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Palm Beach Brides 2019 Tell Us Your Wedding Story!

Palm Beach Brides 2019 Tell Us Your Wedding Story!

Through the pages of our annual Palm Beach Brides issue, we share with readers the unique stories of four local couples as they made their journey down the aisle on one of the most exciting days of their lives. Each shares their highlight of the day and personal, touching events that made their wedding special. We will also share the latest in bridal gown fashion and hear from local wedding photographers Stacey and Brandon Poirier of Poirier Wedding Photography on some important items to consider when choosing how to capture your wedding day.

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Palm Beach Brides 2019 – Credits

Palm Beach Brides 2019  – Credits

Special Thanks To Bacio Bacio Bridal Boutique  Lenyce Boyd www.baciobacio.com and all of the industry professionals who helped to make our annual Palm Beach Brides issue an amazing success!

Special Thanks To All Of Our Wedding Couples for sharing their love story with us!

Jessica & Sahir  

Kayli & Charlie

Kimberly & David

Caitlin & Andrew

VENUES 

 

The International Polo Club Palm Beach

www.internationalpoloclub.com

(561) 204-5687

 

The Wanderers Club

www.wanderersclubwellington.com

(561) 795-3501

 

The Wellington National Golf Club

www.wellingtonnationalgolfclub.com

(561) 333-5731 

 

The Wellington Community Center

www.wellingtonfl.gov

(561) 753-2484

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Captured Photography

www.capturedbyjen.com

 

Emily Madelyn Photo

www.emilymadelyn.com

 

Gina Marie Photography

www.ginamariesullo.com  

 

J Millon Photography

www.joannamillon.com

 

Kenneth Smith Photography

www.kennethsmithphotos.com

 

Poirier Wedding Photography

www.poirierweddingphotography.com

 

Scribbled Moments Photography

www.scribbledmomentsphotography.com

 

Be sure to view the digital issue online at WWW.WELLINGTONTHEMAGAZINE.COM

 

YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD OUR PALM BEACH BRIDES 2019 CHECKLIST

TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR SPECIAL DAY

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That One Special Dress, For That One Special Day

That One Special Dress, For That One Special Day

Since there are so many wedding dresses to choose from, it is nearly impossible to know which style is right for you. Wellington’s own Bacio Bacio Bridal Boutique gave us a grand tour of their warm and inviting showroom. Featured here and on the next several pages are some of the latest styles from the boutique adorning brides this season.

The team at Bacio Bacio is ready to help you when choosing that “just-right-for-me” gown. How do you know what your bridal style is? Ask yourself! Perhaps its Vintage, a style that encompasses an era gone by and mixes it with a modern vibe. Classic offers timeless elegance with a personal touch, while a Modern Minimalist approach is all about clean lines and simplicity. For those with a Sexy Glam edge, you can find a stunning, sparkling style with utmost attention to detail. Nothing is wrong with that, since you are the center of attention on your wedding day!

For those brides leaning toward a tiara for the day, you may try on some of the many princess-style Fairytale dresses. Many of our Wellington brides may kick up their heels with an interest in the Rustic Chic look, which ties romantic and neutral colors together with a feminine touch of lace and soft silhouettes.

Whatever your style, just be sure to make it your own. With the right choice of style and comfort, you’ll be communicating your own personal sense of style. It is your day, wear it beautifully!

This gown is by designer Eddy K and has a V-neck, fit and flare silhouette, crepe gown with a dramatic low back, a hint of lace at the hem and a full-lace train.

Bridal Gown | Bacio Bacio Bridal Boutique

Designer | Eddy K

Florals | Nat Kovolis

Venue and Styling | Elizabeth Ave Station

Bridal Accessories | Champagne and Grit

Model | Summer Marchsteiner

Photography | Emily Madelyn Photo

Hair | Fiorella Castro Hair

Makeup | Emily Rivera Artistry

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Sahir & Jessica – Tell Us Your Story

Sahir & Jessica – Tell Us Your Story

“One of the most magical moments for us was when we paraded on our horses and carriages toward the venue and first saw our wedding venue all decorated. It really hit me in that moment how special the day was, how much effort our families had put into making this event magical, and how happy I was to be marrying my best friend.”

Jessica and Sahir Quraeshi don’t list just one day as their “wedding date” but four. They needed four to fit in all the American and Pakistani customs. But this expansive celebration had humble beginnings when they met in the hallways of Wellington High School. “Sahir’s friend had a crush on me, and Sahir was trying to be a good wingman and introduce us,” Jessica recalled.

The meeting went smoothly, but when Sahir and Jessica found themselves in the same Spanish class, they quickly became close friends. Before long, they found themselves very interested in one another. By 2011, there was no turning back. “That’s when we finally gave fuel to this flame we started in high school,” Jessica recalled.

From the time she was a baby to about the age of 11, Jessica’s family took summer vacations on Siesta Key, the birthplace of many of her fondest memories. “Sahir took me to Siesta Key and proposed to me at sunset,” Jessica said. “Worst wingman ever.”

From the time her future groom proposed through early November 2018, it was plan, plan, organize and plan. The logistics were incredible.

For the three-day Pakistani wedding, Max Sadik Photography took the pictures and video. “On the Mehendi night (Nov. 10), in traditional Pakistani style, we had a dance-off between the families at Escue Farms,” Sahir said. “Everyone brought their A game and, it was one of our fondest memories of the entire wedding.”

For the American wedding, it was Poirier Wedding Photography. “On the American wedding day (Nov. 11) at the International Polo Club, I wore a dolphin brooch on my bouquet that belonged to my aunt who had passed away the year before,” Jessica said. “It was very special to me because it made me feel like she was there with me.”

Jessica wore a wedding dress designed by Haley Paige, and Jennifer Goudreau was her maid of honor. Sahir had Shahmir and Ayaan Quraeshi act as best men. The newlyweds’ first dance was to “Greatest Love Story” by Lanco.

“Everything was absolutely perfect, especially the food, and it was a dream come true for both of us,” Jessica said. “We felt so very loved and blessed to have all of our family and friends by our side. It was the best weekend of our lives.”

Immediately following the event, the couple headed for Walt Disney World. “Jessica must be the world’s biggest Disney fan, so we initially did a honeymoon to Disney World so she could feel like the princess she is,” Sahir said. “We later took a European trip to Germany, France and England.”

The happy couple is very thankful for all those who made their wedding so magical.

“We would like to thank our families for the massive love and support they continue to give us,” Sahir said. “They have given us the joy and memories of an amazing wedding week, and so much more.

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Kayli & Charlie – Tell Us Your Story

Kayli & Charlie – Tell Us Your Story

“About 30 minutes before our ceremony, Charlie and I stood back to back, hand in hand.

We could feel and hear each other, but we never saw each other. We exchanged ‘love letters’ with

each other at that time and just soaked in our last few minutes before our walk down the aisle.


Born and raised in Wellington, Kayli Payne and Charlie Plaia are living happily ever after, and they owe it all to Charlie’s friend Matt. Kayli met Matt at a polo match in 2014. He later invited Kayli to a barbecue at Charlie’s house. As it turned out, the invite was a fortuitous move — not for Matt, but for Charlie.

“Charlie cooked di–nner that night for the group of people who were over,” Kayli recalled. “He grilled steaks just the way he liked them — medium rare. I definitely prefer my steaks well done, but I toughed it up and ate it to be polite.”

Charlie and Kayli began to date casually until they went on a trip together about six months later. “We went on a vacation to St. Thomas. I think I realized he was ‘the one’ on that trip. Everything was just so right — we snorkeled with sea turtles, drove a golf cart around the island, went to local hangouts, ate delicious food — it couldn’t have been better. It was perfect, every part of it. You couldn’t separate our hands or knock the smiles off our faces for the whole week we were there.”

Kayli was beginning to know Charlie better, and she liked what she was seeing. A trip to Kauai, Hawaii, sealed the deal. “It was July 23, 2017 — his birthday!” Kayli said. “We woke up that morning to watch the sun rise. I was taking pictures of the sunrise on Charlie’s phone, and when I turned around to give his phone back to him, he pulled me in close and then got down on one knee. It was picture-perfect and completely unexpected.”

The couple tied the knot on May 12, 2018 on the balcony of the Wanderers Club in front of 180 guests. Kayli wore a Morilee gown by Madeline Gardner and carried a bouquet with a piece of lace from her mother’s wedding dress wrapped around the floral stems. Kayli had two maids of honor in Brittney Ladwig and Cindy Orsenigo. The best man was Derek Hart. The newlyweds’ first dance was to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” and it was recorded in photographs by Olga Padron from Scribbled Moments Photography and on video by 5 Star Productions.

Kayli’s favorite memory of the day, however, was of things to come. “About 30 minutes before our ceremony, Charlie and I stood back to back, hand in hand. We could feel and hear each other, but we never saw each other,” he said. “We exchanged ‘love letters’ and just soaked in our last few minutes before our walk down the aisle. Then, still back to back, Charlie passed me a folder that revealed all the details of our honeymoon that he planned. I had no idea where we were going until right then. It was really special, and I was so excited to see what he had been planning!”

It turned out to be quite a trip.

“We went on a European cruise with stops in Italy, France and Spain,” Kayli said. “After the cruise, we stayed in Sicily, where Charlie’s family is from, for a week. We were gone for three weeks total, and it was all so beautiful!”

 

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David & Kimberly – Tell Us Your Story

David & Kimberly – Tell Us Your Story

“I wanted everything to be perfect, but the second I walked out in front of 100-plus people, there was nothing more perfect to me than the man standing at the end of the aisle waiting to make me his wife. The moment our eyes met as I walked toward him was the day’s most magical moment.


Kimberly Manger and David Tranes wed in the courtyard of the Wellington National Golf Club, moving inside to the ballroom for the reception. J Millon Photography and Chris Brown Videography captured the day.

“We met a few times, had some mutual friends and, over time, got to talking and became friends,” Kimberly recalled. “Our love grew stronger as we grew together. In 2018, we had plans to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July at the Marriott in Delray Beach — something we had always wanted to do. Then, just as the fireworks began, David got down on one knee and proposed!”

Their big day came on July 21, 2019. “I spent months working on each detail of our day,” she said. “I can’t tell you how long it took me to make the place cards and address the invitations!”

Kimberly gives an extra shout-out of thanks to OMG Flower Boutique of Boynton Beach, Christy’s Bakery in Wellington and DJ Lady Shay. Her dress was designed by Essense of Australia and purchased through Mariolka’s Bridal Boutique. She got to show it off during the couple’s first dance at “Better Today” by Coffey Anderson.

There was another important dance as well.

“My father passed away some years ago,” Kimberly explained. “It always made my heart wrench knowing I’d never have the traditional ‘father-daughter’ dance. I was going to skip it entirely, but I decided to surprise my mom with a ‘mother-daughter’ dance. After all, she raised me to be the woman I am today.”

The women danced to “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars and, during the song, Kimberly’s two sisters joined in, too. “We didn’t have a maid of honor, but joining us in our marriage was my daughter Alexis,” Kimberly said. “She played many important roles in our wedding. We also didn’t have a best man, but we did have a really charming ringbearer in David’s nephew, William. He kept our rings safe and, later, stole many hearts on the dance floor!”

Kimberly doesn’t regret the amount of time she spent planning and orchestrating her wedding. “I promise, I was not a bridezilla,” she stressed. “I just wanted everything to be perfect. And all of our vendors played such an important role in our special day. But the second I walked out in front of 100-plus people, there was nothing more perfect to me than the man standing at the end of the aisle waiting to make me his wife. As I walked toward him, the most magical moment was the moment our eyes met. At the end of the day, you can take all the glamour of our wedding away, and I still would have been the happiest woman alive to be marrying my husband, the love of my life.”

The couple hasn’t yet had a chance to take a real honeymoon, but they did escape to Sanibel island for a few days — at least, until the trip was cut short by the threat of Hurricane Dorian. “But so nice to get away,” Kimberly said of the opportunity to spend some time together as a couple.

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Caitlin & Andrew – Tell Us Your Wedding Story

Caitlin & Andrew – Tell Us Your Wedding Story

The wedding itself at the Wellington Community Center was simple and perfect. As family members from California, New York and Philadelphia looked on, the couple exchanged vows, then danced their first dance as husband and wife to “Head Over Boots” by Jon Pardi and “One Wish” by Ray J.

Wellington High School alumni Andrew and Caitlin Holloway have known each other almost all their lives — even though they were not initially aware of it.

“We were going through some old T-ball photos, and I said, ‘Hey, I had that coach!’ Turned out we were on the same team, back when we were five and six years old,” Andrew explained.

Fast forward to ages 16 and 17, and the two were re-introduced by mutual friends on the Boys & Girls Club baseball fields during batting practice. They began hanging out on their own and then dating. On March 25, 2017, they tied the knot at the Wellington Community Center.

But Andrew knew they were meant to be together long before that.

“I knew Caitlin was the one the day we met,” Andrew said. “I’ve never had a connection with anyone like the one I have with her. She’s my best friend and my world.”

Caitlin is thankful to have a husband as supportive as Andrew.

“I knew Andrew was the one during college,” she said. “His support of my goals and growth were unparalleled to anyone else. He believes in me, and I love him with all my heart! He’s my favorite person.”

The official proposal took place in Spain, while the couple was on a 12-day Contiki European excursion.

“I had planned to ask her during the trip,” Andrew said. “I brought the ring with me and carried it around for 10 days, just waiting for the perfect opportunity. It was while we were in the hotel room, talking about our relationship and reminiscing about the time we’d spent in Europe and the memories we’ll have, when I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. We’d been together forever.”

The wedding itself at the Wellington Community Center was simple and perfect. Caitlin wore a dress that she had purchased at Mariolka’s Bridal Boutique in Boynton Beach, and Gina Sullo of Gina Marie Photography was the photographer.

For the big day, Andrew’s three brothers served as groomsmen, while Caitlin’s three cousins were bridesmaids — all honored equally.

As family members from California, New York and Philadelphia looked on, the couple exchanged vows, then danced their first dance as husband and wife to “Head Over Boots” by Jon Pardi and “One Wish” by Ray J.

“We didn’t go on a honeymoon, but we travel a lot — about twice a month for softball tournaments,” Andrew explained.

As part of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Adult Slow Pitch Softball Travel Team, the couple has been to Oregon, Tennessee and throughout Florida to locations such as Tampa, Sebring and Tallahassee.

“Every trip with her is a honeymoon to me,” Andrew said.

So, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend — baseball diamonds, that is.

 

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Let’s Ask A Wedding Photography Expert: What To Look For When Hiring The Perfect Wedding Photographer

Let’s Ask A Wedding Photography Expert: What To Look For When Hiring The Perfect Wedding Photographer

Most brides and grooms describe their wedding day as among the most magical moments of their lives. However, moments do not last forever — unless they are captured by your wedding photographer. We spoke with award-winning wedding photographers Stacey and Brandon Poirier of Poirier Wedding Photography to get their pointers and suggestions about what to look for when hiring a photographer for your big day, and how to capture forever those amazing memories that will last a lifetime.

Q: How long have you been wedding photographers?

 A: We began our wedding adventure in 2010, and over the last nine years, we have had the honor of photographing more than 450 weddings. Our wedding experience is priceless. We approach each wedding with advanced technical know-how, and we are able to individualize our approach to ensure that we capture a wedding story that is unique to each client.

Q: What primary photographic style do you identify with?

A: Our style is a fusion of photojournalistic along with a modern casually posed flair. We approach each wedding as a love story waiting to be captured. We believe in preserving all the beautiful details of your wedding to complete your story. We love to photograph everyone having the time of their lives celebrating your love as a married couple. Real reaction and real emotions are what we strive to capture. We also understand that there is a time during the day to direct and lightly pose you both, along with your family, for those must-have family formals. We stay true to the immediate family portraits that we all have come to love over the years. Our images are fun, authentic and timeless.

Q: Do you have experience shooting in various lighting situations?

A: Yes, we are skilled photographers and can work in all types of lighting situations. Whether rain or shine, day or night, a wedding must go on, and we pride ourselves in the ability to capture amazing images regardless of the elements presented to us. We love natural light photography, but what do you do when there is no light? As wedding photographers, we need to be fully prepared to work in any type of lighting condition, because you never know what you may encounter on the wedding day. Therefore, we are considered full-gear wedding photographers, meaning we will bring all the proper equipment to each event we photograph. Do not make the mistake and just trust any photographer for your wedding day. Choose an experienced and equipped photographer, because you only get one shot to capture your wedding day.

 

Q: Can couples see an entire wedding from start to finish?

A: Absolutely! This is one of the most important things a client can ask of the photographer. Wedding photographers need to work fast and be able to shoot in any type of lighting situation. We are seasoned, experienced wedding photographers and know the ins and outs of the unpredictable, moment-driven nature of weddings. We love it and are happy to showcase any love story our clients would like to see.

Q: Do you offer video services?

A: This is a new adventure for us, but our team now offers video. Over the years, during our wedding adventures, we have discovered that weddings are fast-paced with lots of emotions at every turn. You plan your wedding many months, and sometimes years, in advance, and before you know it, the day is over in the blink of an eye. Our goal is to make sure clients enjoy every moment while in the moment. We believe a wedding is an intimate celebration with family and friends and should not be a production with a large team pulling the bride and groom in all different directions. Our team works flawlessly together to beautifully capture the day without being obtrusive or competing for the shot.

Q: Tell us a bit about the wedding collections you offer.

A: Our wedding collections are à la carte, which gives clients the freedom to custom design the collection that will best suit their needs. Most couples receive about 800 to 1,000 images. We do remove duplicates, test shots, images with eyes closed, etc. The high-resolution files are included with all wedding coverage. The files are delivered via a private online gallery that is viewable worldwide. From the gallery, clients are able to download directly to their computer.

Q: Do you travel for weddings?

A: We do! We are based in Palm Beach and Tennessee. Although many of our weddings are in Florida and Tennessee, we love to travel wherever clients would like to take us. We have photographed weddings in Maine, Cape Cod, the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and our most favorite magical location, the Disney World Wedding Pavilion.

Q: What kind of equipment do you typically bring with you?

A: We carry more than $20,000 in professional Nikon digital camera equipment to every event we photograph. We use Nikon D3s and D750 camera bodies and carry a full line of Nikon professional lenses. We are full-gear wedding photographers and bring all the proper lighting to skillfully document each wedding. We have multiple lenses and camera bodies as backups in case of a malfunction.

Q: Are you available to shoot extra hours?

A: Of course. All wedding coverage begins with eight hours. This coverage fits us best to properly capture a wedding and not miss any priceless moments. We offer a hands-on approach to photography and work with clients closely to design a perfect schedule for the wedding day. If more wedding day coverage is needed, we will be happy to add it on for an additional fee.

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CCTV Agent Provides Top-Of-The-Line Security Camera Services In Wellington

CCTV Agent Provides Top-Of-The-Line Security Camera Services In Wellington

Tatiana Yaques first began riding horses as a young girl growing up in Miami. In high school, her trainer moved to Wellington. Yaques began commuting from Miami to Wellington to continue her equestrian training and fell in love with the community.

It was the early 1990s, and Wellington looked vastly different than today. Yet the village has always been beautiful and welcoming, and it stayed in her heart. Even after Yaques graduated from law school and began practicing law in Miami, both she and her husband knew they wanted to return to Wellington.

The opportunity arose when James Yaques, Tatiana’s husband, was presented with a job offer from Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington, and they both knew it was kismet. He accepted the position as band director, she transitioned to a position at a law firm in West Palm Beach and they moved to Wellington.

That was 14 years ago, and the Yaques family plans on remaining in Wellington for the rest of their lives. Their two daughters were born at Wellington Regional Medical Center and both attended Equestrian Trails Elementary School.

As an attorney, Yaques represented many Wellington businesses and residents. Her practice focused on commercial litigation and land use law. “I had the opportunity to represent and become familiar with businesses in many different industries, weighing and weaving in business interests with whatever legal issues a client was facing,” she explained.

As an advocate, it was also her job to become an expert in her clients’ industries. For these reasons, Yaques knew that her law practice gave her great insight and experience into the business world.

While Yaques enjoyed the practice of law, there comes a time in everyone’s lives where they examine where they have been, where they currently are and where they want to be in the future. Her goals were to have more time with her family and to own her own business.

In searching for a business opportunity that would best match her skill set, Yaques discovered CCTV Agent, the largest security camera company in Palm Beach County. It was a strong and well-established company, with a loyal customer base, a long history of success, and a great reputation for quality and service. After reviewing the company’s history, she made the decision to purchase CCTV Agent, becoming its CEO.

“CCTV Agent is not your typical security camera business,” Yaques said. “In many ways, it parallels the way that people view Wellington. Wellington is large, but it retains its small-town feeling. Wellington offers exceptional facilities and has high-caliber people behind them. So does CCTV Agent.”

CCTV Agent is a large-scale security camera business with a small business feel. When clients call or e-mail them, they are always answered with live and local support. As CEO, Yaques is always available to any of her customers. If a client needs a service call, they will typically see a CCTV Agent tech on site, who can resolve their problem quickly, instead of having to wait weeks for someone from a different county to find time to come help them with a problem. “CCTV Agent offers only top-of-the-line products, because we believe in offering clients quality for their money,” Yaques said, adding that the company warrantees all of its products.

CCTV Agent specializes in commercial installations, having installed and serviced security camera systems in shopping malls, schools, homeowners’ associations and condominiums, retail establishments and government facilities. In fact, CCTV Agent installed all the security cameras used by the Village of Wellington in its facilities, including the Wellington Community Center, the Wellington Municipal Complex, the Wellington Amphitheater, the Wellington Tennis Center, the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Environmental Preserve and other locations.

As a lifelong equestrian, Yaques has owned horses for many years. She has been very involved in the equestrian industry in Wellington as an attorney and is quite familiar with the needs of the industry. The family and their horses live on a farm in the Little Ranches neighborhood. Their oldest daughter rides and competes in the pony hunters at the Winter Equestrian Festival and other shows.

As an equestrian, Yaques appreciates the deep connection between horses and their humans. “Our horses become our partners, and it is our responsibility to protect and care for them,” she said, adding that she believes Wellington’s equestrian community is in need of a strong and dependable company that it can turn to for security systems.

CCTV Agent can fill that need because the company’s experience and expertise in providing security camera systems is second to none, Yaques said, noting that her experience in the equestrian industry, combined with the company’s experience in the commercial arena, make it the ideal match for the Wellington equestrian community’s security camera system needs.

In addition, Yaques also knows how important the sense of security is for everyone living in Wellington.

“The Village of Wellington is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States. Some of the reasons so many people choose to make Wellington their home are because of the beauty of its neighborhoods and the great sense of community that exists here,” she said. “Another reason is the sense of security that they feel in this serene, but busy village.”

The word “security” has many meanings, but CCTV Agent knows that the feeling of security is the single most important thing that people can feel in their homes. Security is an important issue for many of the neighborhoods in Wellington. Many people make the choice to buy a home in an HOA or condominium community in Wellington based on their desire to live in an area that has additional security and that can provide a greater peace of mind because security concerns are addressed on a community-wide basis, Yaques added.

CCTV Agent has partnered with numerous HOAs and condominiums in Wellington to install security camera systems that help add to the security of these communities. With Yaques at the helm, CCTV Agent intends to continue providing high quality security camera systems and unparalleled customer service to those in Wellington and beyond.

For more information about CCTV Agent, call (561) 249-4511 or visit www.cctvagent.com.Fea

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The Poke Company Reframes Traditional Hawaiian Dish For Florida Fish Lovers

The Poke Company Reframes Traditional Hawaiian Dish For Florida Fish Lovers

The Poké Company is fast casual food in a build-your-own bowl, balanced with both flavor and texture in every single bite. The concept is basically sushi in a bowl, quick and delicious.

The growing franchise opened in June in the Pointe at Wellington Green. It is run by Alan Cockerham, a Florida native who hails from the Keys. He grew up in his family’s marina business. After studying marine technology, Cockerham worked as an engineer on cruise and cargo ships while traveling the world for a decade before shifting gears. He is now the first franchisee in Florida, aside from two corporate locations in Boca Raton owned by co-founders Seth Shaning and Maximo Cortese.

“I’m very picky with the quality of fish because of where I grew up. There’s no compromise for freshness,” Cockerham said. “I’m third-generation from the Keys. I’m from Islamorada. My whole family is still there. It has all been a very seamless transition, with the handling of fish and seafood. It’s all very second nature to me.”

Poké is a Hawaiian concept.

“Originally, they would take the scraps from less tasty fish, and they’d mix onions, Shoyu sauce, which is the traditional poké sauce, along with a little bit of seaweed. That’s how they’d mask the slightly gamey flavor. That’s how poké was created. It has since been adapted, and the bowl concept was introduced in California. It has become popularized and migrated east,” Cockerham explained.

The Poké Company offers sushi-grade tuna, salmon and steamed shrimp. Fish is locally sourced and remains fresh during the entire transportation process.

The first decision to make is what size bowl and how many proteins you want. “We try to accommodate anyone with allergies, or gluten free, or on the paleo diet. We have a lot of options for that as well,” Cockerham said. “There’s one family that comes in every day. They can’t have soy or gluten, so we give them the unmarinated fish, because our fish is usually pre-marinated, but we have options in the back for anyone with allergies.”

After you decide how many proteins you want, you pick your base — white or brown rice, mixed greens or cauliflower rice. You can mix and match to suit your taste.

“We’re big on tasting before you put it in your bowl. We want you to build the best bowl that you can,” Cockerham said. “We’ll nudge you in the right direction to make sure your flavors are matching up with one another.”

Then it’s time to choose your proteins. Tuna, salmon, spicy tuna and steamed shrimp are traditional poké choices, and tofu and chicken are also available for those who prefer non-fish options. From there, you move on to the mix-ins.

“The proteins get mixed in a separate bowl from the base, which is in a paper bowl. That’s where we create depth of flavor,” Cockerham explained.

Mix-ins include cucumber, sweet onion, jalapeño, edamame, cilantro and hijiki seaweed. They get mixed in a steel bowl with the protein. Then, it’s time to select a sauce.

“This is where we hammer home what we’re really about,” Cockerham said. “The chef and co-founder, Seth Shaning, worked at Nobu for 10 years. He’s classically trained.”

There are three soy-based sauces.

“The first is the company sauce, which is garlic flavored with a bit of a kick. It’s infused. So, the sauce is the base, and we marinate, or infuse, ingredients in them, to create depth of flavor. Everything we do is by hand. It makes a big difference,” Cockerham said.

There’s also the sesame shoyu. It’s a toasted sesame-based soy and is the traditional poké sauce.

“The notes you pick up are a nice sesame oil, fish sauce and coconut water,” Cockerham described. “Meanwhile, the citrus ponzu pairs well with salmon and shrimp with underlying notes of lime.”

After the mix-in sauces, come the toppings — from tempura flakes to crispy onions, wasabi peas to ginger, scallions, avocado and more. There’s an array of topping sauces that follow to bind it all together, such as spicy mayo, eel sauce and avocado lime, which is the most popular.

“We portion everything appropriately so you’re getting a good bite of rice or salad of your base with everything you choose to put on top,” Cockerham said.

The prices are right on point, too. “For the quality of food that we offer, I don’t think there’s anyone who can come close,” he noted.

A small is priced at $7.95, while a regular is $10.95. Chicken bowls start at $5.95. There are a number of drinks to add to your experience, like Japanese bottled sodas and teas, as well as fountain drinks by Stubborn Soda. A selection of craft beers from Cigar City Brewing is also available, as are several wine options.

The Poké Company is sustainability minded, trying to stay away from single-use plastic items as much as possible. All bowls are compostable paper. Lids are Ecoware, which is recycled plastic. The same with the knives, forks and spoons.

For Cockerham, cleanliness is number one. “We have no grease traps, no hoods, no ventilation. Nothing cooking in the back. That’s what’s great about the poké concept. You’re able to keep everything so clean, so fresh,” he said.

For dessert, try the key lime pie ice cream, straight from his aunt’s kitchen.

“My aunt operates out of a commercial kitchen down on Islamorada,” Cockerham said. “We brought on her ice cream, which is just phenomenal.”

The ice cream has been such a hit, it will soon be found at other Poké Company locations. There are currently four locations in all, but there will be eight by the end of the year.

Cockerham, who grew up in the “sport fishing capital of the world,” carefully chose the “equestrian capital of the world” to open up his shop. He plans to get involved with the Winter Equestrian Festival, as well as offer catering services soon, and spread his passion for poké and pairings of flavors to the sea of people in Wellington and beyond.

The Poké Company is located at 10120 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Pointe at Wellington Green. It is open every day 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Delivery is available through DoorDash. For more information, call (561) 323-2391 or visit www.eatthepokecompany.com.

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