Thanks to everyone who voted in this year’s Best of Cherokee. There were more than 1,000 voters for this year’s contest. Here are the top five businesses that received the most votes:
Northside Canton Health Mart Pharmacy
Winner — Pharmacy/Drug Store
Originally founded in 1968, Northside Canton Health Mart Pharmacy has become a staple to the wellbeing of the community. The same community that has voted this the winner of Best Pharmacy/Drug Store of Cherokee.
Following his father’s footsteps, Rand Bagwell became co-owner of the pharmacy alongside Darrell Chester; all three of whom worked at the pharmacy in high school, went to pharmacy school and came back home to Cherokee County.
“It has been a very close family-owned business since the inception,” Bagwell said. “All of us grew up here, even going back to the original owners. There is a lot of history here.”
That history comes with years of exceptional service.
“We have had a lot of good support from this community and want to be able to give back. This is the best way we know how to give back, through helping people at the store,” Bagwell said. “Our motto is that our service sets us apart and we have to live up to that every minute of every day.”
The pharmacy’s niche that makes them stand out against big box stores? Durable medical supplies such as lift chairs, wheelchairs and oxygen supplies, their delivery services that are used regularly by patrons in need and medication packaging to help patrons with their daily regimens.
“Our delivery service has been here since day one and that is something we are proud to still offer at no charge to people who live inside the city limits. We are very happy to be able to help in that manner,” Bagwell said. “We also offer medication packaging, so it’s easier for them to recognize when it’s time to take it or if they have taken it already. We do that for several assisted living facilities, as well.”
Specializing in providing the community with fast, friendly and professional service, the pharmacy takes care of Cherokee’s families with the highest-quality medicines and health products.
“We couldn’t do anything we do without the great people that work with us, our coworkers, and we appreciate them,” Bagwell said. “We also get the support and care we need from the community we are able to help and we appreciate them letting us help them.”
The Northside Canton Health Mart Pharmacy has a variety of services and healthcare needs from medication reviews, diabetes products and Medicare Part D to pharmacist counseling, canes and walkers, greeting cards and wound care supplies.
Winner — Children’s Clothing
Winner — Birthday Party Venue
Becca B is here to stand out! As winner of both Children’s Clothing and Birthday Party Venue, this children’s boutique is anything but quaint.
Located within The Market, Becca B welcomes children in with its bright and colorful array of items holding true to their motto of prioritizing comfort and fun.
“My best customers are the kids,” Owner LaDonna Hale said. “They love everything we carry.”
All items in this shop are sourced from small businesses including Mila and Rose clothing and accessories for girls, Great Pretenders costumes for boys and girls, Popatu baby outfits, Bows for Belles and activity books by Peter Pauper Press.
“There is something for everyone,” Hale said.
Jewelry, headbands, Pals socks, goggles, Cuddle Barn stuffed animals, purses, Macy May ribbon barrette holders and Enchanted Wands are among the items bursting with vibrance in the booth.
“This is for them, the kids,” Hale said. “We are very family friendly.”
What more, Becca B is named after Hale’s children; Becca being her oldest daughter and B stands for her youngest daughter Bethany. Truly a family business, both daughters help with advertising and merchandising, as well as dress up as characters for the children.
Becca B not only specializes in unique gifts, comfortable clothing for children and fun-based model calls, but a variety of themed birthday parties.
Offering all-inclusive birthday party packages for boys and girls, celebrations are held in a spacious classroom at The Market.
Whether you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for your child or are seeking to hold a unique and dream-worthy celebration for your little one, Becca B has you covered.
Winner — Antique Store, Furniture, Gift Shop, Boutique
What started as a simple consignment store with a monthly outdoor market has bloomed into a 59,000 square-foot marketplace with 170 small businesses under one roof — The Market.
It is no wonder the community selected them to win the Best Antique Store, Furniture, Gift Shop and Boutique.
Located at Bells Ferry and 92, this one stop shop gives customers endless decor possibilities featuring new, vintage, crafted and eclectic items from booth to booth.
“We try to make this place an experience when you come in,” Co-Owner Karen Bennett said.
The Market succeeds at upholding its mission of creating a place to be inspired, with every nook and cranny filled with interesting finds one could spend an entire day searching for the perfect item.
Vintage, antique, boutique, handcrafted…The Market boasts an eclectic mix. There is a vast array of furniture, home decor, patio and garden items, lighting, candles, soap, pottery, signs.
“This is a lifestyle store. You can come in and get a gift, your home furnished, treat yourself and walk out with a new wardrobe. All the bases are pretty covered,” Welty said. “We really like mixing the old and the new together. That is how we think you create a curated look for your home, and you can add layers and interesting pieces in to your decor.”
More than a shop, The Market also offers workshops and classes throughout the year.
“We have classes that are offered by dealers and outsiders, whether it’s painting a picture, making a sign, learning how to stage a bookcase or how to get organized,” Co-Owner Mary Mogity said. “We believe in community, us and the dealers and our customers. Those are our people.”
Community doesn’t stop there for The Market. As a faith-based store, giving back is ingrained into the company’s structure.
“For us, throughout the year, that is probably one of our favorite things to do — to be able to give back,” Bennett said. “We like to do it in different ways whether it be random acts of kindness, direct giving, giving to local charities or doing something anonymously…when we do that, for us, it makes the business make sense to us. It makes all the hard work worth it. Without that it would feel empty.”
In the winter, stopping by The Market has quickly become a family tradition with its 88-foot Christmas window display.
“It’s been really fun to see how the community has accepted it and there is nothing like when you reveal that window. It’s really fun to do,” Bennett said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth every second of it.”
Customers that stop into The Market support the variety of small businesses held under one roof.
“We truly do appreciate the community support we have gotten over the past eight years,” Welty said. “We are just very grateful.”
Big Door Vineyards
Winner — Wine List, Wedding Venue, Place to take a tourist
Runner Up — Event Venue
The stunning view and calming atmosphere at Big Door Vineyards allows customers to breathe easier and relax into its one-of-a-kind experience.
Tucked away in the hills of North Georgia, Big Door Vineyards was founded on friendship and vintage wine.
“We are just two best friends trying to do something special,” Co-Owner Ray Parker said of his business venture with Rodney Alldredge, noting that the two have been friends since they were nine years old.
“We try to create a beautiful, what I call, 16-acre garden,” Parker said. “The vines are beautiful and we created a huge waterfall feature — aesthetically and cosmetically when you pull up it is beautiful.”
It is sure to leave a memorable impression with its wine tastings, tours, outdoor seating and pier, weekend acoustic performances and local foods.
Being a Georgia Grown member, the winery offers meat and cheese charcuterie boards, fresh paninis, jellies from local businesses. Even the wine barrels are local.
“We are going to talk Georgia wines, jellies, cheeses and processed meats — everything we sell here, we are very adamant that it’s going to be from the great state of Georgia,” Parker said. “We are a part of the community and we want to educate people on Georgia products.”
The detail can be tasted in their award-winning wines. Sweet and dry, reds and whites, Big Door Vineyards has spared no expense on its wine production with a full range of 15 wines.
“Our Lenoir red wine is the No. 1 hybrid (or estate) wine in the U.S. — we won the double gold in the California, San Francisco challenge. We are extremely proud of that,” Parker said.
There is another red premium estate wine in the barrel currently, a Lomanto, and two whites, a Blanc de Bois and Villard Blanc.
“With those four award-winning estate wines, we are able to do some crafty blending with our muscadines,” Parker said. “By sweetening with different muscadine wines, which is fructose, it’s tricking your mouth into thinking it’s sugar when it’s not. We have come up with some very clever blends between muscadines and our estate wines to fill in those voids of sweets and off-sweets. They have done extremely well.”
The success lies in the team, Parker said, which consists of Sharon Bergman, Rhiannon Hoida, Maria Compton O’Connell and Ansley Henson.
“We have good wines, good food, good music but what separates us from others is our staff,” Parker said. “They have this ability to turn customers into friends and friends into family — those ladies are what differentiate us from any other winery.”
Whether tasting a new wine, enjoying the scenery, hearing the story behind the big door or listening to a live performance, every detail has been curated with the customer in mind.
BIG DOOR VINEYARDS
Winner - Best Wine List, Best Place to take a Tourist and
Best Wedding Venue
Runner Up - Event Venue
Big Door Vineyards is available as a wedding and event venue or a simple day-trip getaway, offering its customers the perfect assortment of indoor and outdoor spaces to unwind.
“We are so thankful for our community,” Parker said. “Without all the wonderful support of our people, there is no Big Door Vineyards. I want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”
Winner — Pizza
Runner Up — Overall Local Restaurant, Dessert
It’s all in the name: Perrotta’s Pizza.
This family-owned and operated Italian pizzeria has captured the hearts, and stomachs, of Cherokee Country patrons since 2018.
“We have gotten tremendous response from the community, it’s great,” Owner Lou Perrotta said. “We are doing really well.”
The Perrotta family moved from city life on the beach to the quaint surroundings of Canton after looking for somewhere “a little more old-fashion, down to earth and country.”
What sets them apart is their family traditions.
“The family itself works here, we are out front waiting tables and cleaning — I wouldn’t expect our staff to do anything that we wouldn’t do,” Gina Perrotta, Lou’s wife, said.
Lou and Gina work alongside their children, Giana, Anthony and Vinny.
“Every family member is involved in every single part of the business and we keep to the old traditions of how we were taught from our family, which are straight from Italy,” Lou said. “We are first generation here. We keep with the old traditions, we do stuff the old fashioned way. Sometimes it’s not the easiest, but it’s the best way to do it.”
With the aroma of perfectly cooked meats and cheeses wafting through the door as it opens, selections at Perrotta’s Pizza are all handmade.
“Nothing comes out of the can, everything is homemade just like they did it back in the day. We stick with those traditions,” Lou said.
Using a brick oven and fresh ingredients, each meal is sure to please.
“We make the dough and garlic knots here,” Gina said. “We even make our own sauce.”
So what is the No. 1 best seller at Perrotta’s Pizza? The Perrotta Special of course, which has pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, black olives, green peppers and extra cheese. To top it off, every pizza crust is lightly brushed with a delicious garlic butter.
“The fan favorite sandwich would have to be our Italian Stallion, which is loaded with all types of Italian meats and veggies, all the good stuff,” Lou said.
Perrotta’s Pizza offers a variety of specialty pizzas, calzones, Stromboli’s, subs, salads, wings, appetizers and pasta dinners.
To wash it all down, customers can enjoy a beer, on draft, or a glass of wine.
“We support the community,” Lou said. “From the day we opened, we offer our police, first responders, teachers and military a discount.”
It is not hard to understand why Perrotta’s Pizza’s motto is “the taste you can’t refuse.”