Mike Martin is a Columbia resident and science journalist. mike.martin@weeklyscientist.com

Mike Martin is a Columbia resident and science journalist. mike.martin@weeklyscientist.com

Here on the Voices page, there’s the City View, the County View and the School District View. There’s Al Germond, verbally smacking the Columbia City Council for a bad decision. And here I am bashing the county assessor, City Hall, eminent domain, developer tax breaks and shady sewer shenanigans.

But this isn’t the Columbia Government Times, and it’s high time I turn my part of the page over to my business faves — unsolicited kudos for those Columbia businesspeople who’ve treated me like the paying customer I am, with great service, fair dealings and reasonable prices.

Korte Tree Care — 573-875-1999


My wife and I have a giant oak that sheds limbs as big as small trees, but scared by the high cost of pruning — upward of $500 per large, high branch — we’ve forever hesitated to trim it. Then a friend referred Korte Tree Care. “I was amazed at how much lower their prices were than the other places I called,” she said. “And they did a great job.”

Among all four tree-care companies that sent door-mail coupons, Korte Tree Care was indeed the low bid. Owner Josh Korte, a certified arborist, arrived quickly and did great work for a fraction of what I was expecting to pay. I’ve since used his firm for quick, cheap stump grinding, too.

Carpet Plus — 573-474-6964


When Carpet Plus came in behind a well-known carpet cleaner my tenant hired last summer, they made a dirty old-looking carpet look new again. Last year, I left something rusty on a light-colored rug.

Rust isn’t easy to remove, so Carpet Plus owner Justin Christmas came back — free of charge — with a remover he’d special ordered. It worked.

Justin’s prices are also the best in town and average $59.95 for three carpeted rooms.

Dynamic House Care Duo

With Payton Matthews (573-474-3044) and Gracie Proctor (573-424-1303), one call can do it all. Friends for decades, Matthews and Proctor are also business partners; they team up to clean and paint houses and specialize in rental properties.

Payton painted the interior of a small house for around $900 while Gracie cleaned it for about $60. They were on time and did good work. Gracie is especially price conscious — she insists on using cleaning supplies only from Dollar General.

Dawson Shoe Repair — 573-442-1014

A decade ago, I blew $400 on Italian black leather dress shoes. For several years I wore them with care. But as they aged, I started wearing them everywhere, in all weather, even in mud.

I’ve bought other dress shoes but never had a more comfortable pair, so my wife pulled them out of the closet and took them to Dawson Shoe Repair, a bustling place filled with the rich smell of leather.

Shop proprietor Bob Wood returned my shoes a week later. The shoes looked brand new, and my wife bragged on how nice Wood was. New soles, new polish, reasonable prices. A way to save rather than throw away. Sustainable footwear with a smile.

Getting ready for an out-of-town trip, I took the shoes back for another polish and met Bob myself. Pleasant and happy, he noticed a small scuff as he handed them back. Immediately, he took the shoe to his machine and touched it up. They looked new again — all for only $5.

The Finishing Touch — 573-874-9150


My wife has a knack for refinishing antique furniture, but a spilled bottle of nail polish remover on a century-old coffee table she had earlier restored proved too difficult. The polish remover ate through the stain and created a large unsightly spot.

After several attempts to refinish it ourselves, we gave up and took the table and another piece to Ran Sheller at The Finishing Touch. Sheller practices the lost art of furniture restoration quickly and masterfully. With a team of assistants, he exceeded his own expectations. He was out for two months but had the tables back in reasonably priced, perfectly polished shape about six weeks later.

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