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Best Gift Store 

Mongrel

Readers' Pick

2924 W. Cary St.
342-1272
Mongrelonline.com

Second Place: Tweed

Third Place: World of Mirth

The Mongrel shopping experience will be a lot more enjoyable if you head into it without a clear idea of what you're going to buy. That way you'll be forced to dig through shelves of unique greeting cards, sculptures and other keepsakes, the kind with a level of quirk that you won't find at a mall. That's just the outcome co-owners Stan McCulloch and Mark Burkett hoped for when they opened what McCulloch calls "Carytown's answer to Hallmark" 21 years ago. "Some of our stuff is really sweet and inspirational," he says. "Some things would probably make people gasp. What we try to do is fill the store with things that force the customers to respond."

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