Newcomers and familiar faces dominate Best of Parma 2020 results

PARMA, Ohio — The fourth annual Best of Parma contest is in the books, with nearly 10,000 votes cast for the 2020 winners.

“You can really tell the businesses that connect with their customers, because there was a strong outpouring of nominations for certain businesses,” said Best of Parma Director Chelsey Kovar, who not only owns All of Her Design, but was recently named business outreach specialist at Midtown Cleveland.

“You just really love to see more than 500 nominations,” she said. “We did reduce the categories, taking out Best Festival because of COVID-19. Still, we had a lot of votes, more than last year’s 8,000, so we’re always increasing.

“I think more businesses know about it every year and they’re telling their customers, who support their favorite places, especially during these times of COVID.”

Winning establishments in the Best of Parma competition receive a certificate, sticker and bragging rights among the more than 5,000 businesses in the seventh-biggest city in Ohio.

Looking at the list of winners and runners-up, Kovar said there are repeat names, as well as a few instances that found popular businesses swapping the top spot.

“The Best Italian Restaurant and Best Restaurant were toppled this year,” Kovar said. “People are really passionate about the businesses that they love, but some of them flip-flopped.

“Antonio’s has been the Best Italian Restaurant winner the entire time we had Best of Parma, and Stancato’s took the top spot this year. It’s always been close, but for Stancato’s to take over is significant,” she said.

Stancato’s Italian Restaurant actually won both the Best Italian and Best Restaurant categories.

“We’re pretty excited and honored,” Stancato’s Italian Restaurant General Manager Kyle Smelko said. “It’s our 50-year anniversary this year, so this is an awesome way to celebrate.

“We focus more on our food quality, menu items and guest experience than our competition does and it shows, obviously, by winning this award. Our guests see it, they experience it and that’s what has kept them coming back for the last 50 years and hopefully the next 50 years,” Smelko said.