Tags Articles tagged with "business"


Ten of the 12 Maricopa food facilities inspected by Pinal County Environmental Health July 17-Aug. 15 received scores of excellent. Two had minor problems that were dealt with during inspection.

Dunkin’ Donuts had issues with food temperature and hygiene. Egg flats, which should have been no warmer than 41 degrees F were measured at 51 degrees and had to be discarded. The inspector also noted staff with polished fingernails, which are not allowed in food-prep, a situation that was also corrected.

The Silver Spur at The Duke at Rancho El Dorado posted a satisfactory score after observed violations in food-holding temperatures and dated food. The inspector observed a prep table holding food at 52-56 degrees instead of the mandated 41, and a walk-in refrigerator holding food at 50 degrees. Several food items were reported to be seven days past their date marking. The inspector also noted freezer equipment with icicles on the ceiling, ice on the floor and no light.

Excellent [No violations found]
Burger King
Culver’s of Maricopa
Domino’s Pizza
Gyro Grill
Papa John’s Pizza
Taco Bell
Tacos ‘N’ More
Water and Ice

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Dunkin’ Donuts

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

The following organizations received business licenses from the City of Maricopa July 16-Aug. 15.

Commercial: Dollar Tree, Empire West Title Agency, Open Café Province, White’s Automotive Repair & Towing

Home-based: Avasu, Cat’s Meow Design, Clean Care, Copa Mechanical, Fizz Envy, Funnie Bizness Entertainment, Jewelry Making, Julie’s Paparazzi Gems, Kameo Monson, King’s Kids Childcare, Massage Life, Nana’s House of Childcare, Plus Electric, Rikki Sparkles with Origami Owl, Rodan and Fields, Sleek & Fabulous Clothing Boutique, Society’s Air, Sofinc, Specialized Pest Control, Sun Palms Painting, With Love Signed Nikki

Out of town: Aardvark HVAC & Home Repair, Alaskan Air Conditioning, Coin & Professional Equipment, Delta Mechanical, ExhibitOne Corporation, G&C Glass, Jackson Enterprises, Lugnut Auto Repair, MGM Wood Crafting, Outdoor Dimensions, Phoenix Patioscapes, Photovoltaic Systems Manufacturing, Resilient Drilling Services, Senegene International, Sentinel Maintenance, Service Solutions Group, Solcius LLC, VP Edison 15, Watt Masters

Nonprofit: DSPA Gems, Grace Fellowship Church of Maricopa, Troop 943 Boy Scouts of America

Peddler/Solicitor: Aptive Environmental

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

The last five months of the fiscal year showed steady growth in Maricopa’s business activity. The city reaped more than $1 million each month from January through June and easily outpaced last year February through June. City Finance Director Brenda Hasler said that coincided with construction and the opening of more retail outlets. Edison Pointe, in particular, boasted new builds and six new openings to generate more sales tax for the city.

In fiscal year 2017-18 (Graph 1 in green), Maricopa took in $12.5 million in transaction privilege tax, often called sales tax. The previous fiscal year, the total was $11.2 million. Retail and construction continue to be the city’s highest earners.

As shown in Graph 2, the FY18 total is the highest for Maricopa since before the recession. The city has a way to go before returning to those money-generating highs. In FY08, the city collected $18.7 million in sales tax.


This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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submitted photo

As Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino continues its multi-million-dollar expansion, it has opened The Spa.

The business within the complex offers massage, waxing and facial treatments and a full-service nail salon. Its grand opening was announced Tuesday.

“Our customers have told us over the years that one of the amenities that they would like to see on property is a full-service spa,” said Robert Livingston, general manager and regional president of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. “We are excited to bring this luxury experience not only to our guests but to local visitors as well.”

The spa features four treatment rooms including one couple’s suite.  Features include adjustable beds, complimentary LED Light Therapy in each treatment room, a dedicated Esthetics Room with back bar feature, and the Signature Hungarian Face Massage. The spa uses Eminence and Farmhouse Fresh treatments.

The Spa at Harrah’s Ak-Chin is open Monday–Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Reservations are required at 480-802-3340.


Among its incubation tasks, the now defunct Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) distributed business loans funded by the City of Maricopa with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development grant.

The loans totaled $116,000 at a 5 percent interest rate. Years later, more than $98,000 remains to be paid on the loans.

Nine fledgling businesses benefited from loan programs since 2015. Loans ranged from $4,500 to $25,000. The last loan was dispensed Dec. 16, 2016, to River Jumpers LLC.

The MCE was launched in 2013 as an incubator for start-up businesses and a resource for existing companies. It was seeded by a USDA grant of $50,000. Another $120,000 of city-maintained funds was spent that year on a management agreement with Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET).

“It may have been a little bit before it’s time,” Mayor Christian Price said.

City Council fenced with three consecutive executive directors over how MCE reported its progress, its transparency and its accountability, including for business loans.

One qualifier for USDA loan candidates was that they had been turned down by a bank or other lending source. Low-interest business loans were an important part of MCE’s offerings since 2014.

Two businesses paid off their loans. Some businesses that obtained loans no longer exist and the loans remain outstanding. Others say they are pushing forward and working at paying back the loans.

Price said those results are the nature of incubating businesses just trying to get off the ground.

“As for repayment, that’s something we’re handling internally now,” said Cassandra Brown, the city’s grants coordinator.

The federally funded loans are in the City’s name, meant for MCE programs. Now the City and not MCE has the full task of tracking the loans. “We’re supporting these new businesses, and we’re actively working with these partners,” Brown said.

WYS Education and True Reflections Boutique had loans of $5,000 and $6,000 respectively, and both wiped them out in less than two years.

Several of the loan recipients no longer have functioning webpages and have not posted in social media in more than a year. In default or merely delinquent, four owe more than their original loan due to interest and fees.

HobbyScopes LLC was the first business to land an MCE loan, which was from a revolving loan fund (RLF) in 2015. As an RLF loan was paid off, the money went back into the program to fund more small-business loans. HobbyScopes’ loan was for $6,000, but the company struggled and still has a balance to be paid.

The next two recipients, Precious Hands Healthcare ($25,000) and ProX Detailing ($7,500), have had varying success paying down their loans.

In 2016, though still questioning MCE’s accountability for the loans, City Council unanimously approved up to $200,000 for MCE expenditures. Shortly after, NACET fired the executive director, Dan Beach. Last fall, the city council effectively fired NACET, and MCE closed in spring.

Price said that allowed the city to take a step back and find a different use for money it had dedicated to MCE.

“We’ve taken those funds and beefed up our Economic Development Department and reallocated it to other departments,” the mayor said.

Price said an incubator is still a good idea for Maricopa but will probably change the approach for “growing an economic garden.”

“We’ll probably focus more on partnerships and stair-step it up,” he said. “I envision we’ll have one in the future. I just don’t know when that future will be.”

Multiple attempts to reach loan recipients for comment were unsuccessful.


HobbyScopes LLC
Research-quality microscopes for hobbyists and children

Ketalog, Inc.
Advertising, apps and analytics

K&Q Clothing
Men’s and women’s clothing and accessories

Precious Hands Healthcare LLC
Home healthcare services

Property cleanup, preservation and house watch

ProX Detailing & Auto Glass
Auto detailing, washing, tinting, windshield repairs and replacement

River Jumpers LLC
Inflatable bouncers, waterslides, rock walls and other party accessories

True Reflections Boutique
Shop-from-home women’s clothing and accessories

WYS Education LLC
Write Your Story, for self-realization, insight and inspiration

This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

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Jeff Kramarczyk is closing the doors of Crate Coffee this week but will still be in business. Photo by Mason Callejas

By Fran Lyons

While many home-based businesses in Maricopa are trying to build their way into a storefront, others are taking the opposite route.

Crate Coffee Market, the highest-rated coffee shop in Maricopa according to Yelp reviewers, had a retail space for five years on Hathaway Avenue. But owner Jeff Kramarczyk has opted to close the doors Aug. 26.

“The virtual marketplace has presented an opportunity to expand more globally while still meeting and developing our goals,” he said.

In a press release announcing the closing, Kramarczyk said Crate had fallen short in one of five goals: “Build a wholly unique, economically viable, retail business on word of mouth only.”

The primary reason for leaving the storefront is to focus attention, time and effort on the virtual side of the business.

“For many customers, locally and across the U.S., Crate Coffee has only ever been a virtual market,” Kramarczyk said. “Our business began in 2013 with 60-70 percent focus on the distribution side and 30-40 percent on the retail storefront side.”

Photo by Mason Callejas

The expanded business plan does not lessen the number of hours he works. “I don’t consider hours to be relevant in the virtual market,” he said. “It’s 24/7.”

The biggest challenge, he said, “is to continue the relationship aspect with people and the personal experience they had in the store and translate it into the virtual experience. We want to engage people and enable them to interact socially online.”

Despite closing the storefront, his business plan, he said, remains the same.

Echoing that are the co-owners of CrossFit Stand & Battle, which also left its storefront space with its high overhead to literally go home in what was termed a restructuring.

Natalie Richardson and Nate Maxcy of CrossFit Stand & Battle opted to move into garage gyms. Submitted photo

“Bringing it home has its benefits,” said Natalie Richardson, co-owner and director of operations. Her garage in The Villages was converted into a CrossFit gym in July.

The change allows the team to provide the classes and hours to meet the needs of their schedules as well as the clients they coach, she said.

Their business is an affiliate of CrossFit, Inc., an internationally known elite fitness regime designed to define fitness in a measurable way. The workout goal is fitness and health through functional movement and stability.

The business plan, structured on the CrossFit model, is unchanged. It’s just the location that is different.

“Our members are our community,” said co-owner Nate Maxcy, director of coaching. “We truly believe that the relationships we develop and the care and consideration of each other is how we motivate and support each other. We work together as a group.”

Formerly CrossFit 347, Stand & Battle operated out of Suite B102 at 21576 N. John Wayne Parkway. Richardson began her fitness career in pre-natal and post-natal fitness for moms with Stroller Strides. Maxcy has trained as an athlete with CrossFit for years and is also a captain with the Maricopa Fire Department.

When asked why they left the brick-and-mortar store, Maxcy and Richardson said it fit their lifestyle and budget, and the garage gym concept aligned with their philosophy of hands-on instruction. Making the decision to take the business home came as they were approaching a deadline for a new lease agreement. They were no longer willing to put their families at financial risk.

One challenge of moving from a storefront to a virtual or home-based site is convincing customers to come along, too.

Maxcy told clients he would understand if some of them were not comfortable with a garage-gym format while he knew others were introduced to CrossFit in a home gym.

Crate Coffee’s clientele was also disappointed to lose their community spot.

“Many folks are sad that our familiar location will no longer be available,” said Kramarczyk, who, though excited about the new business platform, described his own feelings as mixed. “Thank you to everyone that has crossed Crate Coffee’s threshold. My hope is that we take our shared experiences with us for the rest of our lives and look back on them fondly.”

The Maricopa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and City of Maricopa host the first roundtable luncheon and open discussion on current challenges small-business owners face growing their business.

The event is Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Central Arizona Community College. Deadline to RSVP is Sept. 10.

The luncheon is free.

“Small businesses are important influencers of economic growth keep our economy moving,” Business Development Specialist Ayesha Maxwell said. “Maricopa has a large population of small businesses and we would like to focus on scaling those businesses to capacity and working with organizations like SBDC to help facilitate technical assistance.”

Organizers want stories and feedback from Maricopa business owners regarding their goals and obstacles they face. A better understanding of the experiences of Maricopa small-business owners will help to create strategic programming and educational workshops specifically designed to develop businesses.

The college is at 17945 Regent Drive. Click to register

Stay tuned for workshops on:

  • Marketing
  • Access to Capital
  • Financial Business Planning
  • Capacity Building Training
  • Business Planning
  • Business Certifications
  • Google: Get your business online

Kyra Richards works on a mural at Maricopa Elementary School. Photo by Michelle Chance

A new company is putting people to work with paintbrushes in hand and healing in mind.

VanGo 4 Kids hires independently contracted adult artists to paint outdoor murals and other artworks for customers.

“It’s just to spread joy. We are wanting to employ people to help inspire others to overcome adversity,” said owner Gary Miller.

Ten percent of proceeds will be donated to local organizations that help children. The idea came after a spontaneous painting session in Miller’s backyard.

“I was going through some difficult times myself,” Miller said. “For me spiritually, I just let God have my hand and just painted and the outcome was really cool.”

Miller, who has a doctorate in behavioral health, has spent the last four years on the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board.

He’s been its vice president since January. In June, Miller announced he would not seek re-election. He is also opting to avoid the congested morning commute into the Valley and spend more time with his family.

“It’s really forced me to be creative and to be able to work locally,” Miller said.

His new venture undertook its first mission at Maricopa Elementary School in July: a pro-bono project featuring a lighthouse mural reflecting the school’s new Leader In Me status.

Gary Miller

VanGo 4 Kids’ first resident artist, Kyra Richards, helped Miller sketch and illustrate the painting on the school’s gymnasium wall.

Richards is a recent Maricopa High School graduate who will pursue a degree in art therapy next year – unsurprising given her background.

At 7 days old, a car accident caused swelling and bleeding in her brain, seizures and other complications. She was unable to express herself with words.

Her mother improvised.

“My mom gave me crayons and paper and said, ‘Show me how you feel.’ I just moved up from there,” Richards said.

A combination of self-teachings and formal art instruction has helped Richards find her voice in unconventional media.

Frankie Miller. Submitted photo

“Honestly, (painting) feels freeing,” Richards said. “I do what I want and how I want it, so it’s like I have control and I have my imagination. It’s just like on an airplane. You feel nothing; you feel free.”

Miller wants his VanGo 4 Kids artists, and even his customers, to learn financial responsibility.

His son Frankie, 13, is already planning how he’ll save, spend and donate money he plans to make by selling his own art.

“I usually like metal and wire. I have good vision,” Frankie Miller said.

His dad envisions VanGo growing from mobile mural company to a company leading art classes, and even building a brick-and-mortar gallery one day.

And no matter if it’s the artists or the art lovers, Miller said he hopes VanGo will inspire catharsis.

“In some way, shape or form we are dealing with some type of adversity,” Miller said. “I discovered how well art can be in the healing process for all of us, whether it’s the artist or the person who’s buying the art.”

Kyra Richards. Photo by Michelle Chance
Photo by Michelle Chance

IHOP is asking for variances from the city code.

After the developer hinted months ago about a breakfast-oriented restaurant being interested in Edison Pointe, a major player is making early steps to build.

On behalf of IHOP (International House of Pancakes), the Romulus Restaurant Group has applied for a variance at the location at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Aug. 22, the city’s Board of Adjustment will host a public hearing for comments on the requests. The company is seeking a reduction in the maximum setback requirement and a variance of the code requirement of transparent windows. The board is then set to take action on the requests.

The meeting starts at 4 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.

The IHOP chain is celebrating its 60th year in business, founded in July 1958 in California. It now has 1,650 locations. It is a subsidiary of DineEquity.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Dutch Bros. received a variance from the City’s Board of Adjustments July 17 to change the maximum setback on the property on John Wayne Parkway north of Fast & Friendly Car Wash where it plans to build a store. Tom Glissmeyer, director of development for Via West Group, said the existing water easement on the property was an impediment to complying with the setback standard. The variance increased the maximum setback 168 percent and places the front of the building more than 67 feet from the property line.

 Ross Dress for Less, ahead of its July 21 opening, installed a low-voltage, anti-shop-lifting system at the front door of its store at 205951 N. John Wayne Parkway. The store also received a permit July 16 for four signs with internal LED illumination.

Daycare owner Marie Garcia, 43595 W. Chambers Court, passed fire inspection June 27.

KB Home received a permit June 20 to remodel a home garage at 18174 N. Christopher Drive into a temporary sales office. The project is valued at $10,000. KB Home also received a permit for sales/construction office at 20209 N. Lauren Road in Homestead and picked up a temporary-use permit for its model home complex at 20181 N. Lauren Road.

An empty office space at 20924 N. John Parkway is being re-worked, with Desert Metropolitan receiving a permit for interior demolition. The work is valued at $7,800.

Jiffy Lube, being built at 37306 W. Merced St. west of Walmart, had a flow test for its underground fire line and hydrant June 27.

EdKey Inc.’s Sequoia Pathway Academy received the OK June 28 for factory-built modular classroom buildings at the campus, 19265 N. Porter Road. The classroom space is estimated at 62-by-70 feet with electric but no water or sewer. The project is valued at $30,000.

Community of Hope continued its remodel at 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave. with July 11 permits for remodel and relocation of factory-built building of three modular buildings, valued at $20,000.

Burger King, 20699 N. John Wayne Parkway, received a permit June 19 to install a fire alarm for its business, which opened July 21. July 17, it was granted a permit for eight grand-opening pennants to be in place until Oct. 16.

Legacy Charter’s new Sunrise Preschool received a permit July 3 for a fire alarm panel and smoke detector for its facility currently under construction at 19287 N. Porter Road. The project also received a permit for plywood signs on wood posts.

WingStop, to be located at 20555 N. John Wayne Parkway, received a permit for two internally illuminated wall signs, at a value of $2,388.

Maricopa Wells Veterinary Hospital was given approval July 5 for a temporary banner to be in place until Sept. 11.

This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

Only three Maricopa eateries were inspected by the health department of Pinal County June 16-July 15. All three earned excellent ratings.

Excellent [No violations found]
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Firehouse Subs

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

Medical offices planned for the southeast corner of Edison Road and John Wayne Parkway are designed to be two buildings with a connecting breezeway.

Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved the development review.

Kazi Haque, the city’s lead planner, said the elevation “is a little bit different” and the city worked with the applicant to make some changes. As currently designed, doors to the buildings will be on the south side, with some spaces added to the already existing parking lot. The north elevation, facing Edison Road, will be the back of the building.

The lot shares the area with Big O Tires, 99 Cents Only and Aaron’s.

Edgar Felix of the RKAA Architecture firm said though Maricopa Police Department had expressed some concerns with the possibility of the breezeway hiding nefarious activity, the area will be fully visible from Edison Road.

The project next goes before city council.

Photo by Michelle Chance


All 11 food establishments in Maricopa inspected by Pinal County’s health department from May 16 to June 15 received excellent scores.

Excellent [No violations found]
Bashas’ – Deli
Circle K at 21212 N. John Wayne Parkway
Dollar Tree
Gyro Grill
Helen’s at Copper Sky
Helen’s at Pacana Park
McDonalds at 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
QuikTrip – kitchen

Satisfactory [ Violations corrected during inspection]

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

Pioneer Title Agency was among businesses gaining business licenses in Maricopa. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The following businesses received business licenses from the City of Maricopa May 16 through June 15:

Commercial: Go Wireless Inc., Pioneer Title Agency, Wingstop

Home-based: 5X Gusse Properties, Choice Vending, Clearly Designed, Desert Ice, Fashion and Beauty Guide, Gorilla Joe’s Pest Control, Lifted High Garage Door Repair, Landscape Illumination & Irrigation, Maricopa Solar Window Screens & Home Power Washing, North Suburban Office Services, Patricia Sierra Home Daycare, PCS by D’Vine, Sonora Hot Dogs, T&R Roadside Services, Taylor Loren Decorating, Trail Blazer Marketing, Vango 4 Kids

Out of town: Associated Sign Company, B&J Glass and Store Front Inc., Cookson Door Sales of Arizona, Forrest Anderson Plumbing and Air Conditioning, Four Peaks Pump and Compressor Service, GE Home Services, Henry & Horne LLP, JLC Enterprises, Mattson Construction, Nergy Solutions, One Stop Asphalt, R&B Roofing, Renewal by Andersen, Romp and Roam Pet and Home Sitting, RS Client Services, Sun Eagle Corporation, Trinity Building Services, Unique Management

Nonprofit: Keep the Beat, Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation

This item appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Construction continues on Jiffy Lube west of Walmart.


Sunrise Pre-School received a new commercial permit for its property at 19287 N. Porter Road. The school, which is directly east of Sequoia Pathway, is more than 10,000 square feet, including canopies, and valued at $1.4 million.

Little Charmers Preschool and Daycare at 22314 N. O’Sullivan Drive received its annual residential fire inspection and earned its permit June 4. It also received a permit for a flow test of the hydrant on June 18.

Dutch Bros. Coffee indicated its interest in building a drive thru in Maricopa with a presentation to the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Board June 14. The proposal for a store north of Fast & Friendly Car Wash on John Wayne Parkway is in the early review process.

A proposed Circle K on the southeast corner of Honeycutt and Porter roads has onsite improvement plans under review by the City of Maricopa.

Construction continued on Burger King in Edison Pointe at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway and at Jiffy Lube at 42100 W. Maricopa Casa-Grande Hwy.

Yale Management Services at 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway received its permit for a fire alarm and detection system on June 6. Dunkin’ Donuts, which opened in Edison Pointe June 8, received its fire alarm permit June 13.

Pioneer Title Agency opened its doors June 29 at 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 101.

Crossfit Stand & Battle announced to its clients it was restructuring the business and would be moving out of its location at 21476 N. John Wayne Parkway after July 1. Owners opted to move training into residential garage gyms because the state of commercial real estate in Maricopa made continued leasing unworkable.

Walmart received a permit May 16 to sell fireworks at its store at 41650 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. Fireworks Productions of Arizona received a permit June 13 to produce the fireworks display at Maricopa’s annual Great American 4th.

KB Home received a permit June 11 to convert the garage of a model home on Laurel Road into a construction office for Homestead. KB Home also received a permit for two wood signs at the location.

Maricopa Auto Outlet received a permit to replace the sign faces for the business at 19864 N. John Wayne Parkway. Super Smiles at 21116 N. John Wayne Parkway received a permit for an LED aluminum sign.

After its opening, Dollar Tree received a temporary sign permit May 31 for its grand opening.

Mobile food vendor Zonia Fuentes of Sonora Hot Dogs LLC received a zoning permit to sell at 44301 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.

Four Directions received a zoning permit June 6 for an adult group home at 41545 W. Anne Lane.

After time ran out on previous permits, the City of Maricopa’s Heritage District project received four new permits June 4 to demolish blighted properties. Two were on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, one was on Pershing Street and one was on Burkett Avenue. The work was carried out by Breinholt Contracting and valued at $22,500 per property.

This item appears in part in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Rick Brower works with guayule at Beem Biologics as operations manager. Photo by Mason Callejas

By Fran Lyons

Guayule (gwa yoo lee). Not a well-known word. If you haven’t heard it before, you probably will, especially if you live in Maricopa.

Guayule is a silver-leaved shrub of the daisy family indigenous to the southwestern United States and Mexico. It grows locally.

It was cultivated in the early 20th century by industry and investment pioneers such as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller for its promise to produce rubber. The sap of the plant yielded a high volume of latex that produced a rubber compound.

It served a multitude of applications including the World War II effort led by Dwight D. Eisenhower when he was a colonel in the Army in a study of guayule as an alternative to rubber.

Fast-forward to 2014. Lance Beem, a plant physiologist working at the University of California-Davis, conducted trials on the guayule plant for its potential to increase crop growth. He found he was really onto something significant and far-reaching.

He discovered he could extract from the guayule plant a property that would increase crop yield to growers. It is called ISO NPK. It’s a bio fertilizer. It is naturally sourced, non-toxic and certified organic.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Chief Operations Officer Ben Cloud said ISO NPK offers one of the most potent fertility products on the market. “We call it ‘giving your crops wings.’ Plants actually respond to an application with rising branches and leaves for a physically visible response.”

Events shaped rapidly from this discovery. Beem Biologics was established in 2014. Four founding members – CEO/Chairman Stephen Butler, PhD, COO Ben Cloud, Director Lance Beem and Director Rodolfo Manzone, PhD – came on board with experience and expert skills to develop a new product with great possibility.

Ben Cloud. Photo by Mason Callejas

Development continued with the founders opening a facility in Maricopa, a rich, agricultural resource area that has the guayule shrub growing in abundance. Research and development continues at UC-Davis.

The purpose became clear to the founders: “Develop and supply biological compounds that are naturally derived and sustainable for use in growing crops.”

Beem Biologics has entered a licensing agreement with one of the largest crop protection industries in the world – Arysta LifeScience – and has conducted successful, broad-spectrum field trials of ISO NPK.

“Our mission is to become a premium provider of breakthrough biological technologies throughout the world,” Cloud said. “The impetus for this shift is the awareness of the agriculture industry and communities at large, to see the opportunity and benefit of using naturally derived compounds. They are safe, economical and highly effective in increasing crop yield for growers.”

Biological compounds, or AG biologicals, provide many of the answers that face the chemical crop industry.

“At Beem Biologicals, we intend to advance ‘Healthy Soil, Healthy Food and a Healthy Planet, based on science,’” Cloud said.

Beem Biologics currently has an inventory that would provide product to 1 million acres. Beginning in 2019, marketing will expand and the projected growth will be 10 million acres of product coverage to meet market demands over the next five years, according to its business plan.

Rick Brower is the operations manager. He is an Arizona native who has lived in Maricopa since 1988.

“I have been working with the potential of the guayule shrub for 10 years, and I am really excited to be here in Maricopa at this amazing time to hit the ground running,” he said. “Our timing is right to move away from conventional chemical products that deplete the soil to a non-toxic, organic product that revitalizes and enhances crops.”

This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Rosati's Pizza

Rosati’s Pizza will be opening a 1,050-square-foot pizza restaurant in Maricopa Station in the space formerly occupied by Zoyo Yogurt.

Maricopa Station is located just north of the CVS on the NEC of John Wayne Parkway and Smith-Enke Road. Rosati’s will be at 21423 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 102. It will be carry-out and delivery.

The first Rosati’s Pizza in the Chicago area opened in 1964, with the Rosati family picking up where their father Sam Rosati left off, with old-style Italian flavors.

Dena Zell of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord on the lease.

Branch Manager Stacey Cyr and Business Development Marketing Representative Matthew Sheldon. Submitted photos


A company with roots deeply planted in the Arizona business community announced the grand opening of its Maricopa location.

: Pioneer Title Agency Grand Opening/Community Celebration
When: June 29, 3-6 p.m.
Where: 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 101

Pioneer Title Agency has one other office in Pinal County and 70 branches across the state.

The Maricopa office, located in the Cobblestone Fiesta shopping center at 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 101, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 29 at 3 p.m.

Food and drink, a wine tasting, catering from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and live entertainment will be free for the community at the event.

The public can also sign a “massive” ribbon that will be cut and then preserved for display in the office.

Branch Manager Stacey Cyr is a longtime Maricopa resident who most recently worked at Empire West Title Agency.

“We are focused on not only providing title insurance, escrow, trustee sales and builder-related trust services across Maricopa, but also being good community volunteers and a voice for both business and economic development for the county,” Cyr said in a press release.

Described as a real estate veteran and a local business advocate, Cyr plans to launch the county’s first Business Networking International chapter this year.

There, Cyr would volunteer as the organizations secretary-treasurer, according to the release.

Cyr also hopes to partner with local pet rescue Pet Social Worker to host fundraising events and “yappy hours.”

The community-spirited branch manager has also planned a series of activities in October with nonprofit organization Save the Ta-Ta’s.

The Pioneer Team also includes Business Development Marketing Representative Matthew Sheldon and Cyr’s son Damian who will serve the agency in an administrative role.


Photo by Michelle Chance

Smiley Dental, the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce and members of the public celebrated the grand opening of the new dentist office Thursday with a ribbon-cutting. Dentist Tin Nguyen and his staff offered free fillings, extractions and cleanings to the first 20 people in need of dental care. Smiley Dental is in the Fry’s Marketplace Plaza at 20917 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite A-105.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa dentist Tin Nguyen opened his practice last month and will celebrate the grand opening with a ceremony Thursday.

: Smiley Dental Ribbon Cutting
When: June 21, 9:30 a.m.
Where: 20917 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite A105

Smiley Dental, 20917 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite A105, is a family dentistry practice that provides adult and pediatric services like “crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, dentures, veneers and bleaching.”

Invisalign braces and dental implants could be offered in the future as well.

During the office’s ribbon cutting event June 21 at 9:30 a.m., Nguyen and his team will provide free extractions, fillings or cleanings to the first 20 people in line. Low-income patients and those without insurance coverage are eligible to choose one of the three services free of charge and will be scheduled an appointment for that day.

“I like to be involved with the community and also to give back,” Nguyen said.

The dentist’s giving spirit won’t end at the ribbon-cutting. Nguyen plans to have “community service days” where he offers certain services for free to those in need every year.

“I’m thinking about also bringing some (free) services to the veterans here on Veterans Day because I’m also a veteran myself,” he said.

A dentist for the past 15 years, Nguyen was previously a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He also performed dentistry services to the Colorado Indian Tribes in Parker.

Nguyen chose to open his practice in Maricopa because of the small-town feel – similar in size and population to where he used to live in Lake Havasu City.

Nguyen and wife TLan live in Maricopa with their children who attend a local school. Smiley Dental’s staff also lives in the city.

“There’s no traffic,” he said of his daily commute. “Did I say no traffic?”

In July, Smiley Dental will attend the Great American 4th celebration at Copper Sky where staff will handout “dental goodies” and provide free dental screenings.

For more information, call the office at 833-793-7773 or visit their website and social media.


Still in early stages, a proposal for a Dutch Bros. Coffee store, with drive thru, came before the Heritage District Committee on Thursday.

Dutch Bros. Coffee is proposing a store in Maricopa, and the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Committee received an early look at plans Thursday.

That’s because the committee gets an opinion on any development in the Heritage District. Dutch Bros. Coffee’s proposal is on the north side of Fast & Friendly Car Wash.

City planner Rudy Lopez said the project still has to go through site plan review and meet criteria currently under discussion. Developers are also seeking a variance.

The project uses an existing access from John Wayne Parkway, but Lopez said there is an easement on the frontage.

“It’s like a no-build zone,” Lopez said, “so they’re going for a variance.”

Project Manager Michael Oakleaf of Archicon Architecture & Interiors said the current plans make sacrifices to fit into the area. That included abandoning some elements and using a color scheme that would “blend in” with the neighboring car wash.

Oakleaf said those concessions are unusual.

“We’re giving up a lot,” he said.

In what Chairman Brian Foose called “a formality,” the committee unanimously voted its support for the project.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

While its neighbors work on getting store-ready, Dunkin’ Donuts opened in the Edison Pointe shopping plaza Friday morning with great fanfare.

Owner Alex Apodaca, who owns several stores, said he and his partners usually do not go “all out” for an opening in larger cities because the interest isn’t as keen as it is in a smaller suburb like Maricopa.

This time, “all out” meant band members from Maricopa High School, a radio remote, kids games and more, with activities continuing Saturday with a pinstriping demonstration. The official ribbon-cutting including Mayor Christian Price, city council members, Chamber of Commerce members and candidates running for assorted offices. Some proceeds from the grand opening weekend benefit three nonprofits.

WingStop is meant to go in two doors down and still has a lot of work to do. A city stop-work order was posted on the door of the store space in between, which is to be a nail salon.

Meanwhile, work continues steadily nearby on the new Burger King, which is expected to open this summer. In the anchor space in the plaza’s main building, Ross still has a projected open date of July 21.

Dunkin' Donuts is planning a grand opening Friday morning. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


Dunkin’ Donuts is planning its grand opening Friday morning.

The store will open at 4 a.m., but the ribbon-cutting with Mayor Christian Price, the city council and Maricopa Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. It will be the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the city.

Owner Alex Apodaca said he’s celebrating his 10th year of owning Dunkin’ stores in the Valley. He’s part of a group of partners that own 39, with 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and seven more in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Friday, from 7 to 10 a.m., there will be a variety of activities, and the weekend will also include a live remote with radio station KESZ. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank and two other Phoenix-based charities, Changing Lives Center for Women & Children and a teen suicide prevention organization.

There will also be face-painting, mascots and a bike-pinstriping demo.

Rather than selling a franchise at a time, Dunkin’ sells territories, which is how Apodaca and his partners spread so quickly. It came about, he said, when a friend called him a decade ago in California with an idea.

“He said, ‘I think I found a concept to drag you out of San Diego,’” Apodaca said.

At the time, he saw that Dunkin was “coming out West and coming out strong.” It was just before the Great Recession, he said, “and it turned out doughnuts and coffee were the right thing to be in when the recession hit.”

Apodaca said the partnership had been trying for years to come to Maricopa, struggling to find the right real estate. They wanted the property to be on “the morning side of the road” and in an area that was the middle of activity.

The Maricopa store is in the Edison Pointe shopping center on the east side of John Wayne Parkway. Edison Pointe has some stores open and others still under construction. Along with 1,800 square feet of store space it is a drive-thru. Apodaca said 95 percent of his stores have a drive-thru.

He said the store will have baking on site and will also have product brought in from the Valley when necessary volume dictates.

Apodaca said Maricopa is one of those “outlying” cities like Flagstaff that he and his partners enjoy so much. In the culture and in the community, it feels like family.

“They are so receptive to what we’re doing,” he said.

The last item going up for the Dunkin’ Donuts store is usually the first thing – its signage. The store currently has a banner but not its permanent sign. Apodaca said he hopes it is in place by the grand opening.

Other businesses soon to open in the same stand-alone building within the plaza are a nail salon and a Wingstop. The latter received its liquor license this week.


Angelina Martin among her creations in her home workspace. Photo by Mason Callejas


Angelina Martin calls her clothing designs “exotic and eclectic and also eco-friendly.”

“I’m Mexican American, and so I base a lot of Latin American designs and geometric silhouettes in wearable art.” — Angelina Martin

Martin has owned AnymMystik Art & Apparel, a home-based design studio in Maricopa, since 2016, but she has spent a lifetime creating.

“Some of it is ready-to-wear apparel where you can wear it all day and then take it home and wash it,” she said. “And then some of it is paint.”

Her garments are always colorful and often incorporate large bold images like a guitar or a cat’s face. She uses recycled material, cast-offs given to eco-fashion designers by fabric manufacturers. An instructor for eight years at The Art Institute, Mart employs techniques in quilting and layering for constructing garments and may combine that with painted textiles.

“The painting, the quilting, the layers, the various textures kind of sum up my whole wearable art in fashion,” Martin said.

Feedback from fashion shows indicates she should include more painting, and listening to potential customers can impact her direction.

She was one of seven designers participating in the first Arizona Eco Fashion Week in April at the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC) in Tempe. That is the home of the Arizona Apparel Foundation and is built to foster and network local designers.

Its goal is “to be Arizona’s first and most comprehensive resource for independent fashion companies that connects them to each other, to the community and to all of the fashion-related services that they need to operate and grow their business.”

Angelina Martin (center) talks about her bright attire as it is modeled. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Martin raves about FABRIC.

“They manufacture small lots for people,” she said. “People go in there with their ideas and then they literally help you from the beginning doing the technical… from choosing patterns, to cutting it and making it for you.”

Earning her spot in fashion shows has also been a boon.

“I did Phoenix Fashion Week, and then after that opportunities kept coming,” she said. “People kept asking me to do their shows.”

The reasons go beyond the creative.

“I’m always on time and always organized. I have the tag with the model’s name, the order they’re walking in. And then I see the chaos of everyone else. You see the fashion sub-culture. You mix the hair, the models, the designers, the makeup, all those people, all those artists, and you see some craziness. I just stand there and don’t say a word and mind my own business. I think that’s why.”

She has exhibited her work at LabelHorde Fashion Show, Sacramento Fashion Week, Arizona State Fair (three blue ribbons), Costume Society of America and more.

Martin has two master’s degrees. She was working on her Master of Fine Art at University California-Davis when she had her son Collin.

“Everyone thought I was the Mexican nanny,” she said. “I would walk around campus with him, and they’d ask ‘Oh, who are you babysitting for?’ I’d say, ‘That’s my kid. Just because he has blond hair and green eyes, it doesn’t mean I can’t claim him.”

In his own way, her son has become part of the business. Collin and his friends have modeled Angelina’s clothes for her collections. He graduated from Maricopa High School in May.

Photo by Mason Callejas

And Martin’s heritage has informed her decisions as a designer and artist, notably creating a “coral creature” sculpture that was photographed and turned into a print.

“I’m Mexican American, and so I base a lot of Latin American designs and geometric silhouettes in wearable art,” Martin said. “And that’s where I got the coral creature. I was learning about Mayan rubber process and Mayan leather making. It’s reed and wire with fabric wrapped around it and rubberized with a Mayan latex rubberizing process.”

Two years after earning her first master’s degree, Martin became an instructor and director at The Art Institute. She first taught in Austin, Texas, then in Sacramento, California.

She earned a Master of Humanities in art and visual media at Tiffin University in 2015. “And that’s when I focused on digital prints. So, it’s been within the last two years that I’ve really pushed the boundaries and discovered who I wanted to be.”



This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Photo by Mason Callejas

Dollar Tree received its commercial tenant improvement permit May 10 for its newly opened store valued at $145,000. The store got its automatic fire sprinkling system permit April 30, and a fire alarm permit on May 9. The store also received an aluminum sign permit valued at $6,000 May 15. Dollar Tree is located at 20797 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Community of Hope Church is undergoing improvements inside and out. It received an automatic fire sprinkling system permit May 15 and a permit to begin moving electric wires underground April 19. The redirection of wires will benefit future community streetlights in the area. The church is also in the process of repairing damaged sidewalk on Honeycutt Avenue. Reconstruction for the sidewalk began May 14.

Businesses receiving fire sprinkler permits include Dunkin Donuts April 17 and Burger King on May 14. Smiley Dental received a sign permit April 18, valued at $2,000, and Verizon received a permit for a new sign April 19, valued at $4,500.

Pioneer Title, 21596 N. John Wayne Parkway, received a commercial tenant improvement permit valued at $80,000.

Maricopa Development Company received a permit for a sales/construction office valued at $3,000 on May 7 at 37346 W. Leonessa Ave. KB Home received the same permit May 10 at 18166 N. Christopher Drive valued at $4,000.

Police and fire stations received capital improvement project permits. Copper Sky Police Substation plans to progress to phase 2, including expanding the parking area. The project is valued at $500,000. Fire stations on Bowlin Road and Alterra Parkway will both be receiving new shade structures, valued at $11,920 and $18,375, respectively. Fire Station 575 on Edison Road will be getting a new fuel tank valued at $32,709 from a permit received May 7.

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Dunkin Donuts is going conducting employee training in preparation for its June 8 opening date.

The following businesses received business licenses from the City of Maricopa between April 16 and May 15:

Commercial: Dunkin Donuts, Nessy’s Kustoms, Ross Dress for Less, True Hearts II

Home-based: Child Care, Equilass, Fashion and Beauty Guide, Ford’s Home Services, Forever Fiberworks, Four Directions, HealthyNow LLC, Hula Handyman, Hummingbird Lane, J. Walker Signs & Lighting, La Vie Group Home, Maricopa We Care, The Social Baboon, Society’s Air LLC, Specialized Pest Control

Out of town: Bark and Purr Pet Grooming, Bay Alarm Company, Carlos Landscaping, Core Valuation Group, Dame 1 Entertainment, Dutchmaster Electric, Elontec LLC, Garth Vacuum Truck Service, Holbrook Asphalt, Junior’s Landscaping, Newbridge Electrical, Pacific Aquascape International, Pedro Perez, Pop A Korn, Structural Steel, Venture West Construction, Zpotes Food Truck

Nonprofit: Hearts and Hooves of Arizona, Troop 943 Boy Scouts of America

Peddler/Solicitor: Arm Security

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Businesses within the area affected by grade-separation construction apply for temporary sign permits. (City of Maricopa)


Maricopa City Council approved a temporary sign permit on May 10 for businesses impacted by the construction of the overpass in midtown Maricopa.

The permit applies to businesses and nonprofits within 300 feet of the affected roads – John Wayne Parkway between Hathaway Avenue and Desert Cedars, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway between John Wayne Parkway and the Maricopa Unified School District office, and Honeycutt Road between John Wayne Parkway and the MUSD Transportation office.

The temporary signs include a 32-square-foot banner and a 32-square-foot ground sign. They cannot be placed within 40 feet of another sign and cannot interfere with pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Applications are available at City Hall. The application packet includes examples of specifications. The application process takes up to five days.

Interim City Manager Trisha Sorensen said the program is similar to the temporary holiday sign program the city offers.

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce will not renew its lease for office space on Honeycutt Road this September.

In a news release published Friday, Chamber Board President Chris Cahall said the organization that promotes small and medium-sized businesses in Maricopa will operate “virtually” after its lease expires Aug. 31.

Meetings are proposed to take place at member businesses and, possibly, the Central Arizona College campus in Maricopa.

“We’ve got to evolve in order to keep up with how the world is changing, and I think this is going to be an awesome change for the Chamber and the membership,” Cahall told InMaricopa.

Cahall would not confirm if the Board’s vote was unanimous, instead saying the decision was approved.

The chamber’s evolution outside the budget-binding confines of its $2,300 monthly rent payment will allow it to focus those funds on member services, Cahall added.

Currently, three-quarters of members’ dues are allocated to rent and the executive director’s salary.

A minority of in-office visits involve visitors inquiring about member business information. Cahall said 90 percent of Chamber foot traffic is to the visitors’ center – a local tourism effort defunded by the City of Maricopa.

“How are we able to provide optimal benefits if most of our membership monies are going to a facility and only 10 percent of the people walking through the door on an annual basis are looking for membership information?” Cahall asked.

The Board’s answer is to wave good bye to its brick-and-mortar, an idea first proposed in a meeting with members two weeks ago.

“We think (having meetings at members’ businesses) will allow our networking events to be more member-centric on their turf,” Cahall said.

In addition to its member services like the networking and ribbon-cutting events, Cahall said the Board has proposed implementing an annual business speaker, as well as educational opportunities for members.

The Chamber’s monthly breakfast will still be held at Elements Event Center.

Cahall said the Board has also discussed using a portion of member dues to revamp the Chamber’s website, and is open to hearing ideas from members.

While it prepares to spend its last few months in its office space, the Chamber is also hunting for its new leader.

The Board is accepting applications for the new executive director until June 1 at 5 p.m., according to the news release.

The person who fills that role will eventually work from a home office after the Chamber moves out. Cahall said a candidate living in Maricopa is preferred.

The board president said he’d like to see the new director establish a visible presence in the community.

“I really want that executive director to be out with the members and be out finding members, and spreading the message of our small and medium-sized business community through Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Chandler and attending networking events to assist and to continue to layer on member benefits showcasing the Maricopa chamber,” Cahall said.

Customers stand outside waiting for inspections to end at Dollar Tree. Photo by Michelle Chance

Maricopa’s second discount store held its grand opening and ribbon cutting Thursday morning.

However, Dollar Tree’s newest customers were ushered out of the 10,000-square-foot building soon after doors opened.

City building inspectors and the fire marshal temporarily closed Edison Pointe’s latest retail shop for a little more than an hour to perform final inspections. They did not explain the timing.

Deputy Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez with the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department said Dollar Tree received approval by both agencies.

“Everything is OK. They’re opened up again; business is going good as usual,” Rodriguez said.

The store is located at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway south of Fry’s Marketplace.

The Ak-Chin Pedestrian Bridge opened March 28. The bridge links Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino with UltraStar Multi-tainment Center. Crossing over the roadway between the two properties, the bridge is 180 feet long and air conditioned. There are elevators at each end, directly linking the bowling alley with the new parking garage at the casino.

Maricopa’s newest athletic gym officially opened March 27. Planet Fitness, 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 400, is staffed 24 hours a day. City leaders and Maricopa Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The planned Dunkin Donuts at Edison Pointe received a commercial tenant improvement permit for its 1,811-square-foot space in the western building. That is valued at $238,708. Its business license is pending.

Dollar Tree, moving into Edison Pointe adjoining Fry’s Marketplace, also received a tenant improvement permit for its 9,920-square-foot space. The project is valued at $145,000. Its opening is set for May 10.

True Hearts received final inspection April 10 at its location, 19428 N. John Wayne Parkway, the former business barn.

Legacy Charter received a permit April 10 to make on-site improvements for Sunrise Preschool at 19287 N. Porter Road, valued at $98,658.

Respados Locoz received a zoning permit for its mobile food vending at 44274 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Burger King, 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway, received permits for illuminated signage, logo and drive-thru menu boards as well as a monument sign. It is scheduled to open this spring.

This item appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.