Best of the CRANDIC 2019: Goods & Services

The results are in! Browse the winners of Little Village’s 2020 Best of the CRANDIC competition in the Goods & Services category, representing voters’ favorite businesses and service providers in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area.

Best New Business — TIE!

Honeybee Hair Parlor

755 S Gilbert St, Iowa City —

“JoAnn has rocked every location she’s ever worked. Now she’s opened her own place and she, Liz and Tara turn out one amazing ’do after another. JoAnn decorated Honeybee in her unique and funky ‘if Gramma’s house was colorful, fun and didn’t smell like Gramma’ throwback style. Honeybee partners with Green Circle Salons to significantly reduce their waste and their impact on the environment and their staff and clients. We need more businesses in Iowa City that care as much as the folks at Honeybee.”

— Jaime N.


1507 C St SW, Cedar Rapids —

“Their incredible service coupled with quality and ethical food to back it up is very impressive for only being open for eight months.”

— Ethan D.


Beno’s Flowers

“The owner has a lot of charisma and the arrangements are beautiful.”

— Kate S.

Dash Coffee Roasters

“They are genuine and serve amazing coffee along the 380 corridor. You will build a bond with all employees, which makes Dash my favorite ‘hello’ and hardest ‘see you soon.’”

— Ashley W.

Laos Cafe

“Surprised to find a Laotian restaurant in West Liberty. If you like Thai food, you will love this place, and ran by a very nice family.”

— Brian H.

Best Retail Staff — TIE!

Found + Formed

65 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids —


117 E College St, Iowa City —


Active Endeavors

“Friendly outdoorsy college students who will answer your questions. Managing brothers Dave and Brian are stalwarts.”

— Brett S.

The Haunted Bookshop

“They always help me find what I was looking for or something like it AND a fun surprise I didn’t know I needed.”

— Jamie H.


“I get honest opinions from staff, they’re always available to assist, and I get more compliments on the clothes they help me choose.”

— A.T.

Best Vintage/Consignment Store

Found + Formed

65 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids —

“Found + Formed are size inclusive, have a huge variety of styles and eras, and are super reasonably priced.”

— Jacqueline H.

“They have the most on-trend selection of vintage pieces. Their inventory is unmatched. They also have a great selection of handmade jewelry, decor, stickers, pins and more.”

— Julia S.

Found + Formed staff — Zak Neumann/Little Village


Crowded Closet

“I am a thrift store junkie. I love them all! But my favorite has to be Crowded Closet. The staff of volunteers are friendly. I like the fact that the proceeds go to Disaster Relief Services. I often find myself there on a Saturday afternoon.”

— Harold S.

Mad Modern

“Because of their genuine mid-century pieces and frequent turnover, [there is] always something different to see in the store.”

— Ellen W.


“It never disappoints. Such cute and quality things.”

— Addie B.

Best Store for Gift Shopping

White Rabbit

112 S Linn St, Iowa City —

“Just try to find a gift without picking up something for yourself as well.”

— Kelly S.

Sticker on sale at White Rabbit — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village


Design Ranch

“So many wonderful, unique and quality items that really show the recipient you care (and have great taste).”

— Andrea J.

Iowa Artisans Gallery

“Local handmade and quality over decades of curating. Always something new.”

— Jacob P.


“Who doesn’t love plants and candles?”

— Sydney B.

Scout of Marion

“Wide variety of home goods, beauty and little odds and ends.”

— Emily C.

Best Store at Which to Splurge on Yourself


117 E College St, Iowa City —

Revival — Zak Neumann/Little Village



“I bought myself a mug made by Allison Fretheim and it’s the most beautiful vessel; I use every morning to drink my coffee. I have bought tinctures and other things for me every time I’ve gone there.”

— Rachel M.

Soko Outfitters

“Camping and climbing gear is an addiction.”

— August S.

Most Unique Shop

White Rabbit

112 S Linn St, Iowa City —



“No boring things allowed. Try and get bored there.”

— Matthieu B.

Create Exchange

“I could — and have — spend hours in this name-your-price thrift craft store!”

— Madeline J.


“The combination of skate and print shop, coupled with the owners’ eccentricities and openness make this shop one of a kind. They truly love their community and their customers.”

— Dylan N.

Best Bank or Credit Union

Green State Credit Union


“I have banked here my whole life. The best people.”

— Bridget T.

Most Trusted Mechanic

Dodge Street Tire

605 N Dodge St, Iowa City

“Honest mechanics and competitive prices — cannot beat that!”

— Kate S.

Brian Sekafetz at Dodge Street Tire. — Zak Neumann/Little Village


Havlik’s Auto Service

“Reasonable, dependable and honest. What more can you ask from a mechanic?”

— Chad C.

Russ’ Northside Service

“John Logan at Russ’ Northside Service!!!! I cannot say enough good things about that man, he’s an angel.”

— G.G.

Most Trusted Plumber

Bea Day

Best Home Improvement Company

Martin Construction

“Come on! The Martin family combined with Suzanne Bradley? You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!”

— S.K.

Most Trusted Electrician

John Gay Electrical Services and Design

1203 Friendly Ave, Iowa City

Most Trusted in Auto Sales

Toyota of Iowa City

1445 IA-1, Iowa City —

Most Trusted Realtor

Phoebe Martin, Skogman Realty

“Phoebe gets me and my quirkiness. I <3 Phoebe Martin!”

— Angela L.


Leslie Fitzpatrick, Blank and McCune Iowa City

“I couldn’t expect a kinder and more knowledgeable realtor in our search for a home. Leslie helped us find the little gem we were looking for in the perfect location based on our very specific requests. She worked tirelessly, even over holidays and weekends—to the point I was even able to sign closing documents while riding RAGBRAI!”

— Kyle H.

Best Tattoo Artist

Anne Marsh, Iowa City Tattoo

393 E College St, Iowa City —

Anne Marsh at Iowa City Tattoo — Zak Neumann/Little Village


Michelle Balhan, Velvet Lotus Tattoo

“Her work in incredible. She listens and is truly an artist as well as a super rad lady.”

— Amanda B.

Kris Evans, Endorphin Den

“[Kris] is professional, attentive and relaxed. She’s also an amazing artist.”

— K.B.

Bryan Merck, Evolution Tattoo

“He’s by far the best in the Corridor and the state and probably the Midwest.”

— Krista B.

Nikki Powills, Temple Body Arts

“Nikki has it all—talent, humor, endless creativity and technical skill, and she is a blast to work with. I love her!”

— Sasha A.

Best Body Piercer

Release Body Modification

110 S Linn St, Iowa City —

Best Hair Salon

Honeybee Hair Parlor

755 S Gilbert St, Iowa City —

JoAnn LS, stylist and owner of Honeybee Hair Parlor — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Q&A with JoAnn LS

JoAnn Larpenter-Sinclair has been a stylist for 19 years, graduating from La’ James International College in Iowa City. After a career working at others’ salons, she opened her own business, Honeybee Hair Parlor, in July, offering gender-neutral pricing and a space for both hairstyling and community gathering.

What did it mean to you to open your own salon? I felt through my entire career there were always skills I had that I wasn’t able to utilize, and aspects of my personality I had to subdue to fit into whatever environment I was in. I have the power to do all the things I wanted to do at a salon but didn’t have the autonomy to do before. Everyone who comes into this space, I can make them feel like that as well. I feel like there are a lot of aspects about my industry and the beauty industry in general that shut people out or tell them that they’re not quite good enough, or they would be better if they were more like someone else, and I feel like I’m able to create a space where the person who you come as is awesome, and I get to help you celebrate that.

What are some of the most rewarding reactions clients have had to your work? I’ve had clients that I’ve had for a really long time, and seeing them come out of their shell and more outwardly show the kind of person they are is really enjoyable for me. Hair can be a catalyst for change or it can be a sort of marker for change. When people say you have carte blanche to do whatever you want, and you give them something they never would have even imagined, it’s just really awesome — just to see people’s faces transform when they see themselves in a slightly different way, it’s exciting and really fun.

Honeybee hasn’t even been open a year yet. Has the business evolved since you’ve opened the doors? Going forward, can people expect any changes? Initially, I thought it was just going to be me and a front desk staff, and it completely changed, and I immediately had two other employees and a support staff, and we started having art shows. It grew a lot faster than I thought it would. I think moving forward, we’re just working on becoming a cohesive team and really being connected with each other and inspiring each other, but also thinking, what kind of education do we want to do? What kind of community partnerships do we want to have? What different creative projects? I want this place to be as collaborative as possible, both within the people who work here and the creative people in the community.

What does it mean to know that the community has already recognized you as the best salon in the area? It took me a long time to be brave enough to take this leap. I think I was always capable of doing it, but it’s really so humbling and such an honor to have people be so supportive from the get-go … It just makes me really proud to be in Iowa City. I feel loved, and we all feel very supported and encouraged.


Fresh Feel Fade Salon and Spa

“Molly is absolutely amazing! I had always had long hair but recently got promoted and decided to go with a fade to be able to style it for my new job. She cut it the first time and I wasn’t sure about it, so she recut it at no charge since it was a new style to me. She is the greatest! Always look forward to going to her shop. I drive an hour just to have her do my fade.”

— Darci R.

Moods Salon and Spa

“Anna Mohni is great! Especially if you have curly hair and haven’t found someone who knows just how to cut it!”

— Alexa B.

Skin Deep Salon & Spa

“Tara Gavin-Hiatt does great haircuts and the spa is known for its care of cancer patients.”

— Diana K.L.

Best Nail Salon

Grace Nail Salon

1301 S Gilbert St Suite 3, Iowa City

Best Vet Clinic

Eastside Pet Clinic

811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City

Eastside Pet Clinic — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Best Photographer/Videographer

Pilsen Photo Co-op

“Beautiful, clean images all around. They do food, landscapes, portraits. They’re amazing!”

— Phoebe C.

Best Wedding Venue

Rapid Creek Cidery

4823 Dingleberry Rd NE #2, Iowa City —

Rapid Creek Cidery, Iowa City — courtesy of Rapid Creek Cidery


National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library

“The building is beautiful and the crystal chandelier is stunning. Great event staff.”

— M.D.

Secrest 1883 Octagonal Barn

“Since my brother got married there, I’m quite partial to Secrest 1883 Octagonal Barn. It has a lovely rustic feel with the backdrop of the Iowa countryside.”

— Ariane P.P.

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