Bringing flowers to the table: Blooming Table Events offers floral designs, botanically inspired bites for events

  • Libby Meehan and Angela Chaffee, co-founders of Blooming Table Events, at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. The DIY flower bar provides locally sourced flowers and vases to make your own bouquet to take home. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Andrea DeForge, front, and Sarah Belson make DIY flower bouquets during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Meghan Dewkett picks out flowers for a DIY flower bouquet with her children Hannah, 1, and Harper, and her mother Mary Beth O’Shea during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Sarah Belson, from left, her daughters Kylie and Lyndsay, both 10, and Andrea DeForge pick flowers to fill their DIY flower bouquets during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Visitors check out the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • One of the DIY flower bouquets made at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Flowers available for use in the DIY flower bouquets at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Meghan Dewkett picks out flowers with her daughter Hannah, 1, during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Amy Babikyan of Southampton makes a DIY flower bouquet with her daughter Alina, 4, during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Andrea DeForge makes a DIY flower bouquet during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Andrea DeForge, left, makes a DIY flower bouquet with her mother Janet DeForge during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Hannah Dewkett, 4, smiles after making her own DIY flower bouquet during the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Libby Meehan, co-founder of Blooming Table Events, prepares for the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. The DIY flower bar provides locally-sourced flowers and vases to make your own bouquet to take home. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Libby Meehan and Angela Chaffee, co-founders of Blooming Table Events, at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. The DIY flower bar provides locally-sourced flowers and vases to make your own bouquet to take home. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Libby Meehan and Angela Chaffee, co-founders of Blooming Table Events, at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. The DIY flower bar provides locally-sourced flowers and vases to make your own bouquet to take home. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • One of the DIY flower bouquets made at the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Part of the setup for the “Wildflowers & Wine” launch party for Blooming Table Events on Saturday at Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

For the Gazette
Published: 7/19/2023 4:52:10 PM

HATFIELD — Though fresh-cut flowers tend to have a short shelf life and will eventually wilt over time, the impact of that posy may last a lifetime.

Whether it’s a handful of clove-like scented periwinkle bachelor’s buttons or a roomful of crimson roses, the color, symmetry and fragrance of flowers can influence the general atmosphere in a setting and can even create a long-term memory associated with the blossoms.

With that understanding in mind, two western Massachusetts friends are bringing flowers to the table with their new event styling business, Blooming Table Events.

Libby Meehan and Angela Chaffee officially launched their business this month at a “Wildflowers & Wine” event at Black Birch Vineyards in Hatfield with a do-it-yourself flower bar. There, patrons of the event could choose from dozens of varieties of locally-sourced flowers — such as snapdragons, thistles, Queen Anne’s lace, calendulas and more — and vases to create a bouquet to bring home.

While they took part in the flower bar, patrons could also get a sense of the ambience that co-founders Meehan and Chaffee could create with their flower-inspired company as well as the “small bites” menu that featured botanically inspired garlic and herb buttermilk biscuits and vanilla cupcakes with lemon frosting.

“Flowers inspire our event decor as well as our small bites menu, which includes finger foods like appetizers and small desserts,” Chaffee, the company’s baker, said. “We say it is ‘botanically inspired’ because it goes beyond flowers. Whether it’s the seed, stem, leaf, or flower there are many ways plants lend us their flavors and their beauty.”

Though the company does not offer full-service catering, Blooming Table’s menu includes a variety of appetizers, sweet and savory snacks and desserts. Several items can be made vegan, gluten-free, or allergy-friendly.

Planting the seeds of a dream

Meehan, a native of Huntington who now lives in Whately, grew up with Chaffee’s husband, Kevin and were friends since they were very young.

Meehan met Chaffee met about 15 years ago when Chaffee moved to the area from Michigan to attend graduate school at Antioch University–New England in Keene, New Hampshire. The two hit it off and began crafting together.

Chaffee has been baking for much of her life. She has also taken classes at the Sugar Glider Kitchen in Vermont, King Arthur Baking Co., and a semesterlong Baking and Pastry Arts class at Holyoke Community College. Most recently, she worked in the bakeshop at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Meehan, who studied costume design and studio art at the University of Vermont and who holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from Lesley University, loves to sew. She previously had a small business called Whistling Sparrow Designs and would make dresses out of old tablecloths, curtains and doilies, and other upcycled fabrics she found while thrifting.

The moment the pair realized their shared interests could become so much more occurred in 2018 when they arranged flowers for a friend’s wedding.

In combining their love of food, flowers and crafting, Meehan and Chaffee created Blooming Table Events. The mobile-based business serves communities throughout western Massachusetts.

“We both realized that we love doing that and we realized that the things we liked to be creative in were very complementary to each other, so that kind of sparked a vision for something more and realizing that we could kind of take these skills and create beautiful things for people’s special moments in their lives,” said Chaffee.

Business in bloom

As event stylists, the pair create one-of-a-kind elements for events ranging from two to 50 people, such as small weddings, baby and bridal showers, birthdays, graduations, proposals or a special night out.

“This business is bringing together a lot of the things that we love doing in a really magical and fun unique way,” said Meehan.

One of the company’s core values is being eco-friendly, she said. As such, Blooming Table uses upcycled fabrics in creating garlands and handmade banners, and repurposes as much as possible while still creating a unique style for each event.

Meehan and Chaffee use cloth tablecloths, cloth napkins and real glassware.

“We hand select previously loved items and give them a new life. You should expect that vintage items may not be perfect, but will be perfectly beautiful,” Meehan said.

When one-time-use items are necessary, the company opts for compostable or recyclable options.

Meehan, who serves as the company’s creative director, said it’s important for them to source food, flowers and materials as locally and sustainably as possible.

“We want to help celebrate the special moments in peoples’ lives while also celebrating the beauty of nature and mindfully minimizing impact to the planet. Beautiful parties don’t need to be wasteful. Let’s celebrate the special moments in life without hurting the planet,” she said.

Blooming Table offers several different package options. For kids, the company offers a package geared toward 20 children for $500. The five different themes include fairy magic, forest friends, rowdy race cars and party-saurus. Each package includes a themed activity, cupcakes, themed decorations, photo props, compostable plates and utensils, mini Mason jar glassware, and handmade reusable favor bags that do not include favors.

Other packages run from $500 to $5,000 with up to 40 floral arrangements and tents for larger events.

“There’s a lot of flexibility within each package that we’ve designed,” said Meehan. “But no matter what, we want people to come into the party and feel like there’s magic happening, that there is just some really fun, special element to it.”

Since the floral arrangements are based on the season, the company has also been drying out flowers as well and has built up a large collection of options in an effort to be able to reuse everything they possibly can.

“The less impact we have on the planet the less we are wasting and throwing away and recreating every time, but we try to do it in a way that each event is still unique,” said Chaffee. “You know, so obviously every event will be for a different person celebrating a different milestone in their life, they may have different colors that they want to be doing or different themes and we can certainly tailor our packages to suit those needs. And so even though we are repurposing we are still doing in a way that creates a very unique setting each time.”


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