Meet Maritza Wyche-Walton, the owner of Casa De Flora Bar, a luxury cafe located near Newark, in Bloomfield, NJ. She opened the cafe after a fire in 2019 that claimed her wedding showroom.
“The community loved that space,” says Maritza. “They would tell me how much joy and life my showroom brought to the area because of the decor. So it was important to recreate that type of vibe.”
Another major inspiration for her was her mother and her grandmother. Maritza’s mother passed away in a car accident when she was just three months old. Her grandmother and great-grandparents raised her in New York.
“When I moved into my wedding showroom, there was a plant that the landlord asked me to take care of. It was so random and I was not a plant or flower person at all. I was only planning and designing weddings. The landlord said to me, ‘Maritza, I need you to take care of this plant and put it outside in May. It’s our Rose of Sharon.’ When he said that to me I just looked at him strangely and said okay.”
The landlord never knew that Maritza’s mother’s name was Sharon or that her grandmother’s name was Rose. To Maritza, this was a sign that they were with her. She decided to rebuild after the fire and fought to open after COVID.
“Then Hurricane Ida put five feet of water into the store after renovations had begun. But finally, I re-opened the Ritz-Walton wedding collection and now Casa De Flora Bar–a space where people feel like they are welcomed into my home.”
The luxury cafe opened on June 24 this year, offering the best-tasting coffee, freshly brewed each day. Espresso, lattes, macchiato, matcha tea, chai tea, hibiscus tea, lavender lemonade, prickly pear lemonade, and milkshakes are also on the menu, along with cronuts, cupcakes, sandwiches, wraps, and fresh farm-to-table salads.
“The customer favorites have been the lavender latte and the prickly pear lemonade. We are also known for our cronuts in our neighborhood. We sell out of the guava cream cronut every time. It’s become a fan favorite. We also sell these amazingly tasty cupcakes made by the Velvet Collection. They are definitely a party in your mouth.”
But people don’t visit Casa De Flora Bar solely for the mouth-watering delights. The ambiance and decor is another thing that attracts them. Designed in tones of pink and gold, and decorated with flowers and plants, the cafe is a beautiful oasis of relaxation, with every corner completely Instagram-worthy.
“The ambiance was important to me. Flowers and plants represent life, love, and great energy. It’s exactly as I envisioned. When people walk in the first thing they do is smile. They want to dress up and come to take pictures. They deserve pretty things and to experience luxury when they spend their money. I believe the decor welcomes nothing but great energy, which is all that we have experienced since opening. You can’t help but to be happy in this space. We have had people travel from Maryland and Massachusetts to come see what it’s all about. We make sure to make their trip well worth it each and every time.”
Clip & Sip
One of the events people travel in to experience at Casa De Flora Bar is their Clip & Sip event. Immersing themselves in the beauty and healing power of flowers, attendees can sip Champagne, wine, or mocktails while learning how to build their own custom floral bouquet.
The idea for Clip & Sip came during the pandemic when someone requested that Maritza come and teach a backyard bouquet building class to a group of her friends. Everyone had a ball, enjoying the flowers, drinks, and conversation. Maritza decided that it was something she truly enjoyed doing, as well, and wanted to create an event like it at her Flower Bar.
“I have to tell you, if you are an introvert or a person that is guarded, get ready to change. Our last session included laughter, tears, awesome conversation, wine, and mocktails for those who do not drink or prefer to BYOB. It’s not just about clipping flowers. Flowers are therapeutic. I believe each flower represents a memory in life, whether it’s a person, place, or experience you have encountered. You are not locked in to build your bouquet to look like everyone else’s. You’re encouraged to build it as it represents you. You select the flowers that you are drawn to. It’s definitely a therapy session, but so much fun!”
Individuals interested in attending a Clip & Sip bouquet building event can learn about the next available session on Casa De Flora Bar’s website or Instagram. Space is limited for each session to keep it intimate, so once dates are released you can secure your spot by registering.
Also, Dinner Under the Stars is currently taking place on Friday evenings. During the summer months through October, Washington Street is blocked off to vehicle traffic and all the restaurants there set up in the middle of the street.
“Entertainment is provided. We set up these really pretty Moroccan tables with carpet, faux grass, and pillows so you feel like you’re in a park. We offer hookahs, mocktails, dessert, drinks, and we also feature a chef to cook up some great eats that our guests can enjoy.”
Casa De Flora Bar also rents out its space for private events, such as bridal showers, birthday parties, book signings, networking events, etc. So if you’re in the Newark area, keep them cafe in mind for your event needs, or stop by to enjoy a delicious drink and meal while admiring its gorgeous interior.