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January 8, 2018 WBJ 2018 Best of Business

Best of Business: Best Food & Entertainment for 2018

One Eleven Chop House won the Best Restaurant for a Business Dinner award.

Best Caterer for a Corporate Event

Peppers Artful Events*


Top executives: Susan Lawrence, founder; and John Lawrence, partner

Founded: 1987

Employees: 25 full time, 125 part time

Read more: Peppers plans for precision 

Notable runner-up: Struck Catering

Best Restaurant for Business Lunch

The Sole Proprietor*


Top executives: Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist, owners; Eric Andreoli, general manager

Founded: 1979

Employees: 98

Freshness and hospitality have made The Sole Proprietor a Worcester institution. Beginning with the freshest fish inspires its chefs to create memorable dishes. Customers are served by two wait staff, not one, and they are impressed by how staff remember their names.

Notable runners-up: VIA, 110 Grill

Best Restaurant for Business Dinner

One Eleven Chop House*


Top executives: Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist, owners; Aaron Francisco, general manager

Founded: 1999

Employees: 77

Its fifth year in a row winning this award, One Eleven thrives on being one of a kind in a market full of chain steakhouses, with the independence enabling the restaurant to cater to customers' individual needs. The steaks are hand selected and certified prime-grade, and the wine list has received Wine Spectator's “Award of Excellence” annually since 2001.

Notable runners-up: VIA, deadhorse hill, Armsby Abbey, Sonoma

Best Coffee Service

Good As Gold Coffee*


Top executive: President Patrice Goldman

Founded: 1969

Employees: 14

After nearly 50 years in business, Good as Gold stays true to its founding mission of providing delicious, high-quality coffee at a great value. The company built and launched a new coffee roasterie, part of its efforts to always strive to be better.

Best Exercise Facility/Fitness Center

Worcester Fitness


Top executive: Tim MacDonald, owner and president

Founded: 1978

Employees: 75

In its 40th year, Worcester Fitness focuses on meeting each individual's needs with one-on-one training and team-oriented guidance. The facility offers a friendly and clean environment where all its members feel safe.

Notable runner-up: Fitness Asylum

Best Public Golf Course

Green Hill Municipal Golf Course*


Top executive: Matthew Moison P.G.A.

Founded: 1929

Employees: 20

Green Hill is one of the longest continual recreation items offered by the City of Worcester. The course is committed to great conditions, equity of access and affordability. The various experiences are designed for all ages and ability levels.

Notable runner-up: Cyprian Keyes Golf Club

Best Private Golf Course

Worcester Country Club*


Top executive: Bill Shaw, general manager and chief operating officer

Founded: 1900

Employees: 125 in season

Built on the foundation of a dedicated friendly staff, the historic golf course focuses on family and community, boasting it has the finest pool complex in the area, along with an assortment of social activities and great food.

Click below to see the other 2018 Best of Business winners:

Best Professional Services

  • Best Bank - UniBank*
  • Best Architectural Firm - Lamoureux Pagano & Associates
  • Best Credit Union - DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union*
  • Best Business Insurance Agency - Sullivan Insurance Group*
  • Best Law Firm - Mirick O’Connell*
  • Best Accounting Firm - Bollus Lynch, LLP Certified Public Accountants & Consultants*
  • Best Advertising Agency - Davis Advertising

Best Employee Services

  • Best College for Business Education - Nichols College*
  • Best Financial Planning/Investment Services - Provo Wealth Management Group*
  • Best Employee Benefits Consultant - Sullivan Benefits*
  • Best Luxury Automobile Dealership - Wagner Auto Group*
  • Best Limousine Services - Knight’s Airport Limousine Service*
  • Best Health Insurance Provider - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts*
  • Best Young Professionals Network - YPWA (Young Professional Women's Association) of Worcester

Best Office Services

  • Best Commercial Real Estate Brokerage - NAI Glickman, Kovago & Jacobs
  • Best Commercial Landscaper - Cheaper than the Kid Next Door Landscaping
  • Best Electrical Contractor - Coghlin Electrical Contractors Inc.*
  • Best Plumber/HVAC Contractor - JJ Bafaro Inc.*
  • Best Waste Removal - E.L. Harvey & Sons, Inc.*
  • Best Office Cleaning - Eagle Cleaning Corp.*
  • Best Staffing Agency - The Davis Companies*

Best Places for Drinks

  • Best Locally Owned Place to Meet for Coffee - BirchTree Bread Co.*
  • Best Local Brewery - Wormtown Brewery
  • Best Worcester After-Work Bar - Armsby Abbey*
  • Best Metrowest After-Work Bar - Tavern in the Square*
  • Best North County After-Work Bar - Rye & Thyme American Tavern*
  • Best Blackstone Valley After-Work Bar - Hunter's Grill & Tap
  • Best Central Mass. South After-Work Bar - The Cedar Street Grille*

Best Events & Venues

  • Best Golf Club for Corporate Outing - Cyprian Keyes Golf Club*
  • Best Venue for a Business Meeting - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for a Corporate Event - Mechanics Hall*
  • Best Event Production Company - Revelation Productions
  • Best Nonprofit Fundraiser Event - March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
  • Best Hotel for Business Clients - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for an Employee Outing - EcoTarium*

Best Multimedia Services

  • Best Awards & Promotional Products - Engraveables*
  • Best Sign Company - Sunshine Sign Company
  • Best Commercial Printer - Curry Printing*
  • Best IT Services - Cinch IT
  • Best Internet Service Provider - Charter Spectrum*
  • Best Web Design Firm - Applied Interactive
  • Best Video Production - Pagano Media*

* Denotes repeat winner

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