By Nancy Allen
A new business offering all the trappings imaginable to plan a special family event or swanky corporate affair has opened in Celina.
And the new owner said she plans to use the lakefront in Celina as a staging area for weddings, corporate functions and other events.
The business, called Jaqua's, opened the end of July at 400 S. Ash St., inside the former Versa-Pak building.
The family-owned business was started in 1958 by founder Bill Jaqua, initially just renting out tables and chairs. Today it has grown into a multi-location business run by Natalie Jaqua, a third-generation family member. The 21-year-old said she has high hopes for the new Celina facility, which already is doing a brisk business.
"It's a nice area and a great opportunity being on the lake," she said looking out over an area behind the building earlier this week. "I think a lot of people would be interested in hosting corporate and wedding receptions here." Natalie Jaqua said city officials have given her permission to use a large grassy area south of the building that looks out on Lake Shore Drive and Grand Lake St. Marys to stage events.
An advertisement for the business that ran recently in The Daily Standard says Jaqua's rents tents, tables, chair, china, specialty linens and more. Browsing through Jaqua's catering menu, services and equipment, it is definitely heavy on the "more."
"We do about 50 percent corporate events and 50 percent weddings," Natalie Jaqua said."We do what we call turnkey events, where all the bride has to do is show up. We set everything up, serve the dinner, bus the tables and tear it all down ... we can do everything."
Jaqua's has its main office and showroom in Piqua and a second office and warehouse in Celina. It also operates warehouses in Columbus, Springfield, Dayton, Middletown and Cincinnati to serve clients in those areas.
Customers who come to the Celina location can browse through photo catalogs of events Jaqua's has done to get ideas. Each event is customized to the client's taste and budget. In a busy society where every moment counts, Jaqua's excels in eliminating a lot of the work associated with coordinating a lot of different suppliers, Natalie Jaqua said.
"Some people know exactly what they want and a lot come to us asking for help with everything," Natalie Jaqua said. "For weddings there are 70 standard colors to choose from in table cloths to coordinate with the wedding colors ... We consider ourselves a one-stop shop where we can tie all the tables, linens, decorating and center pieces together."
Some of the more unusual items Jaqua's provides includes a portable dance floor that can be set up inside or outside, gazebo, bar (beverage) sections, hot dog carts, games of chance for a casino night, carnival-type games such as a dunk tank, a duck pond, lazer tag, bouncy boxing, climbing wall and several inflatable moonwalk games, where kids or adults can bounce around inside.
The business also caters, with a menu designed to accommodate a wide range of food selections and price.
Much of what Jaquas does requires on-site visits beforehand to do things like take measurements and scope out the site's dimensions. Inhouse business for people wanting to rent tablecloths and tables is done mostly through telephone inquiry, she said.
"We come to the building first and get a good idea of what we can do ... It's a lot of on-site preparation beforehand," Natalie Jaqua said.
Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.