Best of the Lake 2021 winners announced

Judy Goppert, Marie Krolikowski, Taylor Mislevich and Charis Patires
Best of the Lake 2021 logo.

When it comes to highlighting the best businesses at the Lake, one survey has it all. More than 120 winners were chosen by readers in the annual Best of the Lake hosted by Lake Lifestyles magazine. Categories included dining, boating, entertainment, home contractors, professional services, shopping and more. In this article, we will preview a few of the winners. The Best of the Lake edition of Lake Lifestyles is on newsstands today, with announcements for all winners and a range of photos. Let’s see who our readers picked!  


Upstream Fish Company.

Best Seafood  

Upstream Fish Company opened March 5, 2020, and since then has been providing the highest quality seafood to Lake dwellers, and beyond. David Daut, former chef, owner and founder, had friends and family tell him for years he should market his smoked salmon, a recipe he created some 20 years ago. So, his market and carry-out was born. 

“You get restaurant fine dining quality seafood in your own home. Our business statement is we want to help you make memories at the Lake. If that means we bring some snapper up from Florida and you buy it and cook it at home and it reminds you of a vacation you had in Florida, great! We fly fresh seafood in three to four times a week in the summer. Our menu features my favorite things.”

Upstream is located in Camdenton at 8878 MO5, Suite 3. They are open Tuesday through Saturday.

Best Caterer & Best Ribs

Buttery cheese stringing away with each bite. The sharpness of the sour cream complimented with the smoothness of the mashed potato. The crunch of various toppings to your preference. Is your mouth watering yet? If so, venture to The Butcher Shop in Camdenton and see “Sweet Potato,” Janie Jones, who refined the perfect twice baked potato recipe!

Along with delightful potatoes, the Butcher shop has 40 different varieties of sausage, six flavor wings, and exotic meats, such as ground camel, kangaroo, and ostrich. And, let’s not forget The Butcher Shop’s gummy bear bratwursts. The elaborate menu, excellent prices, and exceptional staff is what makes The Butcher Shop the best at the Lake for catering.

The Butcher Shop also holds prestige as the best ribs at the Lake! There is no special, secret recipe for the best ribs at the Lake of the Ozarks. Chris Stevens, owner of The Butcher Shop, states the secret success is a dry rub you can purchase in house, smoke from actual trees, great quality meat, and barbecue masters that take pride in their creations.

“My wife and I purchased The Butcher Shop eleven years ago,” Stevens recalled, “we put God first in our hearts, and that is what makes everything above and beyond!”

The Butcher Shop is located at 50 Southeast Illinois Street in Camdenton.

PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub.

Best Pizza     

Since Chris Galloway opened up his first PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub in 2012, he’s expanded the restaurant to six different locations. By next year, plans are to have at least 15 locations all across the midwest as they’ve begun to offer up franchise opportunities. 

PaPPo’s is growing so much, so fast, a headquarters is being built in Sunrise Beach that will be equipped with a commissary to craft their made-from-scratch ingredients. More than 30 items that are being made daily at each individual restaurant will be brought in-house. Everything from the seven different salad dressings, 6 or 7 wing sauces, and those best-selling chocolate chip cookies will be made there. This will ensure consistency and quality standards are met as they continue to expand. Chris said that every location will continue to cut fresh vegetables and make bread daily. Besides the hand-made food, another thing that draws in customers are the dozens of craft beers served on tap.  The top three best-sellers are pizza, beer and chocolate chip cookies, with salads and wings a close runner-up. 

PaPPo’s is a family-run businesses. Chris credits his talented staff, along with his wife Melissa, whose chocolate chip cookie recipe is being used, along with son Warren who supervises the locations.  

“Our slogan is ‘we keep it real, we keep it fresh,’ and I think that is what we are known for,” Chris said. “In an industry where everyone is opening up bags, using frozen cheese … we are trying to make food that doesn’t have preservatives and additives. The secret to our success is having food that people really appreciate, and even more so is the environment that we provide along with the service.” 

PaPPo’s at the Lake is located at 705 Osage Beach Pkwy. in Osage Beach. 

Best Campground

In 2014, Bryon Hobbs and his parents, Rocky and Linda Hobbs, purchased this lovely spot bordering the cool, spring-fed Niangua River. Their welcoming ambience has been noticed at Mountain Creek Family Resort and Canoe Rental. 

“We camped our whole life and have dreamed of retiring and buying our own campground together. Dad retired from construction after 40 years, and I retired from the US Coast Guard after 22 years,” Bryon said. “Our goal is to make customers feel like family. We are smaller than other campgrounds, so are able to provide personal attention and have developed wonderful friendships over the past six years. We also offer float trips, a 300-foot waterslide…and our bathrooms will always be clean!”

Mountain Creek is located at 11564 Kinfolk Road in Eldridge. 

Best Marina, Best Gas Dock, Best Boat/PWC Dealer, and Best Marine Repair Service

Having served the Lake area since 1977, Kelly’s Port knows a thing or two about boats. Making sure your boating experience is as relaxing and as fun as it should be, the family-owned business treats every customer with superior service. With same day service, a selection of certified pre-owned boats, boat brands Bennington Pontoons and Regal Boats, a gas dock and ship store, service, storage, and financing they are a one-stop-shop to get you out on the water. And when you get in a bind, they also offer emergency on-water boat service calls. 

Kelly’s Port is located at 5250 Dude Ranch Road in Osage Beach or at the 19.5-mile marker, and 3545 Osage Beach Pkwy. in Osage Beach. 

Best Family Practice

At 30 years of age and with one year of college under her belt, Dr. Jenny Powell got a calling that would change her life. Intending to always be a writer, it was then she realized that the field of medicine was where she belonged. She is currently a family medicine physician at Best Family Practice in Osage Beach.

Dr. Powell received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois in Urbana. She attended their college of medicine at both the Urbana and Peoria, Ill. campuses. She completed her residency through the Southern Illinois University family practice residency program at  Decatur Memorial Hospital. In 2006, she and her husband moved to the Lake area. Dr. Powell worked for the Mercy Clinic in Lebanon for more than six years, but decided she wanted to start her own practice.

Rather than working through insurance companies, her practice is membership based. Patients receive both wellness and sick visit care, along with affordable non-controlled prescription costs through the in-house pharmacy. Dr. Powell is available seven days a week and even does home visits. Services are offered for psychological concerns also. 

“I wanted to start my own practice in order to break down the barriers that impede patient care and interfere with relationships,” she explained. “This business and style of practice is all about relationships and gives me more time to work with my patients.”

Dr. Powell sees patients of all ages. She is the president-elect of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and the Lake of the Ozarks delegate to the Missouri State Medical Association. She feels going to your family doctor doesn’t need to be expensive. Affordability and personal attention are the foundation for her business.

“I believe personal touch and attention is important,” she added. “I listen and give patients time to talk. Ninety percent of diagnosing comes from what patients tell you, so it’s important to listen. I believe strongly in individualizing care.  That’s why getting to know my patients and building a relationship is so important. I’m able to be a private physician to my patients.

Direct Primary Care Clinics is located at 1037 Palisades Blvd., Suite 3 in Osage Beach. 

Best Heating and Cooling Company

Keeping customers’ wants and needs first and always striving to deliver them the best products and services has led to satisfied customers who have then recommended B&B Heating and Cooling to friends and family. 

“My parents, Bill and Barb, started B&B in 1995 with the plan to specialize in the service and repair of heating and cooling systems,” owner Chad Painter said. “At the time, most HVAC contractors at the Lake focused on new home construction, while we instead focused on repair, maintenance and replacement of existing comfort systems in. We are in our eighth year of Free Filter Fridays, where we give free air filters to anyone who stops in. Our only limit is one per month.”

B&B is located at 4177 Osage Beach Parkway South in Osage Beach.

Courtney Milligan.

Best Massage Therapist   

At a young age, Courtney Milligan knew she wanted to be a massage therapist. Massage therapy provided great relief from the pain she was suffering from severe scoliosis. “I tried a lot of treatments for my pain, and massage therapy was the only thing that helped me,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do the same for others.”

Courtney is the owner of Wildflower Wellness Spa in Osage Beach. She specializes in pain management and therapeutic massage. 

“My intent is to heal,” she explained. “I focus on my client’s body and their personal needs. Every client gets a different massage based on what their body needs.” In addition, Courtney offers relaxation and couples massages. The business also offers permanent cosmetic application, eyelash extensions, and the services of an esthetician for skin treatments and spray tans. 

Clients of Courtney’s come from locations all over the Lake, and several travel from places away from the area too. “I think others who do massage therapy at the lake are wonderful,” she said. “We are centrally located and my business is built completely on word-of-mouth referrals.”

“I love my job,” Courtney added. “When someone calls and says I’ve helped them, it makes me feel so good.  I love providing a service of health and well-being.”

Wildflower Wellness Spa is located at 1026 Palisades Blvd., Unit 12 in Osage Beach. 

Best Collision Repair (Auto Body)

With some of the most advanced equipment available, it’s no wonder Hi-Tech Auto Body & Towing is where everyone goes for collision repair. Since 1995, Hi-Tech has been getting customers back on the road thanks to their experienced technicians who work to restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition. The business also offers towing and recovery, parts and salvage. 

Whether it’s a minor dent, hail damage or major collision damage, Hi-Tech offers free estimates.

Being a part of the community is another important aspect of the businesses which donate their time and trucks to make food deliveries for the Hope House’s pantry as well as doing other things that helps out charities in the area.  

Hi-Tech is located at 435 Hwy. 42 in Osage Beach. 

For the full story, and first and second-place winners, pick up a copy of the May/June issue of Lake Lifestyles magazine on newsstands. To subscribe, call 573-346-2132.