Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Spark Awards Gala & FiftyFlowers: Floral Construction from Start to Finish

How does truckload full of unprocessed flowers go from this:



Photo Catersource via Kathleen Stoehr

to THIS?

Photo: Catersource via Harley Bonham Photography

As a sponsor of Catersource’s 2019 Spark Awards Gala, FiftyFlowers delivered everything from bahlia and billy balls to ranunculus and roses straight to the Morial Convention Center this past February. Founded by husband and wife team Liza Roeser-Atwood and Blu Atwood in 2002, pioneered the way for wholesale bulk flowers to be shipped from the farm to the door, creating a direct alternative for fresh cut flowers. Catersource was honored to be able to share their beautiful product with attendees during its lavish event. And it seems, FiftyFlowers was just as tickled: "This is our first year partnering with Catersource and we're ecstatic," said Liza Roeser-Atwood, CEO. “The opportunity to work with such a talented group, focused on enhancing the catered event industry across the world, has been an honor—and we're thrilled to have our wholesale flowers showcased at this event.”

Through the freight bay, loaded onto carts in the humid New Orleans temps, jockeyed onto an elevator, and then rolled down a long hallway, the florals were placed in a smallish session room that became wildly aromatic within just a few moments.

There, a team from Kim Starr Wise Floral Events, New Orleans, and a Catersource floral assistant, took over to create towering tablescapes and a floral arch for the event. A third-generation floral designer, New York state native Wise brought her talent to New Orleans to create memorable and breathtaking environments filled with exceptional beauty and detail. Floral vessels were graciously provided by Accent Décor. Here’s a look.

Session room carpet protected, the floral team began work creating 40 tall centerpieces for half of the tables at the event. (Forty additional low centerpieces were being built in tandem back at the Wise studio.) Photo Catersource via Kathleen Stoehr

Catersource floral designer Hanna Stoehr at work on one of the arrangements, via a “recipe” developed by Kim Starr Wise’s lead floral designer, David Hollingsworth. Photo Catersource via RL Imaging

Finished florals, awaiting placement in the grand ballroom. Photo Catersource via RL Imaging

It’s a couple hours before the event—time to place the florals! Shown: Wise Floral Events employee Samantha Lister, and Catersource floral designer Hanna Stoehr. Photo Catersource via RL Imaging

Guests were directed to enter the event underneath a floral arch decorated by the team. Photo Catersource via RL Imaging

A finished table boasting a low centerpiece. Photo: Catersource via Harley Bonham Photography

Close up: low centerpiece. Photo: Catersource via Harley Bonham Photography

Close up: tall centerpiece. Photo: Catersource via Harley Bonham Photography

With tables set and florals placed, doors to the lavish event opened and attendees took their places. Mission accomplished!

Photo: Catersource via Harley Bonham Photography

Meanwhile…back in the kitchen…

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone was ramping up dinner service. Photo Catersource via RL Imaging

Stay tuned to for an inside look a Chef Stone’s menu, prep, and plating at the Spark Awards Gala.

Many thanks to FiftyFlowers, Accent Décor, and the Kim Starr Wise team for their tremendous contributions to make our Spark Awards Gala so inviting and delightfully beautiful. Cheers!

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.