Mountain View Voice Best of 2020

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'We've learned something brand new, something that we can add to our wheelhouse'
Long known for its community programs, YMCA expands its reach into people's homes

Two staffers watch over children in the gymnasium at the YMCA Silicon Valley in Mountain View after the organization launched a childcare program for the children of medical personnel and first responders in April. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Year after year, Voice readers have voted the Mountain View YMCA the best gym and the place to take fitness classes and yoga, but the nonprofit is much more than a center for health and fitness. It also provides support for youth and seniors, whether that's through an extensive volunteer network, educational opportunities or other community resources such as day camps and nutrition programs.

"What the Y does best is bring people together and build community," Mary Haughey, chief operating officer of YMCA of Silicon Valley, said.

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the Bay Area, one of the questions Haughey and the Silicon Valley team asked themselves was how to pivot its existing resources and partnerships to help their community in the midst of the health crisis.

The YMCA quickly leveraged its partnerships with organizations like Second Harvest of Silicon Valley and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program to distribute half a million meals to local families in need.

The organization also turned its attention to help ease the daily demands of parents working in the health care field by providing full-day academic support for students in kindergarten to eighth grade, Renee Zimmerman, executive director of El Camino YMCA, said.

Building upon its after-school service arm, which once included over 100 programs on school campuses throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the YMCA created the Y Learning Labs for Super Scholars at several locations, including the YMCA at 2400 Grant Road in Mountain View.

"It was a natural pivot," Haughey said.

The Y didn't forget its role in health and fitness: At the El Camino YMCA, the yoga studio has turned into a virtual studio that hosts a wide array of live and on-demand online fitness programs for people of all ages, including seniors.

The virtual world is brand new territory that the organization had been thinking of expanding into for years about entering for years, and the pandemic gave them the incentive they needed. Now, Haughey said the Y is looking to expand its online content to include more programs focused on family engagement.

"We have this dream where parents and their children can cook together, led by a YMCA staff member, or it could be a read-aloud for families with preschoolers," Zimmerman said. "We've learned something brand new, something that we can add to our wheelhouse."


Scroll down to find out how last year's winners have responded to the pandemic.

24 Hour Fitness Super Sport

Gym members with 24 Hour Fitness can benefit from the center's personal trainers, workout equipment and personalized fitness plans. The club is now closed at night to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and equipment, and class times and locations have been modified to support social distancing. All Kids' Clubs, spas, saunas, steam rooms and drinking fountains will remain closed indefinitely (guests are asked to bring their own water bottles). A new workout reservation system allows members to book a time slot up to one calendar day in advance at some locations.
2535 California St., Mountain View, 650-935-9064 & 550 Showers Drive, Mountain View, 650-941-2268;
2019: Best Personal Trainer

Adobe Animal Hospital

Since 1964, Adobe Animal Hospital has provided pets of all varieties a wide range of quality services. The facility, which has a 24-hour intensive care unit, is equipped with an in-house diagnostic laboratory and endoscope and ultrasound machines, among other essential tools to help your furry friends stay healthy and happy. During the pandemic, the hospital is offering curbside concierge service and has launched a televet program enabling clients to visit with a veterinarian for minor health issues via video conferencing from the comfort of their own home. As of Aug 26, Adobe had completed 1,000 video visits.
4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos, 650-948-9661;
2019: Best Pet Care

Caliber Collision Company

Auto repair company Caliber Collision provides online estimates, paint, glass and dent repair, on-site car rentals and diagnostic scanning among its many services. Caliber Collision now offers several contactless options, including electronic paperwork and over-the-phone payment. For those who enter the facility, facial masks are required, and handshakes and all physical contact have been suspended. All personal belongings should be removed from vehicles before drop-off, and high-touch surfaces in vehicles will be sanitized at drop-off and pick up.
177 E. Evelyn Ave. Mountain View, 650-965-1440 & 2029 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, 650-964-1047;
2019: Best Auto Body Repair

California Skin Institute

The California Skin Institute provides a wide range of dermatology services, from cosmetic treatments to laser services to surgical management of skin disease and tumors. All patients and visitors are asked to wear a face mask while inside the office (including in the exam rooms). The office has instituted employee temperature checks, aggressive cleaning protocols and social-distancing procedures. No visitors may accompany patients unless the patient is a minor or has a disability requiring assistance.
525 South Drive, Suite 115, Mountain View, 650-969-5600;
2019: Best Plastic Surgeon

Chiropractic Performance Center

The Chiropractic Performance Center helps clients recover from sports injuries, auto accidents, and back pain, or those seeking health improvement through corrective exercises, wellness care and chiropractic adjustments. The center is currently seeing clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
694 W. Dana St., Suite A, Mountain View, 650-798-9050;
2019: Best Chiropractor

Dental Fabulous

Dental Fabulous, which relocated to Mountain View in 2012, aims to provide excellent dental care in a warm and friendly environment. The practice returned to its normal operations in June with new safety precautions in place, including personal protective equipment (PPE), air filtration systems with HEPA filters.
756 California St., Mountain View, 650-969-6077;
2019: Best Dentist

El Camino YMCA

Part of the national nonprofit, the El Camino YMCA has adapted many of its services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It now offers virtual and socially distant community resources, including on-demand and livestreamed group exercise classes through its new Virtual Y program.
2400 Grant Road, Mountain View, 650-969-9622;
2019: Best Fitness Classes
2019: Best Gym

2019: Best Yoga

Essence Salon

With stylists trained through the salon and in Los Angeles and London, Essence Salon offers haircuts and coloring and prescribes customers homecare products and techniques. To improve safety, Essence has redesigned the salon with a new ventilation system, plastic barriers between customer stations and other procedures for social distancing.
826 W. Dana St., Mountain View, 650-988-8822;
2019: Best Hair Salon

Happy Feet Foot Spa

Currently in its sixth year of business, Happy Feet Foot Spa provides affordable body massages and reflexology. Clients can now book appointments in outdoor massage tents.
858 Villa St., Mountain View, 650-969-7600;
2019: Best Massage

Jiffy Lube

At Jiffy Lube, trained technicians provide clients with quick oil changes, tire rotations and light vehicle repairs. In response to COVID-19, the maintenance shop has increased safety measures and has made operational adjustments to help protect customers and service technicians, with heightened attention to cleanliness and social-distancing requirements.
1141 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650-965-2582;
2019: Best Oil Change

Kevin's Auto Repair

With over 18 years in Mountain View, Kevin's Auto Repair provides all-around auto repair and maintenance services, from oil changes, fuel system and brakes to steering and suspension, transmission and water pumps and radiators. The shop reopened May 18.
1968 Leghorn St., Mountain View, 650-965-7112;
2019: Best Auto Repair

La Monique's Nail Salon

Located in downtown Mountain View, La Monique's Nail Salon offers manicures, pedicures and stone, scrub and paraffin massages. Contact salon for updated services and safety measures. 650 Castro St. #175, Mountain View, 650-968-9901
2019: Best Manicure/Pedicure

Model Shoe Repair

Receiving much of its business through word-of-mouth, the Model Shoe Repair company in Mountain View restores and repairs shoes for durability. Contact Model Shoe Repair for updated services and safety measures. 621 W. Dana St., Mountain View, 650-961-8389
2019: Best Shoe Repair

Vogue Cleaners

Currently in its seventh year of business, Vogue Cleaners provides dry cleaning and alterations, and routinely invests in new equipment to improve the quality of its service. The company also offers leather and suede cleaning. The shop is open for full service. 595 Escuela Ave., Mountain View, 650-967-3954;
2019: Best Dry Cleaners

Western Ballet

As a nonprofit school and company, Western Ballet teaches dance through its youth program, open to students ages 3 to 18, and adult classes, with the aim of making classical ballet performances and education accessible and affordable. The nonprofit is offering online and in-person classes, with limited class sizes and in spacious facilities to maintain safe distancing. The company's annual performance of The Nutcracker will be livestreamed this year from its Black Box Theater on Dec. 12 and 19.
914 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View, 650-968-4455;
2019: Best Dance Studio