clothing will help you dress for any occasion. Circles, located in Stuyvesant Plaza, also offers all of the big-name designers and styles that you could want. Their sales associates are available to act as your personal shoppers, ensuring you find what you need and what looks best on you.
2. Apricot Lane, 22 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park
3. Truly Rhe, 1 Broadway, Troy

Best Consignment Shop

Finders Keepers Consignments, 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
Already a winner on our list for best bargain shopping, Finders Keepers in Clifton Park has another title to add to their accomplishments – best consignment shop in the Capital Region! You can stop in any time Tuesdays through Thursdays with the items you are looking to sell making sure they are clean and seasonably appropriate, and they will do the rest. Their computerized system makes sure every item that makes it to their selling floor is accounted for and inventoried. Never consigned before? Stop by the store and see what they are all about!
2. Something Olde, Something New, 1969 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands
3. A New Beginning Consignment/Re-Sale Shop, 568 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush

Best Farmers Market
The Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, Riverfront Park, Troy (summer) and Uncle Sam Atrium, 3rd & Fulton Streets, Troy (winter)
Looking for the freshest produce, specialty baked goods or artisan wares like pottery, wool or knitted goods? Look no further than the farmers market in Troy. Whether it’s winter or summer, Troy offers you the chance to get the best locally-grown and made products directly from the person who made it. You can also enjoy music and fun activities for the whole family while you browse.
2. Delmar Farmers Market, 332 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar
3. Waterford Harbor Farmers Market, 1 Tugboat Alley, Waterford

Best Garden Nursery

Hewitt’s Garden Center, various locations
Among the many great reasons to shop at Hewitt’s Garden Center, there are three that really stand out: their lifetime nursery guarantee, meaning that if it dies, they will replace it for free; their price-match guarantee; and their Garden Club Card, which gives you $15 of merchandise for free for every $300 worth of card-punches you get. Hewitt’s now offers deliveries as well, from their store to your door. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
2. Becker’s Farm, 420 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer
3. George’s Market Nursery, 240 Wade Road Extension, Latham

Best Gift Shop
The Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop, 3143 Route 9, Valatie
With 3,400 square feet of gift shop filled to the brim with goodies, we aren’t surprised the Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop is a repeat winner this year for the best in the area. If you need a thoughtful gift for a wedding, baby shower, or just to put a smile on someone’s face, this is the place to go. Not only will you find unique items you wouldn’t find anywhere else, you will be supporting a local business.
2. Wit’s End Giftique, 1762 Route 9, Clifton Park
3. Artique, 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park

Best Hardware
Country True Value Hardware and Home Center
2 Troy Road, East Greenbush
The Capital Region’s leading provider for all your hardware and equipment rental needs, Country True Value Hardware and Home Center prides themselves in supplying outstanding customer service and products to meet a wide variety of home improvement necessities. So whether you are a weekend warrior or just looking for a part to fix that leaky faucet, the staff here will make sure you get the right tools for the right job.
2. Robinson’s Ace Hardware, 1874 Western Avenue, Albany
3. Mario’s True Value, 1057 Albany Avenue, Valatie

Best Health Food Store

Honest Weight Food Co-Op Inc., 484 Central Avenue, Albany
Healthy living is something we all should strive for, and at Honest Weight Food Co-Op, it is their mission to provide the community with affordable, high-quality natural foods and products ensure we can do just that. What started out in a basement of a private home in 1976 has grown and developed into their current building on Central Avenue in Albany. However, they could soon be moving again to an environmentally-sustainable grocery store that they are hoping to build with help from loans from the community.
2. Green Grocer, 1509 Route 9, Clifton Park
3. Uncle Sam’s, 77 4th Street, Troy and 644 Loudon Road, Latham

Best Jeweler

Hannoush Jewelers, various locations
Hannoush Jewelers is a company whose philosophy has always been one of family ownership and personal attention to detail. In the past 30 years they have expanded to more than 50 company-owned and franchised stores throughout the United States. They’ve built a reputation on low cost, high-quality pieces and also respect for their customers. Hannoush promises that if you walk into one of their stores, you are certain to walk out with something better than you thought you could afford.
2. Jewelry Repair Center, 1629 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton on Hudson
3. Northeastern Fine Jewelry, various locations

Best Liquor/Wine

Empire Wine, 1440 Central Avenue, Albany
Empire Wine is your one-stop shop for spirits of all kinds. Need a red to pair with dinner tonight? Want to know what kind of tequila makes the best margaritas? Or maybe you just want to re-stock your supply. Whatever the reason, the staff at Empire can answer your questions and point you in the right direction. They also offer frequent in-store tastings, so you can try before you buy!
2. Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse, 9 Halfmoon Crossings Boulevard, Halfmoon
3. All Star Wine & Spirits, 579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham Farms, Latham

Best Menswear Shop

Mark Thomas, 5 Metro Drive, Albany
It’s a fact: women love a man in a fitted, well-tailored suit. At Mark Thomas, fit is the name of the game as their on-site tailors meticulously alter your garments to precision. Here, you will also experience personalized service and a great selection. All this and affordable prices? Sounds like a no-brainer to us.
2. Spector’s Men’s & Women’s Clothing, Colonie Center, Albany
3. Futia’s, 1289 Central Avenue, Albany

Best Music Store

Parkway Music, 1777 Route 9, Clifton Park
Founded by working musicians 17 years ago, Parkway Music has again been voted number one in fulfilling our reader’s musical needs. Guitars, drums and amps – they do it all and can help you find the instrument of your dreams. They even offer lessons, so you’ll go from playing air guitar in your bedroom to rocking out in no time.
2. Drome Sound, 1875 State Street, Schenectady
3. Last Vestige Music Shop, 173 Quail Street, Albany

Best Sporting Goods

Steiner’s Sports, various locations
Steiner’s is an independently-owned and operated sporting goods company that carries the best brands in bikes, kayaks and skis. They not only have a knowledgeable staff to guide you in your purchase of equipment, they also have a highly-trained service department to maintain those purchases. Stop by one of their three locations and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors with your new toys!
2. Goldstock’s Sporting Goods, 98 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia
3. Zack’s Sports, 2138 Route 9, Round Lake

Best Supermarket

Hannaford, Various locations                         
How to do you get to be voted the area’s best supermarket? By providing high quality produce, meat and deli products at good prices and offer first-class customer service. And beyond the usual supermarket offerings, Hannaford customers also enjoy a large selection of natural and organic products, many supplied by local farms and businesses through their Close to Home® program. Not only does this program allow Hannaford to discover new local products, it allows for shorter driving distances, reduced emissions and enables them to contribute to a healthier planet. What’s not to love about that?
2. Price Chopper, various locations.
3. Fresh Market, 664 New Loudon Road, Latham

Services

Best Appliance Repair
Rensselaer Appliance, 400 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer
Fridge on the fritz? Stove acting stubborn? When you’re in need of appliance repair there’s one place on the top of your list to turn to: Rensselaer Appliance. No matter what room of the house the problem machine is in, they can help extend the life of your appliances, saving you money in the process!
2. Appliance Guys Inc., 3339 New York 9H, Valatie
3. Lake Electronics, 1650 Central Avenue, Albany

Best Bank

First Niagara, various locations
A first time category for us, it’s no wonder you chose First Niagara. One of their slogans reads, “At First Niagara, we take the time to understand the ways your financial goals fuel your personal dreams. Then we work with you to provide the tools, and the expertise, to make them real.”  Well, that philosophy and mission seems to be resonating with you. First Niagara will soon take over many of the existing HSBC branches so if you do not see a branch in your area, chances are you will.
2. Berkshire Bank, various locations
3. Adirondack Trust, various locations

Best Credit Union

SEFCU Patroon Creek Corporate Center, 700 Patroon Creek Blvd., Albany
With more and more families and businesses turning to credit unions for their banking services, it is no wonder that this category and SEFCU (the winner) drew so many votes.  Established in 1934, SEFCU is among the 50 largest credit unions in the US with more than 25 branches in the Capital Region. Not only is SEFCU dedicated to helping its members achieve their financial goals, SEFCU also prides itself on making a difference in the community with fundraising activities to benefit those in need. A financial institution that gives back? No wonder it’s a winner.
2. CAP COM Federal Credit Union (CCFCU), various locations,
3. Hudson River Community Credit Union, various locations

Best Overall Customer Service

CAP COM Federal Credit Union, various locations
This was a category open to any industry to win.  We just wanted to know…who treats you best?  Well the answer was CAP COM. They believe a better banking experience starts with providing exemplary service and products, because banking really ought to be all about you! They provide the service, convenience and products you need for your life and they do it better than any other financial institution in the region. They were ranked first among credit unions nationwide for member service in a 2008 survey, and now they take top billing for customer service in our yearly poll. Friendly, accommodating and trustworthy….these are some of their many merits.
2. Hannaford Supermarkets, various locations
3. H&V Collision Centers, various locations

Best Caterer
Old Daley Inn Catering Co., 2 Northern Drive, Troy
For more than 35 years, Old Daley Inn Catering Co. has been the Capital Region’s most celebrated and trusted caterer. They love what they do and it shows. From exquisitely elegant weddings and events to backyard barbeques, company parties, graduation parties and holiday get-togethers, one thing remains the same: their commitment to your satisfaction!
2. Mansion Catering by Angelo, 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia
3. Classe Catering, 2 Petra Lane, Albany

Best Florist
Emil J. Nagengast Florist, 169 Ontario Street, Albany and 1475 Western Avenue, Albany
Providing the highest quality flower arrangements and plants available, Emil J. Nagengast has been in the business since 1910. Five generations of the Nagengast family have brought the Capital Region the best in fresh flowers, silk arrangements, wedding flowers, and more and they have even received the Century Award from the Society of American Florists in recognition of 100 years of outstanding service to the floral industry.
2. Fleurtacious Designs, 470 North Greenbush Road, Rensselaer
3. Felthousen’s Florist, 1537 Van Antwerp Road, Schenectady

Best Manicure/Pedicure

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Colonie
Open in their Wolf Road facility since May 2008, Complexions is one of the first new construction energy-efficient day spas in the nation. They use natural ingredients, unique recipes, and the finest procedures and therapies that are performed by the best-trained and most-qualified technicians. Knowing that hands and feet need great care, Complexions’ treatments are done using Kneipp therapy to recondition utilizing the supportive, curative effects of herbs. If you are looking to unwind with a relaxing manicure or pedicure, there is no better place in the Capital Region to go.
2. Jean Paul Spa, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
3. (tie) Kimberly’s A Day Spa, 982 New Loudon Road, Latham
Serenity Day Spa and Salon, 1523 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush

Best Men’s Barber

Tiffany’s Barber Shop, 329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont
Tiffany Westervelt, owner of Tiffany’s Barber Shop in Glenmont, always knew she would own her own business and since 2009, she has done just that. Specializing in traditional barbering services that include customized haircuts and straight razor face shaves, Tiffany’s promises to provide consistent, friendly service each and every time a client comes in. She guarantees you’ll know the difference between an average haircut and a great haircut by the time you leave! 
2. Heads Up Barber Shop, 518 Washington, Albany
3. Siena Unisex Hair Styles, 656 New Loudon Road, Latham

Best Women’s Hair

Rumors Inc., 594 New Loudon Road, Latham
Whether you spend the day or just an hour at Rumors in Latham, they make your comfort their first priority. For more than 25 years, they have led the way in hair design so it’s no wonder they’ve been voted the best place to go when your locks need a trim. Want to try a bob? Or maybe add some highlights for the summer? Their highly-trained stylists will use their skills to give you the haircut you’ve been dreaming of.
2. Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany
3. Jean Paul Spa, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany

Best Masseuse
Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellnes 221 Wolf Road, Colonie
Awaiting you at Complexions is a sanctuary of tranquility and luxury designed to rejuvenate the body, strengthen your spirit and gently eliminate the stresses of the day. Offering an array of unique massage movements and body rituals from around the world, Complexions uses 100 percent pure plant oils that release muscular tension and restore physical wellness. With massage options like deep tissue, hot stone, shiatsu and more, we feel ourselves relaxing already.
2. Joyce Gauthier, LMT, at New Loudon Chiropractic, 637 New Loudon Road, Latham
3. The Ivy Spa, 583 North Greenbush Road, Rensselaer

Best Day Spa

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Colonie
A winner on our survey for best place to get a manicure/pedicure and massage, it’s no wonder Complexions also won for the best day spa in the region. They fulfill all of your skincare, hair design and body massage needs within one of New York State’s most eco-friendly, energy-efficient wellness environments. Look no further if you want to feel relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.
2. Kimberly’s A Day Spa, 982 New Loudon Road, Latham
3. Jean Paul Spa, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany

Best Pilates
The Hot Yoga Spot, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany
Located in Stuyvesant Plaza, the Hot Yoga Spot has two huge studios that are sound proof and insulated to give you a peaceful and uninterrupted yoga practice. Their hot yoga sessions are practiced in a room heated to approximately 90 degrees, which increases heart rate and burns calories, helps your body release toxins, refreshes your skin and more. They offer a wide array of classes at various times during the day, so you can be sure to find a class that suits your schedule.
2. The Yoga Loft, 540 Delaware Avenue, Albany
3. Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Road, Albany

Best Fitness Center
Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Road, Albany
Located in the heart of Colonie, the Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose recreation facility owned by the Colonie Youth Center. In addition to a full fitness center with cardio and resistance equipment sure to get your heart rate up, they also boast an activity pool with water slides, a lap pool, a warm spa, basketball and volleyball courts, group exercise studios and more. Qualified staff are always on hand to help members with machines, ensure safety and answer questions. Need a more individualized approach? Personal training packages are also available.

Best Dry Cleaners

Executive Cleaners, 1475 Western Avenue Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany
Quality is what it’s all about at Executive Cleaners, and that must be why you’ve voted them into the top spot in our survey. They restore like-new body and feel to your fabrics and their specialized equipment and hand-finishing renew original shape and fit. The result: your apparel feels livelier, softer and newer. No need to worry about those set-in stains any longer!
2. Best Cleaners, various locations
3. EmKay Dry Cleaners & Coin, 1048 Route 9, Valatie

Best Travel Agency

AAA Hudson Valley, multiple locations
AAA-Hudson Valley has always provided us with emergency roadside assistance, but now their travel planners on staff have achieved the “best” distinction for travel service. With over 100 years of providing a variety of services it’s not surprising that AAA has won this category. They can even arrange complete travel packages, in the US or internationally, including car rentals, airport shuttles, park and fly reservations, rail tickets, cruises, flights, hotels and excursions. They also provide a host of helpful travel tips to ensure your journey is relaxing and stress-free. And, you don’t have to be a AAA member to access their travel agency services. So what are you waiting for? Grab your suitcase and start packing!
2. East Greenbush Travel, 90 Buckingham Drive, Albany

Best Animal Hospital
Drumm Veterinary Hospital , 639 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
Our pets are more important than….fill in the blanks.  We love our pets and they are a big part of our families.  Drumm Veterinary Hospital, one of a family of three local animal hospitals, is AAHA accredited, which means they voluntarily meet the highest standards of quality care for all their pet patients. All pets and their owners receive the highest quality service, with a compassionate and knowledgeable staff and hours that are truly accommodating. They even have a 24-hour phone line for emergencies. And visit their website (www.capitalvets.net) to access tips to help keep your pet happy and healthy, such as what common household items can be poisonous to your pet and pet care options when you travel.
2. Just Cats, 2073 Western Avenue Guilderland
3. (tie) Albany County Veterinary Hospital, 1506 Western Avenue, Albany & Nassau Veterinary Clinic, 3930 US Route 20, Nassau

Best Wait Staff

Verdile’s Restaurant, 572 Second Avenue, Troy
Sure, the food is important, but just as essential to an enjoyable meal out is the service. Winner this year in the new category of best wait staff is Verdile’s, that mainstay of home-style Italian food in the Capital Region for over 65 years. Just as comforting as a big plate of veal and peppers, Verdile’s service is warm and friendly. Since its start back in 1943, Verdile’s has adhered to certain core values, one of which is efficient and effective service. Looks like they’ve succeeded!
2. 677 Prime, 677 Broadway, Albany
3. New World Bistro, 300 Delaware Avenue, Albany

Best Real Estate Company

Realty USA
Now is a great time to buy a home with interest rates at a near record low and a variety of inventory to choose from. Whether you’re buying or selling, RealtyUSA is where our readers turn when they want to work with an experienced realtor. RealtyUSA is the largest, independent real estate company in NYS and their agents bring a wealth of knowledge and information to every showing and sale
2. Coldwell Banker, various locations
3. HUGE Realty, various locations

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