By Michelle Chance
Many Maricopa brides-to-be leave the community and make the journey up State Route 347 to peruse catering, florist and event-planning services the Valley has to offer.
However, there are professional wedding vendors in Maricopa, both established and new, encouraging couples to stay local when shopping for their special day.
Cotton Blossom Flower Shoppe has been designing custom bridal arrangements since 2003.
“We really try to focus local and whether they are doing a wedding in the Valley, at The Duke or at the Southern Baptist Church, we are going to help them make it the best wedding we can as far as our end of it goes with the flowers,” says owner Will Dunn.
The floral team stays busy with two to three weddings per month. However, floral designing is only a portion of what they offer bridal parties.
Cotton Blossom Flower Shoppe, located at Stagestop Marketplace on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, is also an event-planning company.
“So we can help design the whole wedding, all the way up to the karaoke machine or the photograph booth that they want,” Dunn says.
The responsibilities of both the floral and event-planning sides of his business begin with the initial meeting, in which brides are encouraged to bring photos and even create and share their bridal Pinterest board with the Cotton Blossom staff.
A new catering business in Maricopa, Manhattan Catering LLC, offers a unique and cosmopolitan wedding experience.
Chef Cody James and his wife Linda have co-owned the business for 21 years and had their local grand opening at the Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship this summer.
“We really do cater to the client. We’re not going to hand you a menu and say, ‘OK, choose something.’ We really want people to feel comfortable getting what they want,” Cody James says.
Offering full-service catering, James says he likes to give his clients an experience with food from around the world: “I can provide anything and everything needed. With me it’s all about the specialty items, it’s all about getting what they want and that could be special diets for older couples, for example.”
Helen Ford, owner of Helen’s Kitchen & Catering on John Wayne Parkway near Honeycutt Avenue, provides dietary consciousness for her bridal clients.
“Since the restaurant is big on gluten-free and trying to accommodate everybody’s dietary needs, I’m like that with the weddings, too,” Ford says. “It’s not as hard as people think it is to do.”
Ford doesn’t supply a catering menu, choosing instead to tailor it to her clients’ specific requests while keeping it within their budget.
“I’m a very old fashioned, hand-shake kind of person. We will talk one-on-one together and decide what it is they are looking for and then I customize the menu to them,” Ford says.
One of Ford’s specialties is the dessert bar, which consists of individual sweets like fudge brownies and cream puffs, among other decadent sweets.
“I also do chocolate dipped strawberries and because I use a nice quality chocolate, it’s considered gluten free.”
Cotton Blossom Flower Shoppe
Helen’s Kitchen & Catering
This story was published in the Fall Edition of InMaricopa the Magazine.