Downtown Queen Creek attracting new biz, creating new vibe - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Downtown Queen Creek attracting new biz, creating new vibe

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Bridgette Crosby is a San Tan Valley resident.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012 7:30 am | Updated: 9:06 pm, Tue Dec 4, 2012.

Over the last 10 years, Queen Creek has seen its share of change. Empty fields and vacant store fronts are now home to mega shopping centers, homes and a variety of small businesses tucked in between.

Over the last few months several businesses have opened and relocated near Ellsworth and Ocotillo Roads, bringing a new, vibrant feel to the downtown area of Queen Creek. Empty space that was once an eyesore is slowly filling up, and this is good news for the community and for shoppers.

Residents in Queen Creek are excited about new options and choices when it comes to shopping, but that isn’t the only thing they are excited about. Residents here say that the Queen Creek economy is slowly improving. More businesses are choosing to call the ‘old downtown area’ home and are starting to create a renewed sense of hope and community.

One of these businesses is Fitness Revolution, which is owned by Asad Tufail and his wife, Michelle. Fitness Revolution offers fitness classes, personal training for busy people, and massage therapy at affordable rates.

Fitness Revolution is located at 21820 S. Ellsworth Road, Ste 103, in the Cactus Plaza, just south of the Queen Creek Library. Classes are small, personable and will leave you feeling better (or worse) than you have felt in a long time, but is oh so worth it. Different types of massage therapy are also offered. The Tufails are the type of people who exude positivity and love both health and community.

Asad Tufail said, “Being healthy or becoming healthy actually plays a very important part in how you relate to your community. We offer people an affordable means in which to pursue a course of better health.”

The Tufails decided to relocate the business to Queen Creek in order to better serve their clients who come from all over the Queen Creek / San Tan Valley area. While fitness, health and massage are important for adults, the Tufails also believe that children are also just as important and will be starting a class for special needs children where kids will have a safe place to exercise and socialize.

For more information about classes, massage, or to purchase gift certificates, call (480) 635-6948 or (480) 512-9113.

Dr. Wayne Christensen of Queen Creek Back Care and Dr. Chris Berkner of Naturopathic have both been in business for several years in the Queen Creek area but decided to open a shared office space together also in the Cactus Plaza at 21820 S. Ellsworth Road, Ste 101. The two doctors offer chiropractic care and natural medicine. For more information, call (480) 677-3900.

Both Fitness Revolution and the doctors held dual grand opening celebrations in conjunction with Queen Creek’s Free Day of Play and the South East Valley Community Health Fair. Organized by Mary Gloria of the Pan De Vida Foundation, the fair drew over 1,500 participants and offered a variety of free health check-ups, such as dermatological checks, mammograms, blood testing, chiropractic adjustments, scoliosis checks, flu shots and many other services.

The main goal of the fair was to educate residents about health services available in the Queen Creek / San Tan Valley area, promote economic growth, create positive community experiences and to raise funds for Pan De Vida programs which directly benefit families in the local area.

And let’s not forget Vineyard Community Center. For the second year in a row, the center has held a popular arts festival and continues to draw life into the downtown area with it non-profit coffee shop, Third Cup Place, which has become a haven for local musicians, artists and other creative types on the weekends. I couldn’t be more excited about that if you tied me up and dipped me in chocolate.

The center hosts free community events that are aimed at creating positive experiences for locals to participate and enjoy. The center is located at 21805 S. Ellsworth Road, Ste 102. For more information, call (480) 619-1833.

Other businesses joining the downtown area include Hanzy’s Seafood, which opened last week and is located at 21803 S. Ellsworth Road, Ste 101, in the Queen Creek Town Center and is owned by Berniece Johnson and her son, Terrance, of San Tan Valley.

Hanzy’s offers generous portions of deep fried seafood, huge chicken wings, sides and desserts and will be adding gumbo and greens in the next few weeks. Johnson said that she has dreamed of opening her own restaurant for years, but was waiting for the right time and place. “There is a need out here for different types of food,” she said. “I took a leap of faith and here I am!”

Another exciting addition to the downtown area includes Queen Creek’s first funeral home. San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home recently opened at 21809 S. Ellsworth Road, Ste 101, also in the Queen Creek Town Center.

It sounds funny to get excited about a funeral home, but when you live in a place where there haven’t been any funeral homes or cemeteries, and you need those services, you realize what you are missing.

The funeral home is beautifully decorated and provides an inviting reception and planning area, a chapel, and a multipurpose room with kitchenette, which can be rented for meeting space. The funeral home also provides a private dressing room.

Funeral and cremation services will be provided for all faiths, churches and cemeteries, including the new cemetery set to open by Schnepf Farms in coming months.

The funeral home is owned by the Courys, a Queen Creek family who has dreamed of opening a funeral home here for many years. The Courys also own Mountain View Funeral Home in Mesa. For more information on services offered, call (480) 888-2682.

According to Leah Gumm, family services advisor, “We are excited about being a part of the Queen Creek community and providing such an important service to families. It was the right time and Queen Creek was the right place.”

All of the new businesses look forward to serving Queen Creek and surrounding areas and invite the public to call or stop in any time. Slowly, but surely, good things and good times are happening in Queen Creek.

• Bridgette Crosby is a writer who lives in and loves the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Reach her at

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