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Darwin East and his daughter Cammy Brown purchased the Maricopa Business Center on Dec. 21 for the East Family Trust. Photo by Jim Headley

Darwin East, of Chandler, purchased the Maricopa Business Center on Dec. 21.

East, the leader of the East Family Trust, purchased the center with his three daughters, Carrie Lynn East, Cammy Lynn Brown and Catharine Lynn Bolton.

“I have three wonderful daughters,” he said. “Someday it will be theirs.”

Darwin lived in Maricopa before moving to Chandler a few years ago. He said he purchased the Maricopa Business Center to consolidate some of his investments and get them closer to home.

He recently sold his commercial property in Peoria, leaving an opening for a new investment.

“This opportunity came up and we felt like they had lived in Maricopa and it’s not far from home. We decided that this was a good fit for what he wanted to do,” Brown said. “He has property in Washington, also. We are selling that to have one local place that is closer to home. He wants to have some involvement. The two places he had – he wasn’t able to go and see the property.”

East said he’s owned and developed 61 pieces of agricultural property in the Fallbrook, California, area, before building a nine-house subdivision in Washington state.

“With the profit off the nine houses, I built an office building in Sequim, Washington. We’re trying to sell that now and put it in on this too,” Darwin said.

East descends from a family of Oklahomans, though he was born in California. He spent most of his life as an agricultural entrepreneur, growing avocados and kiwis but also branching out to spraying, farm supply and even asphalt.

“I had eight different businesses in California,” East said. “I worked about 80 to 90 hours a week. I always made sure that I was putting my family first. We went to church on Sunday. I always took them on a vacation. I started by developing and managing avocado groves – and citrus and kiwi.”

Because “a wise old man” once told him not to put everything in one basket, he diversified into landscaping and grove management for others, including the Walt Disney family.

“I had about 3,500 acres that I managed,” East said. “I couldn’t get people to do the spray work, so I went into the spray business. I couldn’t get people to do the tractor work, so I did weed abatement for about five different towns. People wanted paving done, and I couldn’t get a good contractor, so I started an asphalt business. The Disneys wanted to buy fertilizer, so we said, ‘Let’s start our own farm supply.’”

He said his company was the largest kiwi grower in Southern California at one point.

“Family comes first,” East said, adding he sees Maricopa as a very good investment.

“I see the future, and Maricopa is very good. You drive down the main street out there, and it is very busy most of the time,” he said.

Brown said her father’s approach to life is family, church and community.

“He likes to be involved in the community,” she said. “Even though at his age, he’s probably not going to get involved in city council, but he recognizes the importance of community, supporting your community and being involved. That has been the story of his life.”

InMaricopa offices are in Maricopa Business Center.


IHOP is preparing to open its doors on New Year’s Day.

The restaurant is at 20429 N. John Wayne Parkway, the northeast corner of the intersection with Edison Road in the Edison Pointe shopping plaza. The 4,767-square-foot restaurant was designed by Studio B Squared and constructed by Straightline Builders.

Meanwhile, across the street at 20232 N. John Wayne Parkway, Dutch Bros. received its commercial license Friday to start building on an empty lot north of Fast & Friendly Car Wash.

The Dutch Bros. building is designed as a 1,280-square-foot drive-thru, which includes 440 square feet of patio space. The project is valued at $155,259.

Sacate is moving its mill from Laveen to Maricopa. Phot oby Kyle Norby

Sacate Pellet Mills Inc. is relocating its main pellet processing plant to Maricopa.

Sacate, now located in Laveen in southwest Phoenix, has been forced to move due to major road construction, the 202-connection project. The main problem in Laveen, where Sacate employs 75 people, is encroaching housing and traffic congestion.

The new Maricopa facility, which is being built in phases, will employ about eight workers at the completion of phase 1 but is expected to eventually grow to exceed 75 employees, according to a Project Narrative presented to the Maricopa City Council that was written by Olsson and Associates of St. Louis, Missouri.

David Stueve, general manager of Sacate, said the new mill project in Maricopa should be completed by June.

The new facility will be used to process a standard 4-by-4-by-8-foot hay bale, which will produce 3/8-inch diameter by 1.5-inch pellets. The hay pellets will be wholesaled to multiple local businesses and retailers.

The plant, located on about 50 acres southeast of Maricopa, near the intersection of Cowtown Road and White and Parker Road, is expected to operate 24 hours per day, according to the Olsson report. The proposed location will house a feed pellet milling operation and office.

The report states: “The work will adhere to Zoning Code … and will occur in three phases. Phase 1 will include grading of the parcel to ensure proper on-site drainage and retention, construction of one fire access road, building of the warehouse, hay canopy, and electrical building. Phase 1 will also see the construction of a security fence and gate to restrict site access and the installation of truck scales. Phase 2 will include an extension to the warehouse and erection of cubing system equipment to the north of the hay canopy. Phase 3 will see the building of an open bale processing canopy and office building with associated parking and sidewalks.”

Sacate is highly respected for producing some of the best quality livestock pellets in the Agriculture industry. The company first produced pellets in 1985.

Construction crews are busy on the overpass project between Honeycutt Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Photo by Jim Headley

“I don’t think people realize that they can still get into the plaza by just continuing on down the road. It has been slowing us down a little bit.” Rose Murrufo, employee, Maricopa Business Center

Let’s face it, no one likes driving through construction zones.

Early this week Honeycutt Road was closed from Pershing Street to John Wayne Parkway to allow for the construction of the new railroad overpass. It will remain closed until summer.

While it does cause a lot of problems and navigation nightmares, the people of Maricopa are taking it all in stride.

One of the most seriously affected businesses is Mel’s Auto/NAPA Autocare Center. Owner Tena Dugan is getting ready to close their location and move somewhere else in Maricopa. She is unsure where or when the business will move.

The NAPA dealership has been at the corner of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and State Route 347 since the 1950s.

“Right now, we have three different locations that we’re looking at – it kind of depends on which one pans out the best,” Dugan said.  “It’s not just prices, it’s utilities. Infrastructure is a big deal in Maricopa when you’re trying to put in a business. While it may be the right price for the land, the cost to get that land to where it needs to be to build a building is so prohibitive that the more expensive piece of property is the better deal.

“Maricopa is such a relatively new town that the infrastructure is just not there in a lot of these vacant areas.”

Dugan has owned the store since 2002.

“It was a great location when we bought. It was a corner with lots of land. We don’t own it – we have a landlord. The City actually took a portion of the back and we’ve had our fence moved several times. Right now, this is not an optimal location,” she said. “My employees still come to work every day. We do the best job that we can do, and we rely on our loyal customers who keep coming back. They are the ones who keep us in business right now. We knew it was coming for a long time. We just didn’t know when.”

Businesses in Maricopa Business Plaza on Honeycutt Road have been affected by the traffic detours. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


With detours and construction everywhere around the store, NAPA’s business has suffered.

“It has been a substantial punch to my business. People can’t get to us. This is the absolute worst traffic nightmare I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I know you have to go backwards to go forwards. Sometimes you wonder,” she said, adding, “People are creatures of habit. You do what is habit. This is a very large traffic control change.”

With the construction still going on all around her, Dugan offered some advice.

“You have a choice in life. You can either adapt and overcome or you can worry yourself into the ground. I have a lot of employees who are relying on me to keep this business going – so that’s what we are going to do,” Dugan said.

Businesses in the Maricopa Business Center on Honeycutt Road are all still open, and there are still access points into the business plaza.

“I don’t think people realize that they can still get into the plaza by just continuing on down the road. It has been slowing us down a little bit,” said Rosa Murrufo, an employee at Metro by T Mobile.

Carol Steinke, a Maricopa north-side resident, said she is looking forward to the new overpass.

“If it means that will fly over the railroad tracks, I am all for it. I’ve been here 12 years and I go to that side of the railroad tracks a lot. I play bingo. I go to church. All of that’s over there and I live on this side. I’ll be happy. Sometimes we wait 20 minutes for a train that has people on it to go by,” Steinke said.

Joe Templin, owner of Joe’s Barber Shop in the Maricopa Business Center, said he was slow on Tuesday but added it’s not unusual to be a little slow on Tuesdays.

“I really haven’t found it too inconvenient. Of course, it is inconvenient, but it could be worse,” he said, adding the businesses in the plaza are very popular and established places to frequent.

“I just don’t see it hindering the business too much,” Templin said.

He is also looking forward to how traffic will flow in front of Maricopa Business Center after the overpass is completed. With the addition of Plainview Street, traffic coming from Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will flow over to John Wayne Parkway right in front of the plaza on Honeycutt Road.

“Six months of construction, but it’s worth it in the end,” Templin said.

InMaricopa is a tenant of Maricopa Business Plaza.

At the State of the City event in October, Mayor Christian Price announced changes in the business license process for the City of Maricopa.

That amounts to eliminating business licensing and creating instead a business registry.

Nov. 6, staff detailed how a registry would work. The process is set to go into effect Jan. 1.

“We believe that good, business-friendly regulations, while ensuring public safety and strong customer protections, just make good business sense,” Price said.

Economic Development Director Denyse Airheart said the state’s transaction privilege tax process now makes city licensing redundant. The registry, she said will allow City Hall to track the types of businesses in town.

“This is a voluntary program,” she said.

The Business Registry Program will be an online process. Instead of $50 for a business license, companies can register for $10 annually. The BRP will not eliminate the necessity of permits and zoning.

Information asked on the one-page, online Business Registry Program:

New or existing business
VA or Nonprofit
Full name of business owner/representative
Primary phone
Primary email address
Business name/DBA
Physical address of business
Business sector
Description of business
Transaction Privilege Tax identification number
Acknowledge legal disclaimer

“The goal is to make conducting business in the City of Maricopa as easy and simple as possible,” Airheart said. “So the businesses and entrepreneurs of the community drive innovation, and we want to make sure their experience here is a positive experience.”

The current system captures “a ton of data,” she said. “It’s very deceiving but it’s multiple pages with multiple attachments, and it could be a little bit frustrating for individuals.”

The hope is that the new BRP will make the process as simple as possible for the business owner while still capturing key information for City Hall.

Price called it, “User-friendly, less expensive and much faster.”

Nonprofits and veteran-owned business are exempted from the $10 annual fee.

When questioned about the verification process for businesses claiming to be veteran-owned or nonprofit, City Manager Rick Horst said, “We’ll take them at their word… Frankly, if they’re not honest, it’s going to catch up with them sooner or later.”

In December, the City will notify active and inactive business license holders about the change. It will also be notifying chambers of commerce and business-resource groups.

“One of the biggest things we’ve heard from the local businesses is ‘Marketing, marketing, marketing. How can people find out about me?’” Airheart said. “This is going to be a great way. If we know about you, we can be a great tool to get your information out to the public because this is going to be accessible to everyone.”

While business licensing is no longer deemed necessary, it did provide information the city still needs, such as “accurate revenue projections for budget preparation,” Price said. The registry is expected to provide that kind of information.

He said the City should expect speed bumps with any new process and has asked staff to report back a year after launch to discuss what does and does not work.

This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Economist Elliott Pollack says 2019 will be a good year.

Economist Elliott Pollack is bullish on 2019.

“Enjoy yourself,” he said. “It’s going to be great year.”

The CEO of Elliott D. Pollack and Company presented his annual economic forecast to Pinal Partnership at Rawhide Friday morning.

A recession is anticipated, but Pollack said it would not happen in 2019 though it is possible later.

“Not all recessions are the same,” he said. “What you’re looking at is short and shallow.”

With home prices now back above recession levels, Arizona real estate has fully recovered, Pollack said.

Taking nearly a decade, the recovery was old but strong, he said. Consumer confidence is high, and labor is coming back. The greater Phoenix area is responsible for 88 percent of the state’s job growth.

Lack of labor is a concern nationwide, however. Pollack said there are 7 million unfilled jobs in the nation. That means companies will have to pay higher wages to fill those jobs, causing the employment-cost index to rise, which leads to higher prices.

The stock market has been a roller-coaster ride this year. Pollack said though bear markets are reason to be concerned, “the stock market is a bad predictor of recession.”

In attendance, Maricopa City Councilmember Marvin Brown said he was concerned about the national debt, which is now at $21.9 trillion. It is a problem of many nations.

“The U.S. is the prettiest house on a very ugly block,” Pollack agreed. “Ultimately some generation is going to pay for all this debt, but it’s not your generation.”

With representatives of Central Arizona Project and Global Water in the room, he also pushed back on the notion that Arizona will soon face a water shortage. He said farmers and ranchers continue to turn their homes over to development, which uses less water than agriculture.

“Water flows toward money, and money is in industry and housing,” he said. “There will not be a water shortage in the greater Phoenix area in my lifetime or the lifetime of anyone in this room.”

Pollack also said the media is making more out of a trade war than it deserves. He called it a trade skirmish that “would have a minor impact on the U.S. economy.” Further, he said, China cannot win a trade war because 20 percent of its gross domestic product comes from exports while in the United States it is less than 10 percent.

Real estate in the Valley and Pinal County is in a good situation. New home inventory is low with no signs of an oversupply of homes. Builders are battling supply-side constraints, meaning production is unable to keep pace with demand.

Pollack predicted the entire demand for new housing will be from the millennial generation. “There’s going to be a lot more of them, and a lot more of them will be buying houses.”

The impact of the Great Recession on millennials is still playing out. That generation saw greater acceptance of large amounts of student debt, delayed marriage, often moved back into the parental home to save money and became less materialistic than their parents’ generation.

A new report by Bank of America found millennials now prioritize home-ownership over marriage and starting a family. No. 1 on their list of priorities is being able to retire.

While many millennials still believe outmoded information about homeownership, probably passed down to them by their parents, their buying behavior will dictate the future economy.

Pollack told real estate agents to expect millennial homebuying to “skyrocket over the next five years.”

Businesses and organizations receiving business licenses Oct. 16-Nov. 15:

Commercial: Great Escape Maricopa, Holistic Mental Health, Phoenix Sky Gear, WingStop

Home-based: Almentia KG LLC, Buddy’s Pet Care, Elaine Glasgow, Jaded Ivy, La Vie Group Home, Las Tostaditas, LaydeePink Photography, Little 6 Industries, Manila Bakery, Raven Photography Services, The Sharp Solution

Out of town: Academy Mortgage, Advanced Contract Flooring, Aeos Energy, Arizona Outdoor Recreation, AZ ATM Expert, Clear Brite Headlight Restoration, Fire Sure Protection, G Squared Building, Lakeside Pools, Modern Paving Seamless Flooring, Thistle Door, Waite Arizona LLC

Nonprofit: Against Abuse Inc., Blue Star Mothers of Maricopa, Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation

This item appear in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Great Escape Maricopa opens Dec. 7.


Justin Pierce received a new commercial permit Oct. 24 for a Circle K convenience store at 41433 W. Honeycutt Road at Porter Road. The store is set to be 5,301 square feet with seven fuel pumps under a 2,464-square-foot canopy. It is valued at $863,714. The site also received the OK for a lot split and on-site improvement.

Cross Fit Maricopa is taking over the space vacated by Cross Fit Stand & Battle at 21576 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 102, with new owner Scott Bradley receiving a final inspection Nov. 1.

Apex Motor Club received an at-risk grading permit and permission for a temporary construction trailer as it begins construction at 22408 N. Ralston Road.

Meritage Homes in Province received an administrative design review permit for Parcel 8 as it develops parcels 8 and 10. Province also received a permit in Parcel 15 for grading to fix erosion at Honeycutt Road and the Santa Rosa Wash.

Brakes Plus, to be constructed at 44510 W. Edison Road east of IHOP, has received approval for 123 linear feet of underground fireline.

Maricopa Auto Outlet, 19864 N. John Wayne Parkway, had its zoning request approved for an expansion Nov. 7.

Sacate Pellet Mill, 38743 W. Cowtown Road, received a permit for a lot line adjustment from 46 to 50 acres. The company also received approval for electricity for a temporary construction trailer. At the same address, Red River Cattle received a zoning text amendment to be allowed by exceed the maximum building height.

Sacate Pellet Mill

Maricopa Renovations is dividing office space as a commercial alteration for Maricopa Bookkeeping at 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Leeanne Richmond has a temporary use permit to operate the monthly Second Saturday Farmers Market from Sequoia Pathway Academy, 19265 N. Porter Road.

Great Escape Maricopa, an escape room business, received a new tenant final inspection Nov. 7 as Carl Diedrich converts the former Camino Montessori space at 44301 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy. The business opens to the public Dec. 7.

CleanChoice Services is the primary contractor for an office remodel for Arizona Storage Company, 40675 W. Honeycutt Road.

Chris Cahall received a permit for a $1,000 wall sign at American Family Insurance, 19756 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Wynn Hair and Nails, 20555 N. John Wayne Parkway, was approved for coming-soon and grand-opening banners as well as a foot massage banner, all as temporary signage.

Two commercial shade structures received permits at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road.

Tortosa Homeowners Association is installing a new well pump for an existing community well on the northeast corner of Honeycutt Road and Costa del Sol Boulevard at a cost of $35,000. It received a permit of major electrical work.

This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

The City of Maricopa helped Apex Motor Club break ground at 22408 N. Ralston Road. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


Three years ago, Jason Plotke and Matt Williams came to Maricopa to look at land for a potential private racetrack.

Thursday, they broke ground on the $33 million project.

“We stood out here three years ago and saw some farmland, and here we are today building a racetrack,” Plotke said. “That’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.”

Two years ago, as Private Motorsports Group, they publicly announced their plans to build Apex Motor Club on 278 acres they purchased as Enterprise 238 LLC. On the northwest corner of State Route 238 and Ralston Road, the property was envisioned as a racetrack, clubhouse, garage condominium and karting complex at a cost of $33 million.

A year ago, Private Motorsports Group had a city use permit but was also battling two anti-Apex entities in the courts. One lawsuit reached the state Supreme Court, where it was denied. The second has had a petition pending before the Supreme Court since August.

The legal battle took a toll and was something “we weren’t sure we’d ever recover from,” Plotke said. “We weren’t sure if we’d be standing here.”

He and Williams were pleasantly surprised by the positive response they received from City Hall for the project from its conception.

“I think it was three years ago Jason and Matt came and sat down with me,” Mayor Christian Price said. “They said, ‘We have this idea and we want to talk to you about it. What do you think?’ And I kind of remember the cringing look on their faces as though they were going to get this, ‘I don’t think we want you here.’ I don’t know if I surprised them or not, but I said, ‘That’s a great idea. When are you starting? We can do that tomorrow.’ I think they laughed at me.”

Making clear he had no hand in bringing Apex to Maricopa, new City Manager Rick Horst said his staff would stay a step ahead of the developers to make sure all permitting is correct.

“I feel like this is a catalytic project,” Horst said. “I feel the need for speed.”

Plotke, who is president of Private Motorsports Group, said the plan is to open Apex “early next year.”

“It almost brings me tears to stand here with all of you and share this moment with all this going on,” Plotke said Thursday morning, gesturing at active dirt-moving equipment on the Apex site. “We’re not developers that are going to move on to the next city and sell this. We want to have our kids and their kids work here and have something that a lot of people can enjoy for a long period of time.

“We want to be a vibrant part of the community.”

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

DR Horton was granted an amendment to its planned area development in lots 1 and 8 in Tortosa for coverage increase.

Chop Block & Brew opened Aug. 7 at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino with dining and a lounge. It seats 159 and serves lunch and dinner.

In a capital-improvement project, Fire Station 574 received a permit for installation of new evaporative system in the bay at a cost of $100,000.

Walmart made interior alterations to replace fitting rooms and relocate an apparel fixture and added power to the fitting rooms. The project was valued at $20,000.

Suite D8 of Maricopa Fiesta at 20924 N. John Wayne Parkway, a former veterinarian office, received a permit to be modified into an open white shell at a cost of $32,000. The required demolition also received a permit.

The overpass project on State Route 347 at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks received a hauling permit. Ames Construction is the primary contractor.

Community of Hope Church applied to install a new fire alarm system at 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.

True Grit received a general fire inspection for a planned bike event in September that may include a beer garden.

DRH Construction received a permit to turn a home garage into a sales office at 36878 W. Maddaloni Ave. in Sorrento.

Cobblestone Fiesta Center, Sorrento and the City of Maricopa all received permits for new signs. Burger King opened its doors at 20699 N. John Wayne Parkway. Along with Ross Dress for Less and Great Clips at The Wells received permits for temporary banners.

Verizon and AT&T received zoning permits to modify existing cell towers.

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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.

by -
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.