You don’t have to live in St. Louis for very long to appreciate all the wonderful amenities our city offers: beautiful, accessible parks; historic sites like the Old Courthouse, Cathedral Basilica and the Scott Joplin house; and completely free cultural amenities like the zoo, art museum, science center and history museum. But our area also offers something else that enriches daily life: friendly hometown businesses.

That’s why we decided to ask readers to send in testimonials about a particular store or business they appreciate. Who goes above and beyond, maybe placing special orders for you, delivering something to your door, greeting you by name or calling you when a favorite item goes on sale?

Second Sitting Consignments

One of my favorite hobbies is decorating. I really enjoy ‘staging’ my home with the latest colors and design elements. Unfortunately, decorating can become an expensive hobby, but that’s exactly why I love Second Sitting Consignments!

I consign my gently worn (sometimes new) furniture and accessories with Carolyn when I’m in the mood to redecorate. Sometimes I get my inspiration from a new piece I find at the store. (The staff provides great ideas, too!) Everything at the shop is top quality, stylish and can be purchased for half, or less, of what you’d pay in a typical retail shop. I can experiment and have fun creating a ‘new look’ without breaking the bank. I have been complimented by people who have asked if I’m an interior designer. Second Sitting allows me to indulge my passion and pretend I am!

>Paula Mogley

Mister Guy

I have been shopping at Mister Guy since it first opened in 1976. That says volumes right there, to realize you have patronized the same store for more than half your life. The combination of service, quality and style found at Mister Guy is unsurpassed in the St. Louis region. It hits my fashion sweet spot. My career in trust administration and wealth management demands a more traditional approach to dressing: well-tailored suits and ties most days of the week. At Mister Guy, I can find the perfect banker’s suit and liven it up with a shirt, tie and pocket square that add enough ‘pop’ to set me apart.

All my off-hour clothing needs are at Mister Guy, too. When it comes to casual wear, Mister Guy is top-notch. I grew up in the ‘preppy’ era, and with a large selection of Lilly Pulitzer for men, Mister Guy has all the colorful, preppy pieces I need. If I want to look more sophisticated and urban, the store’s extensive collection of fine European, Canadian and American designers fills that need also. As far as I’m concerned, Mister Guy offers a level of taste, refinement and attention to service and detail that just can’t be replicated anywhere else.

>David Diener

Service Bureau

Accolades to the entire staff of Service Bureau for their patience, guidance, understanding and tireless attention to all the details during the planning for our daughter’s recent wedding. From ‘Save the Date’ announcements to the wedding invitations, reply cards, napkins, gift tags, stationery, etc, it’s as if they could read our minds. Their advice, knowledge and support will forever by deeply appreciated, and we enthusiastically recommend Service Bureau for all your entertainment needs.

>Kathleen Alexander

Ladue Pharmacy

Today we live in the world of super stores like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, which can be very impersonal and overwhelming for the consumer. In Ladue, we are fortunate to have a special gem, Ladue Pharmacy. The owners, Rick and Brett Williams, have totally remodeled their store with designer flare recently. When you walk in, you know you are going to receive great service. The pharmacists are so professional and efficient, they greet you by name and make you feel like family. Wonderful employees like Sissy, Ken, Holly, Pete, Kathy and Pauline are always there to help you with their expertise, whether it’s recommending the perfect cosmetic from their designer lines, selecting a card from their new Papyrus card gallery, or helping you choose a great bottle of wine.

Ladue Pharmacy even has its own Post Office—you can’t get much better than that! And their fantastic delivery service is another plus. In this day and age, we must be grateful for these little gems and the great individual proprietors who still exist.

>Nancy Bormaster


At Wish, the shoe always seems to fit…the occasion, that is. I like being able to find comfortable heels for work, flats for travel and high heels for fun. I like service with a soul (no pun intended!) and appreciate that Laura Bryan won’t let me buy another pair of black heels or shoes that pinch. I get compliments all the time on my shoes and purses from Wish, but that’s not why I buy them. I buy them for me!

>Ellen Sherberg

Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation

At first you’d swear it was geographic sleight-of-hand. How else could they have transported the hills and groves of Tuscany to Clayton? Then, your nose and taste buds take over.

After a two-week stay in Tuscany last October, feeling sad to leave the beauty and, more important, the food, I discovered Extra Virgin. Marianne Prey has captured the essence of Italian cuisine with her shop’s wonderful selection of olive oils, vinegars, sauces (my personal favorite is fig), pastas and pestos. There is no better way to select the right oils than an olive oil tasting bar. You can also enjoy trying the olives sold in bulk.

What a treat to have one of my favorite snacks, potato chips, made locally using olive oil for the paper-thin potato slices! Among the many imported food items from Italy and Spain are colorful ceramic pasta bowls, salad plates, glassware, cookbooks and tea towels. Extra Virgin is a jewel of a neighborhood store just waiting to be explored.

>Bobbi Dveris

The Fitness Edge

Wow, I just can’t say enough about The Fitness Edge. Imagine me…40 pounds overweight…walking into a gym filled with body builders and swimsuit models. Mike and the other trainers couldn’t have been more friendly, encouraging and supportive. I can still remember standing at the receptionist desk wanting to turn and run back to my car when Mike walked up to me and said, “I want you to know I’m so happy you’re here.” Mike and my trainer, Heather, gave me the tools, information and encouragement to completely change my life. I have lost nearly 40 pounds and gone from a size 18 to a size 8. Losing weight is no big mystery. The Fitness Edge provides nutritional information, personal training, cardio programs and even massage therapy. Today, I eat better, sleep better, exercise better and most of all, I feel great—all thanks to Heather, Mike and all the terrific trainers at The Fitness Edge!

>Debbie Baldwin

Tom Manche Interiors

Tom brought vision and a sense of unity to our admittedly eclectic furnishings. He is extraordinarily perceptive and easy to talk to without fear that your ideas will be dismissed. I wanted to be bold in the design of our new home’s living spaces, but I had no idea how to get there. His ability to envision the final result, and describe it vividly and with accuracy, provided a great deal of confidence to someone inexperienced with interior design. Ultimately, he was able to develop a fresh and color-rich plan out of our varied interests and assortment of treasured belongings. Our home now reflects our particular passions with warmth, grace and style.

>Dr. Nancy Kinney

Mister Guy Ladies

For years now, Mister Guy personnel have consistently welcomed my daughter Jackie and me with a warm and welcoming ‘hello’ and have been totally focused on us with thoughtful service, honest clothing advice and quality apparel that gives us great mileage. I also like to support a store that supports the community in so many ways.

>Jessica Brown