Sunset Features a Perfect Day in Downtown Tucson

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 11.46.00 AMSunset Magazine is always keen to feature Arizona, a natural move as we have so many great things going on here! We were especially delighted to open up October’s issue to see a feature titled “A Perfect Day in Downtown Tucson.” If you live outside of southern Arizona and haven’t had the chance to visit recently, Sunset’s writeup should make you want to add a Tucson trip to your travel itinerary. If you’re a resident of Tucson, you should be proud of the strides your city has made.

According to Sunset, a perfect day starts with a ride on the new Sun Link streetcar that will take you to many local businesses in the revitalized downtown area. A first stop is lunch, where carnivores will be fulfilled with a trip to Diablo Burger “to chow down on The Blake, a beef patty smothered with roasted Hatch chiles and melted cheddar,” or a visit to Proper, where “meat lovers can feast on steak frites or perfectly pan-seared duck breast.”

meet me at maynards

Photo via Meet Me at Maynards

After that kind of meal, you’ll want to dive in to some physical activity to feel less guilty about your indulgence. Sunset recommends gathering at Hotel Congress on Monday for Meet Me at Maynards walk and run, or touring around town on a rented bike (Tucson is a bike mecca, and there are many local bike shops around town).

After a rest, Sunset says you cannot miss the old-school shopping at Mercado San Agustin. They recommend stopping by the eclectic MAST, stocked with “whimsical items, such as bedside lamps fashioned from shellacked ostrich eggshells, and earrings made with decorative tassels.”

Tucson citylightsThis article really illustrates the fact that local businesses are a main factor in building civic pride and attracting tourism to your city or region. Together, these local restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and community events create a place that is desirable to both live and visit.

Pick up the October issue of Sunset to see what else makes Downtown Tucson special (plus, a feature on The Great South West Road Trip, which will take you through all of the great sights to see in Northern Arizona!).

If you’re planning your staycation to Tucson, use your handy Tucson Small Wonders Map to help organize your trip. Our Tucson WeekendZona video also has some great ideas: 

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The Ultimate Art Tour

It’s artist-studio-tour-01the perfect time of the year to step out of hibernation and take in the sights of our great state. Alas, looking for that special something to do can take time and the inspiration to uncover the gem. Enter Ultimate Art and Cultural Tours, who takes pride in offering unique and exciting art and cultural experiences for groups in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Founder Ace Bailey designs custom art and cultural tours, events and hands on workshops for visitors as well as corporate groups looking to entertain clients or for a great team building event. Providing one of the finest Valley of the Sun art experiences, attendees receive an up close and personal experience with artists, gallery owners, architects, Native American nativepresentations and so much more. Participants are exposed to what is going on in the local community and are inspired to become involved in them. The hands on workshops inspire participants to think creatively and to use creative thinking in everyday situations. To learn more about the endless options available, visit Ultimate Art and Cultural Tours’ website

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Community Renaissance is making Tucson a happier place

Anita Fonte explains the 4 Pillars of "Gross National Happiness:" Cultural Values, Natural Environment, Governance, and Social/Economic Development.

Anita Fonte explains the 4 Pillars of “Gross National Happiness:” Cultural Values, Natural Environment, Governance, and Social/Economic Development.

What makes us happy? And why is it important? According to the Secretary General of the United Nations, “The twin concepts of happiness and well-being increasingly feature in international discussions of sustainable development and the future we want.” In the 1970’s, the country of Bhutan asked the question – what if instead of measuring the success of a nation by how much money it makes, its GDP – Gross Domestic Product, we measured the success of a nation by the well-being of its citizens, its GNH – Gross National Happiness? Recognizing the importance of this type of discussion, in July of 2012 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution proclaiming March 20th as the International Day of Happiness. In statements, the Secretary General of the U.N. has declared that “Many countries are going beyond the rhetoric of quality of life to incorporate practical measures to promote these concepts in their legislation and policy-making. These good practices can inspire other countries so that measuring and accounting for broader well-being, and not simply national income, becomes a universal practice.”

DoHappyTodayLocal First AZ member, Anita Fonte, of Community Renaissance was inspired by these actions and in the fall of 2012, began an informal interview process with thirty-two residents of Tucson and Phoenix, asking them how they defined happiness and prosperity. In May, 2013, Community Renaissance published her interview findings and broader research into the happiness movement with a small publication, “Talk UP Tucson: An Exploration of Community Happiness and Prosperity”. This work formed the basis of a collaboration with the Pima Public Library in the fall of 2013 for Happiness Community Conversations at three library branches. The timing of these conversations coincided with the Downtown Happiness Lectures at the Fox Theatre convened by the University of Arizona/College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This year, Fonte has created an even larger coalition called “Do Happy Today”.

The purpose of DHT is promoting activities, events and resources that increase personal and community happiness,” says Fonte. “Our primary goal is to collaborate with individuals and organizations in order to establish the March 20, 2015 International Day of Happiness in the Tucson and Southern Arizona regions. DHT believes one day of happiness is a start, but not an end goal for our collaboration. We want to see communities throughout Arizona deepen and expand positivity and prosperity for all residents. To that end, Do Happy Today encourages community development measurements supported by the national Be-A-Localist movement.”


The DHT coalition includes diverse members of the community. “Every business or organization has a way they can tie in to our mission of promoting happiness within their organization,” says Fonte. “Right now DHT includes Local First Arizona, the City of Tucson’s Mayor Rothschild, City of Tucson Office of Integrated Planning, Parks and Recreation, Kellond Elementary School, Pima County Public Library and many others. We have also recently recruited our first DHT ambassador, extending Do Happy Today into Bisbee. Our community organizations and individual members represent Tucson, South Tucson, and Hermosillo, Mexico.”

There are many ways that businesses and community organizations can be involved. Recently The Loft Cinema held a special free screening of Hector and the Search for Happiness and other organizations are looking at how their employees can celebrate the Day of Happiness.  “We are an inclusive group and open to any ideas about how folks would like to showcase The International Day of Happiness at their business,”says Fonte.  “All community members are welcome to participate in the planning and development of Do Happy Today.  If you are interested in being a part of DHT, please contact me at Community Renaissance, 520.331-5582 or visit us on Facebook. Do Happy Today can be a way of becoming happier, healthier and stronger individuals, neighborhoods, businesses, and communities.”

Any local business that has an interest in seeing greater community happiness can become involved with DHT, whether it’s promoting a single event or initiative on March 20th or becoming part of the larger discussion about creating long term change in the community. DHT will be promoting all Day of Happiness events as part of its initiative including a public proclamation downtown, festivities at Maker House and many more.

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LFA Visits Buckeye’s Verrado for September Mixer

Verrado LogoThis month, Local First Arizona had the pleasure of visiting the community of Verrado in Buckeye. Set in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains, Verrado is known for its neighborhood charm and authentic architecture. Its downtown area, called Main Street Verrado, keeps its small-town feel by providing space to local businesses, like our hometown grocer, Bashas’. By encouraging local businesses to set up shop in Verrado, the town is helping to recirculate money back into our state’s economy!

IMG_4609The mixer was split into two parts to showcase local restaurants, Ciao Grazie and Tempo Urban Bistro. Part one began at the casual upscale Italian restaurant, Ciao Grazie, with delicious artisan pizza and our Member 101 Session. Open to all Local First Arizona members and eligible non-members, Member 101 Sessions are a great way to discover all opportunities and benefits that are provided by Local First Arizona. We were honored to welcome our special guest Jackie Meck, Mayor of Buckeye, who came to show his support for the community and spoke about his passion for Buckeye and how proud he is to call Verrado his home.

Part two led us to Tempo Urban Bistro, just a few doors down, where Chef Steve Maynard and his wife Karen welcomed guests to their delicious and sophisticated coffee bar and restaurant. Moving around the room, we welcomed both new and soon-to-be Local First members as we munched on lobster mac & cheese and authentic street tacos.

IMG_4613 (1)At the center of Verrado’s town square is a beautiful white fountain where mixer attendees gathered around to hear about the vision, history and charm that makes residents proud to call home. As the town puts it, “Verrado is fun and welcoming at every turn, full of neighbors who become friends, and friends who become family. It’s rich with sights, sounds and excitement of celebrations and events.”

Coming up on Saturday, September 27th is Cruise on Main! Break out your poodle skirt and saddle shoes for a fun night of 50’s music, dancing, bounce house, and a car show featuring hot rods, muscle cars, and motorcycles. Free to attend! Get more info

Special thanks to DMB Associates, Tempo Urban Bistro, Ciao Grazie for helping to organize this month’s mixer as well as for providing delicious snacks for our guests! Thank you also to the community of Verrado for welcoming us and for supporting Local First Arizona.

Join us next month for our October mixer with Fuerza Local at MonOrchid in Downtown Phoenix, sponsored by Hey Bartender! and Amici Catering! RSVP HERE

Thank you to all those in attendance:
Arizona Correctional Industries
Anderson Institute of Music, Recording & Performing Arts
Blend Marketing
Buckeye Chamber of Commerce
Ciao Grazie
City of Buckeye – Economic Development
Danzeisen Dairy
DMB Associates, LLC
Discover the Region
DMB Associates, LLC
Integrity Insurance
Jan Jewitt
Mayor of Buckeye, Meck
Mean Steam Carpet Clean
Nemecheck Consulting Medicine
OCM Construction
Quail Run Realty
Recycled City
Remodeling and Design by Hart
Sage Payment Solutions
Sun Path Solar
The Goddard School
Tempo Urban Bistro
Verrado Assembly
Verrado Realty
West Valley View

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Arizona Oktoberfest Events Celebrate Local Brews

Oktoberfest celebrations are right around the corner, and are a great opportunity for you to get out and sample some of Arizona’s many local brews! Check out any of these events over the next few weeks and remember to drink local!

Biketoberfest Handlebar-Tempe-Logo-FA-web11
September 27th, 2014, 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: The Handlebar, 680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Contact: Josh Yeager, (602)460-3759 or
Notes: Proceeds benefitting the Navy League of Arizona and St. Vincent de Paul charities.
Click here for free entry registration.

Oktoberfest at Trail Dust Town oktoberfest-icon
When: October 3rd, 2014, 5 – 10 p.m.
Where: Trail Dust Town,
6541 E. Tanque Rd., Tucson
Contact: (520)296-4551 or
Notes: Free admission, $12 for local Tucson breweries beer tasting wristband and unlimited access to amusement rides and stunt shows!

San Tan Oktoberfest
ssaWhen: October 4th, 2014, 3 – 11 p.m.
Where: AJ Chandler Park,
3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
Contact: Landon Evans, (480)234-4232 or
Notes: Entertainment lineup: Iration & Reel Big Fish, packed with fun games all night!
Click here to purchase tickets.

Sponsorship opportunities available.

logoDowntown Casa Grande Oktoberfest
When: October 7th, 2014, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Casa Grande Main Street,
Historic Downtown between 2nd St. & 4th St.
Contact: Rina Rien, (520)836-8744 or
Notes: German and seasonal beer sampling, car show, merchants open late, exhibitors and much more!

Four Peaks Brewing’s Oktoberfest  four peaks
When: October 12th, 2014, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Tempe Town Lake
Contact: Chris Fiscus, (602)417-1329
Notes: Four Peaks Brewing Co. and Von Hanson’s are teaming together to make a Kilt Lifter Brat! Free admission.

Baja Oktoberfest baja_oktoberfest_arizona_craft_brewers_guild_logo_top
When: October 18th, 2014, 4 – 10 p.m.
Where: Kino Sports Complex,
2500 E. Ajo Way, Tucson
Contact: Tiffany Shultz, (480)586-6711 or
Click here to purchase tickets.

Red Rock Oktoberfest red-rocks-oktoberfest-31
When: October 25th, 2014, 5 – 9 p.m.
Where: Los Abrigados Creekside Park, Sedona
Contact: (928)340-5012
21+, all proceeds will support the club’s mission of supporting programs for local children’s charities.
Click here to purchase tickets.

Sponsorship opportunities available.

Local First Members attending:
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
Grand Canyon Brewery
Granite Mountain Brewing Co.
Historic Brewing Co.
Mother Board Brewery
Prescott Brewing Co.
That Brewing Co.

When: October 4th, 2014, 12 – 9 p.m.
Where: Main Street in Downtown Historic Clarkdale
Contact: Jodie Filardo,
Notes: Music, food, & fun for all!

Posted in Beer Wine and Spirits, Greater Phoenix, Northern Arizona, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tucson’s Downtown Chefs Table Puts Spotlight on Local Food

PosterCT2With the first ever Downtown Chef’s Table dinner just around the corner, participating chefs are beginning to fine tune their menus for what will be one of Tucson’s greatest culinary collaborations.  Set for Sunday, October 12th, the event begins  at 5:30pm at Etherton Gallery where Chefs and mixologists from Penca, Reilly Pizza and 47 Scott/Saint House will serve craft cocktails and signature appetizers. Dinner will follow at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, located downstairs from the gallery, where Chefs from Agustin Kitchen, Maynard’s Market & Kitchen, Proper, Pizzeria Bianco and DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails will present  five courses paired with wines.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Tu Nidito and the Fox Tucson Theatre. This event isn’t your normal benefit dinner, however, as this evening has a special focus on locally-produced food and beverages. With a quick glance at the menu, featured below, you’ll see specific words pop out such as “local,” “seasonal,” and “Arizona.” One of the dishes is literally titled “Lamb Shoulder Barbacoa and Elements of Autumn in Baja Arizona.” This dinner will truly give you a sampling of what Arizona tastes like.

Carlson Creek vineyards

Carlson Creek Vineyards from Willcox, Arizona.

The meal will end with Proper’s Arizona Olive Oil Cake. “This olive oil cake has Hayden Mills Flour, milled right in downtown Tempe,” said Proper Chef Kris Vrolijk. “The pecans and dates come from Bob McClendons farm in Peoria, Arizona, and we had to choose Tom Alfonso‘s Oro Balen olive oil. It is other worldly.” This dish will be paired with Carlson Creek’s Sweet Adeline Reisling from Willcox. “This wine is the match. Period. It balances the sweetness of the cake, while the acids in the wine are pushed to the forefront. The smooth finish and lingering cool, melon flavor is all you need,” said Chef Kris.

This event is also a testament to the rising local restaurant and food scene in downtown Tucson. The area is now home to over 60 restaurants, drawing locals and visitors to the city center to enjoy a delicious meal. We’ve written before about how restaurants are the leading force behind regenerating neighborhoods, and are a key component of mixed-use development and urban retail. Tucson is just another example of where local businesses are leading the way in economic development and building vibrant local communities.

If you’d like to attend the dinner, get tickets now as they will sell out quickly. Here’s the menu of the amazing Arizona flavors you will be sampling if you’re one of the 100 lucky attendees:

Soup Course ~ Chef Ryan Clark, Agustin Kitchen
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with puffed pastry, red beet panna cotta, beet & apple salad, Alfonso Gourmet blood orange olive oil.
Paired with: 2013 Aridus Viognier, Cochise County 

Salad Course ~ Chris Bianco- Pizzeria Bianco
Seasonal salad with fresh local ingredients
Paired with: Dos Cabezas Meskeoli

Fish Course ~ Chef Jared Scott, Maynards Market & Kitchen
Pan Roasted Cobia with Fennel cooked risotto style, smoked blueberry, shallot marmalade, and Arizona sprout house onion flower
Paired with :  Pierre Sparr, Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France, 2011

Meat Course ~ Chef Janos Wilder,  DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails
Lamb Shoulder Barbacoa and Elements of Autumn in Baja Arizona
Paired with:  Callaghan Vineyards 2009 Padres Estate (Sonoita) Proprietary Red Wine

Dessert ~  Chef Kris Vrolijk, Proper
Arizona Olive Oil Cake with local dates and pecans.
Paired with: Carlson Creek, Sweet Adeline Reisling, Willcox, 2012

Posted in Local Food, Restaurants & Dining, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Help Us Find a Furever Home for Akeila

Akeila 1The Local First Arizona office has welcomed a temporary fury friend to our office… sort of! We’ve signed on to virtually foster a cat through the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL). Any business can sign on to this program, where you welcome in a “stand in” stuffed cat at your place of business to foster and help find a furever home. When a business or nonprofit virtually fosters a cat, they get a little tag at the cat’s kennel to let passersby know that the business is doing something to help support a local nonprofit.

AkeilaOur current foster is named Akeila. She is a sweet 11-year old with a sad story to tell. According to AAWL, “after spending 10 years with her family they decided to get a puppy; not nearly as exciting for a 10 year old declawed cat as for the rest of the family. Instead of finding a home for the new puppy that just joined the family (or considering Akeila’s feelings first) they decided to turn in their family cat of 10 years instead.” This experience has left Akeila a little confused, and she needs a “quiet home with a patient person, willing to let her trust and approach when she is ready.”

If that sounds like you, please consider this great gal who has so much love to give! If you are interested in adopting Akeila or know someone who is, please contact the Arizona Animal Welfare League. You can access Akeila’s full profile on the AAWL website here and searching for “Akeila” or her Animal ID: 22039144.

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Local First AZ Director Kimber Lanning Honored as Leader in Public Policy

LOCAL FIRSTEarlier this month, Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning was honored at the Arizona Capitol Times annual awards ceremony recognizing leaders in public policy. Kimber was awarded this recognition in the Business category, one of 20 other categories including Arts & Humanities, Economic Development, Environment, Government, Healthcare, and others.

Kimber has been a leader in public policy for many years now, advocating tirelessly for policies that support locally owned businesses and allow them to thrive and create jobs here in Arizona. Here are some highlights of her accomplishments:

Redeveloping the City of Phoenix’s Adaptive Reuse Program

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKimber found the city of Phoenix’s adaptive reuse program to be so cumbersome and regulatory that it was preventing small businesses from getting their doors open in the city’s center. She was appointed to the Development Advisory Board for the City in 2006 and began working with city officials to streamline this process to get entrepreneurs and new businesses into all of Phoenix’s great old building stock to create active streets. The pilot program Lanning instigated and oversaw helped 12 businesses through the new system, saving them an average of 4.5 months and $16,000 in the process to get their Certificate of Occupancy. Because of the success of this program, it is now encouraged city wide and works for any building built before 1990 and up to 30,000 square feet. Because of this shift and Lanning’s relentless mantra to city officials, Phoenix has seen over 80 new businesses open up in the city center, every one of them in an existing building. Find out more about the program here. 

Banning Tax Breaks for National Retail Development

legislatureIn 2007, Kimber worked with the Arizona Legislature to pass a bill that banned cities doling out of tax dollars for national chain retail developments. According to the Institute for Local Self Reliance, the law “outlaws subsides for retail projects in Maricopa and Pinal counties, which encompass the Phoenix metro and include two-thirds of the state’s population. Under the law, cities that continue to fund retail development will see their share of state revenue reduced by an amount equal to the incentives they give developers.” This moves helped local businesses by stopping tax handouts to national chains and reminded cities that investing in local businesses is a great way to promote economic development and jobs.

Encouraging Cities to Adopt Buy Local Policies

local procurement city of phoenixKimber has worked with cities across the state to keep procurement dollars circulating in Arizona’s local economy and supporting local businesses. In 2012, the City of Phoenix adopted a new policy for its purchases: for goods and services costing less than $50,000, Phoenix must first offer the contract or job to a company based in Maricopa County or Arizona before offering the work to an out-of-state company. This move resulted in directing $2.2 million in city spending to local businesses, or 44 times more than in 2011.

Moving Public Money into Local Banks

Pinnacle BankAccording to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, “small and mid-sized banks control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, yet they account for more than half of all small business lending.” To foster a friendlier lending environment for local businesses, Kimber has worked with a variety of government entities to make their money work for Arizona. In 2012, the City of Phoenix launched a plan to move $50 million into local banks and credit unions. In 2013, the City of Tucson announced it was moving $5 million to locally owned Alliance Bank.

Posted in Arizona, Economy & Jobs, Greater Phoenix, Policy, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Member Spotlight: 10-12 Lounge

This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for 10-12 Lounge in Clarkdale

10-12signSituated in the historic downtown Clarkdale since 1959, the 10-12 Lounge is a classy and upscale lounge offering the best selection of beers in Verde Valley and live entertainment. Although remaining in the same location since its doors first opened, the 10-12 Lounge has been rebuilt and now features an interior that reflects its big city class. The new interior offers leather seating, a beautiful bar, large screen televisions and cozy booths, but guests also have the option of enjoying the large outdoor patio area. Guests can utilize this area year-round, as it provides shade during summer months and heat during slightly colder months.

10-12interior2Although the 10-12 Lounge offers all of these wonderful accommodations for guests, the service doesn’t end there. Guests hoping to enjoy a meal alongside their beer can order from the highly rated, locally owned, Main St. Café & Pizzeria next door and the food will be brought over. It is evident that this establishment is dedicated to providing guests with an unwinding and entertaining experience, but this dedication goes beyond its own front doors.

The 10-12 Lounge is also involved in the community, as demonstrated by its participation in an upcoming community event. As the October 4th Clarkdale Oktoberfest, dubbed “Clarktoberfest”, swiftly approaches, the 10-12 Lounge is preparing to be a part of the celebration that unites the community for this festive activity. The beer garden, one of the most symbolic features of the Oktoberfest, will be located next to the 10-12 Lounge.

Join the celebration as the 10-12 Lounge joins efforts with other local businesses to provide a fun, safe and family-friendly event for the local community. Plenty of parking will be available throughout the town and shuttles will bring visitors from designated parking areas.

10-12interiorLocated at 910 Main St. in Clarkdale, AZ, the 10-12 Lounge invites visitors to experience big city class with a small town atmosphere. As reflected in its name, it is open daily from 10:00am to midnight. More information on upcoming events and shows can be found on their website at

Posted in LFA Member Spotlight, Local First Movement, Northern Arizona, Rural Arizona | Leave a comment

Interview with an ALFA: Lindsay Fowler

We’ve lovingly dubbed our volunteers ALFAs, short for Ambassadors of Local First Arizona. They’ve likely chatted you up at our table for various Farmer’s Markets, maybe you’ve seen them showing their local love on social media–or perhaps you’ve witnessed them working hard alongside the LFA Team at our special events like the Certified Local Fall Festival & Devoured Food + Wine Classic. They’re a fun, energetic group and most of all they know their local. Read below for a fun feature on one of our ever-so amazing ALFAs! Click here for more information on how you can become part of the ALFA crew!

lfowlerLocal First Arizona prides itself in having a statewide reach, spreading localist awareness to all corners of our great state. Our volunteers, or ALFAs as we’ve explained above, are a major force that helps us meet that goal.

Meet Lindsay, an ALFA who began volunteering with us just over a year ago. Since she’s started, she has stepped up into lead volunteer roles & has become a happily welcome and familiar face around LFA headquarters. Her positively energetic attitude and love for the local movement is infectious and has been integral in helping train new volunteers, making events run smoothly and refreshing both staff and supporter’s excitement for all of the work and initiatives we have going on at LFA.

LFA: So Lindsay, what are you up to when you’re not being an amazing ALFA? 

ALFA Lindsay: I am passionate about mentoring youth and have done it for about 10 years now. I love to do art nights with my students and go on adventures as well! I am also a mixed media artist and love creating things. I try to do art as often as possible and love to introduce people to art. I would love to be an art therapist one day! I spend a lot of time going to concerts, reading, playing with my pets and going out with my friends. We love to check out new local spots and go on day trips all over AZ. We just went to Superior for the Prickly Pear Festival and had a great time checking out the local businesses there.

LFA: What does the local movement mean to you and why do you feel it is important?

ALFA Lindsay: The local movement is important to me because I have so much pride for the state I was born and raised in and have seen the amazing things AZ has to offer. Local First AZ educates the community not only on the amazing businesses and opportunities that AZ has to offer but also helps us understand why it is so important to make Phoenix a walkable city. The more we invest in our local businesses and helping them thrive, the more we thrive together as a community.

Local businesses pour more money and jobs and support back into AZ and when we support them we continue to build a city and state that we are proud of. AZ has so much culture and life and Local First helps showcase that. I love being able to walk into a business and know that my money is being spent well on unique products that are supporting our economy and also helping build relationships in my own state.

LFA: What has been your favorite event or experience volunteering with LFA?

ALFA Lindsay: Devoured is one of my favorite events overall, but I actually really loved working Fall Fest last year. It was the first time we debuted the Localist program and I was at the booth the explained what it was to people. We got to have so many amazing conversations with community members about why it was important to support local and the impact they could make if they shifted even 10 percent of their shopping. So many people were excited to start the program and support their community. The best part of our events is when you get to see a light bulb go on in someone once they realize they can make a big impact on their community and economy.  

LFA: You’re an awesome Localist, but we know no one’s perfect. :) What’s one item or area for you that is a challenge to find or source locally?

ALFA Lindsay: I would have to say typical household products. If I run out of cleaner or paper towels I find myself running to whatever the closest store is. I would like to be more proactive in choosing to buy those things from a local store, such as Bashas.

LFA: Name your top 5 favorite local businesses of the moment, ready…go! 

ALFA Lindsay:

  • Melt — perfect for a cool treat in this summer weather!
  • Crescent Ballroom- A great venue to catch a concert or grab a drink and food with friends.
  • Shine Coffee- The salted caramel latte is delicious and their living room area is the perfect place to catch up with friends.
  • Frances- Carries so many rad local products such as Hello apparel and has the perfect unique gifts for my family and friends!
  • Pizza People Pub- so many options for mac n cheese and their food overall is so delicious! Every time I go in the staff is super friendly and I always see them out supporting the community at events!
  • I had to add a 6th- I could eat at any of the Upward Projects concepts all day, every day. Its one huge family of awesome employees, the food is to die for and the environment cant be beat!

On behalf of the entire team at LFA, we want to thank Lindsay for fully embracing her ALFA awesome-ness and stepping up on countless occasions for our organization. Be sure to say hi to Lindsay at Fall Fest! For more information on how to volunteer and become an ALFA click here or send any questions to


Posted in Local First Initiatives, Local First Movement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment