Best of 2020

Publisher’s Letter

America is a nation built and shaped by millions of unsung heroes who all have amazing legacies with stories we could all learn from. The same is true in our local neighborhoods; some of our local organizations and businesses have fascinating stories of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this special Best of
2020 issue, ShowCase Magazine celebrates our local heroes and spotlights their efforts during the stay-at-home period and celebrates the best in our region as voted by you, our reader.

We also shine our light on the nominees from our Best of 2020 readership poll as voted on by you, our readers, this past April. You voted on 50 categories from shopping to food and golf courses to giving back. You voted for the best and the brightest in our region and we have compiled the nominees here in celebration.

We invite the businesses in this issue to “pause” and celebrate their success at being recognized as the best in each category, even in these challenging times. The daily endeavors that each organization performs are extraordinary. We realize that the level of excellence that we convey in these pages is not easily achieved.

So whether you are reading this online, in print, digitally, or on social media, we invite you to congratulate the organizations and heroes that are spotlighted here and send them your patronage and appreciation. Congratulations to the Best of 2020!

Thank you for reading and celebrating with us!

Thank you,

Robin Lucas, Publisher

Featured Stories

Olympic Landscape: Heart For Community

Olympic Landscape has been designing, building and servicing outdoor residential and commercial spaces in the South Sound for more than 40 years. As an expert landscape contractor, the company creates beautiful outdoor living spaces, unique gathering spaces, and specially-themed gardens for homes and businesses. The owner and CEO, Joe Areyano, plans to continue that legacy. […]

Wellness Begins At Naturepedic Organic Mattress Gallery

Mindy and Jason Schaefer recently opened Naturepedic Organic Mattress Gallery in University Place’s blossoming town center. That’s where to find chemical-free mattresses, bedding, soft Holy Lamb baby gear and comfy cotton robes. “We care about organic,” Mindy Schaefer said. “It is about health and the preservation of our natural world.” A baby started the movement. […]

OlyFed: Heroes Here for you Every Day

For some businesses and organizations, their mission statements or slogans are catchy phrases they use for marketing. At Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed), though, they take it one step further as they live up to their motto, “Here for You. Here for Good.” every day through their actions and deeds. Under the direction of President and […]

UPLIFT-ING Tacoma Through Art & Culture

Uplift Tacoma is a way to make creative lemonade out of adversity’s lemons. Sharing music, visual arts, performances and creative activities can offer inspiration and support in tough times. That’s the goal of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality in launching an initiative labeled Uplift Tacoma, according to Amy McBride, arts administrator for the […]

Olympia OB/GYN Heroes: Babies Born During Pandemic

Babies are born when they are ready, and dedicated medical personnel tackle coronavirus challenges to deliver them safely. That’s true of the team at Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology (OOG), who developed new techniques as they work with patients and welcome babies. They are using technology in positive ways while they keep everyone safe. “We love […]

MultiCare Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan has been caring for COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic in Washington. Throughout the COVID-19 response, community members have been providing a morale boost to health care workers through kind words, donations and artwork. Read the following reflections from Good Samaritan team members about working at the hospital and what the […]

The Lasagna Lady spreads Love

As a youth growing up in the Bay Area of California, Michelle Brenner enjoyed big, traditional Sunday dinners with family. When lasagna was served, it usually accompanied an occasion of sorts and brought back warm memories. When she witnessed people buying store-bought, commercially made lasagnas as part of their pandemic meals, the Gig Harbor resident […]

Indochine’s Creativity In Crisis

What do you do in a community crisis? If you’re Russel Brunton at Indochine in downtown Tacoma, you figure out how to prepare tasty meals for hungry local heroes and keep your staff on the job. From the early days of the coronavirus challenge, Brunton joined several other restaurant owners to provide nutritious meals for […]

Crudo and Cotto: A Fresh Twist on Italian

Giampaolo Falchetti and Kathryn Philbrook recently opened Crudo and Cotto, a fresh Italian and northwest inspired restaurant in Proctor. The husband-wife dynamic duo are also the owners of Olympia’s Basilico Ristorante. Italian cuisine comes naturally for Giampaolo; he grew up in Umbria, Italy, where food is synonymous with fellowship, providing a hospitable meeting place for […]

Homeless Backpack Heroes

How often do people consider if the homeless person sleeping in an exposed area is an adolescent? Or when was the last time a homeless adolescent had a decent meal? “Homeless Backpacks provide weekend food to homeless students,” founding board member of Homeless Backpacks, Kelly Wilson, says. Homeless Backpacks serves over half a dozen school […]

Museum’s “Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting”

The Washington State Historical Society plans to open the game-based exhibition Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting post-pandemic. The museum made alterations to the original exhibition so that everyone can play safely in the expansive gallery spaces. Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting is a vibrant celebration of female achievements in politics and […]