Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Welcomes New Graduates

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The graduates of the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program

The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program graduation was a huge success! We welcomed over 200 guests as we celebrated 12 new local business owners who graduated from the Business Accelerator Program of Fuerza Local. This program has helped Fuerza Local members reach new levels of success through education, public relations support, and funding awards. The 6-month program launched in 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona, and since then there have been 5 seasons. As of today, there are 60 graduated business owners and $60,000 in seed funds awarded. The program also intends to help small, under-served business owners to become more competitive, while helping them establish credit that will allow them to borrow capital at fair market rates to grow their businesses.

The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program by the Numbers:

  • Total number of graduates from the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program: 60
  • Number of new jobs created from participating businesses after graduating program: 59
  • 5 participants have reported receiving an award or recognition by an organization of their industry
  • 25 participants opened a checking account for the first time while in the program
  • 17 participants reported appearing on radio or television following the program

 

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Edgar Olivo (Director, Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program), Daniel Valenzuela (Phoenix City Councilman), and Timothy Castro (Fuerza Local Liaison) at the Graduation.

At the graduation, there was delicious food from La 15 y Salsa Restaurant, a Oaxacan Restaurant in North Phoenix, and Mundo de Sabores, LLC, a local catering company that serves an international cuisine. A big thanks to our sponsors, and honored guests from the City of Phoenix and Congressman Gallego’s Office, and keynote speaker, Elisa de La Vara from Arizona Community Foundation.

Congratulations to the graduates:

Juan Amaya,
J & J Amaya General Services, LLC
Merly de La Cruz & Mercedes Estrada,
Arie PM Beauty & Barber Salon, LLC
Claudia Barraza-Sutcliffe,
Trisquel Therapeutic Massage, LLC
Fidel Camacho & Braim Villela,
Los Clamatos de Tito, LLC
Ines Rivas,
Gelatin Nation, LLC
Adrian Castillo Jimenez,
Dreamlink’s Studio
Karla & Sergio Rodriguez,
Mi Valle Magico Childcare, LLC
Lupita & Alejandro Beltran,
Beltran Electric Co., Inc.
Ivan Dorame,
A Unique Sheet Metal Shop, LLC
Ivonne Jacinto-Sanchez,
Passion’s Hair Salon, LLC
Rosalba Burciaga,
Manualidades Rosalba, LLC
Christopher Angulo,
Tech Recon, LLC

Fuerza Local’s Business Accelerator Program is supported through funds from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Phoenix IDA, APS, Marisol Federal Credit Union, Arizona Community Foundation, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, and Arizona Community Action Association. “This program truly helps the members of Fuerza Local excel in their fields and it really helps Hispanic business owners shine within the local business community,” says newly contracted Program Director, Edgar R. Olivo. The program is facilitated by expert members of Local First Arizona in areas of business development, tax and financial planning, marketing, insurance as well as human resources.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 5b class that will begin this fall. Applications must be submitted online in the programs section of the Local First Foundation website which is http://localfirstazfoundation.org/programs/fuerza-local-accelerator/application. Applicants must be members of the Fuerza Local directory, have a checking account to participate in a money pool, be over the age of 18, and have an existing business and/or proven business concept. To become a member of Fuerza Local, business owners may register at www.fuerzalocal.org. For inquiries, contact the Business Accelerator Program Director via email fuerzalocal@localfirstaz.com.


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La graduación de Fuerza Local fue un gran éxito! Dimos la bienvenida a más de 200 invitados al celebrar 12 nuevos propietarios de negocios locales que se graduaron del programa Acelerador de Negocios. Este programa ha ayudado miembros de Fuerza Local a alcanzar nuevos niveles de éxito a través de la educación, el apoyo de relaciones públicas, y premios de financiación. El programa de 6 meses se lanzo en el 2013 en Phoenix, Arizona, y desde entonces se han producido 5 grupos de graduados de el programa. Hasta hoy, hay 60 dueños de negocios graduados y $60,000 en fondos otorgados. El programa tiene la intención de ayudar a los dueños de negocios insuficientemente atendidos para ser más competitivos y establecer crédito que les permitirá obtener préstamos de capital a tasas justas para hacer crecer sus negocios.

Estos son los números que ha producido el programa:

  • Número total de graduados: 60
  • Número de nuevos puestos de trabajo creado a partir de graduarse: 59
  • 5 participantes han informado que recibieron un premio o reconocimiento por parte de una organización de su industria
  • 25 participantes abrieron una cuenta de cheques por primera vez
  • 17 participantes informaron que aparecieron en la radio o la televisión después del programa

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En la graduación, hubo deliciosa comida de La 15 y Salsa Restaurante, un restaurante con sabor Oaxaqueño en el norte de Phoenix, y Mundo de Sabores, LLC, una empresa de catering local que sirve platillos internacionales. Muchas gracias a nuestros patrocinadores, y los invitados de honor de la ciudad de Phoenix y la Oficina del Congresista Gallego, y la oradora principal, Elisa de la Vara de la Fundación Comunitaria de Arizona.

Felicidades a los graduados:

Juan Amaya,
J & J Amaya General Services, LLC
Merly de La Cruz & Mercedes Estrada,
Arie PM Beauty & Barber Salon, LLC
Claudia Barraza-Sutcliffe,
Trisquel Therapeutic Massage, LLC
Fidel Camacho & Braim Villela,
Los Clamatos de Tito, LLC
Ines Rivas,
Gelatin Nation, LLC
Adrian Castillo Jimenez,
Dreamlink’s Studio
Karla & Sergio Rodriguez,
Mi Valle Magico Childcare, LLC
Lupita & Alejandro Beltran,
Beltran Electric Co., Inc.
Ivan Dorame,
A Unique Sheet Metal Shop, LLC
Ivonne Jacinto-Sanchez,
Passion’s Hair Salon, LLC
Rosalba Burciaga,
Manualidades Rosalba, LLC
Christopher Angulo,
Tech Recon, LLC

El programa de Acelerador de Negocios de Fuerza Local es apoyado a través de fondos de Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Phoenix IDA, APS, MariSol Federal Credit Union, Arizona Community Foundation, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, y Arizona Community Action Association. El recién contratado Director del Programa, Edgar R. Olivo, dice, “Este programa realmente ayuda a los miembros de Fuerza Local crecer sus negocios y realmente ayuda a los dueños de negocios Hispanos que brillen dentro de la comunidad empresarial local.” El programa es facilitado por expertos miembros de Local First Arizona en las áreas de desarrollo de negocios, planificación financiera, mercadotecnia, seguros, y recursos humanos.

Las solicitudes están siendo aceptadas para la clase 7 que comenzará este otoño. Las solicitudes deben se sometidas en línea en la sección de programas de la página web de la Fundación de Local First Arizona que es http://localfirstazfoundation.org/programs/fuerza-local-accelerator/application. Los solicitantes deben ser miembros del directorio Fuerza Local, tener una cuenta de cheques para participar en un fondo de ahorro electrónico tener más de 18 años, y tener un negocio ya existente y / o concepto de un negocio probado. Para ser miembro de Fuerza local, dueños de negocios pueden registrarse en www.fuerzalocal.org. Para cualquier consulta, póngase en contacto con el director del programa de el Acelerador de Negocios a través de correo electrónico fuerzalocal@localfirstaz.com.

Posted in Businesses, Economy & Jobs, Fuerza Local, Greater Phoenix | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Unearthing Phoenix’s Newest Plant Boutique, Dig It!

Dig it

Photo Credit: Dig It Urban Gardens + Nursery

Dig It Urban Gardens + Nursery in Phoenix isn’t your grandma’s plant shop. There are no doilies or doodads, just a plethora of domestic and exotic cacti and succulents managed and manicured by owners and plant enthusiasts, Tom Bishop and Ryan Jerrell.

Arizona natives Bishop and Jerrell have been working with plants most of their adult lives and began harvesting plans for an urban nursery late last year with two simple goals: 1. Be more than ‘just a plant shop’ and 2. Create a space where the community wants to be. So, naturally, the two turned to the crowdsourcing site, GoFundMe, in order to finance the construction – they ended up raising $150,000!

Dig It Landscape shot

Photo Credit: Dig It Urban Gardens + Nursery

So what’s on deck for Dig It? Bishop and Jerrell are hosting seminars and workshops for plant enthusiasts of all kinds to learn everything from container garden basics to bonsai plant care. Bishop adds, “We want to share our knowledge with others so they can achieve their garden goals at home and create a space where people want to shop, and hang out while supporting a variety of local businesses.”

Join us this month as we team up with monthly meetup group, Get Your PHX, and Dig It to host a free community event! Dig It is bringing together local craft vendors and will also host a free basic potting class to all attendees. Get your hands dirty in their self-potting station and take home a unique creation!

When: Thursday, February 18th
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Dig It Urban Gardens + Nursery
3015 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Details: Free to attend, open to all ages! Enjoy local craft vendors, light refreshments, plus a free raffle entry per attendee!
RSVP HERE

Posted in LFA Member Spotlight, Local First Movement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Ways To Shop Locally in Ajo

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The historical Spanish Central Plaza of Ajo.

The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce and Local First Arizona (LFA) are announcing a new campaign encouraging the Ajo community to Love Ajo, Shop Ajo. Shop Ajo is a reminder that shopping at locally owned businesses enriches the community as a whole. According to the Institute of Local Self Reliance, locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, link neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

However, there is a myth out there that shopping local is more expensive than going to the big box store and this is not true. These examples from Ajo demonstrate how you can save money shopping at independently owned businesses compared to national chains and online stores.

1. Myth:Appliances are cheaper from a big box store.
Busted: When you buy an appliance from K-5, delivery, installation, and disposal of the old appliances are all included. If you ever need that appliance serviced, K-5 is just around the corner which greatly reduces the lifetime cost of the appliance. Try getting that kind of service from one of those stores ending in “mart” or “depot.”

2. Myth:I have to drive to Phoenix to get dry cleaning done.”
Busted: For years Ajo Transportation has been offering a drop off and pick up dry clean service. For just $5 Ajo Transportation will take your load to the cleaners. Think you could drive to Phoenix for $5 in gas?

Authentically Ajo Farmer's Market now accepts SNAP benefits.

Authentically Ajo Farmer’s Market now accepts SNAP benefits.

3. Myth:I have to shop at Sprouts or Whole foods to eat healthy.”
Busted: Olsen’s Marketplace has a wide range of organic and gluten free offerings and the Authentically Ajo Farmers Market has better than organic produce grown right here in Ajo. Beginning in February, customers can even use their SNAP benefits at Authentically Ajo Farmer’s Market to purchase produce that has been picked within 24 hours of when you buy it.

4. Myth:I can buy tires cheaper online than in Ajo.”
Busted: Once you include delivery, mounting and balancing, several local tire shops become cost competitive with online tire markets. Are you able to pay cash? A.T. Tire and Maintenance offers a cash discount.

5. Myth:I’m redoing my yard, so I’ll have to make a bunch of trips to Phoenix.”
Busted: Ajo Botanical Company offers full service landscaping and their prices on trees are tough to beat. You can buy brick for your walkway at True Value and Bush Sand & Gravel has you covered on decorative rock.

6. Myth:There’s a birthday coming up, so I need to get on Amazon to buy a gift.”
Busted: No need! Spoil your wife with a facial and private yoga session from bloom. Get some beautiful silk flowers from Ajo Flower Shop for Mom. Buy Dad that new socket set he’s been wanting from Kord’s NAPA. Help your husband look his best with some designer clothes from aVita Boutique. Need something totally unique for that person who has everything? How about an old-fashioned tin sign from Sue’s Flower and Gift Shop or some yard art from Vasquez North of the Border?

Other than the benefits of saving money and making less trips to Phoenix, shifting even 10% of your spending to local businesses positively impacts Ajo’s economy and community. Four times more money stays in Arizona when spent at local business compared to national chain stores. The money that stays in the local economy can then be distributed to public goods and services like schools, teachers’ salaries, libraries, public safety, and other essential programs.

Kimber Lanning talks about the power of a 10% shift in the way you shop. Photo courtesy of Rick D'Elia of D'Elia Photographic

Kimber Lanning talks about the power of a 10% shift in the way you shop. Photo courtesy of Rick D’Elia of D’Elia Photographic

Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning explains that Shop Ajo is meant to be a reminder for consumers to think “Local First” when choosing where to shop. “Every dollar that you spend has an impact on the local economy. Studies show shifting your spending from national to locally owned businesses creates new jobs and keeps up to four times more money in Arizona.” said Lanning. “If each shopper shifted just 10% of their spending from national chains to independent businesses, that would add up to a huge investment in creating a more prosperous and vibrant community in Ajo.”

ShopAjo-LaunchPartyAd

On February 12th, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. the Ajo Chamber and LFA invite you to the launch party of Love Ajo * Shop Ajo. Hear the scoop on the new Shop Ajo campaign and learn more about the impact your dollar has in your community with a presentation from the organizers. Enjoy free food, drink specials, and door prizes while learning about shifting your spending from nearby cities and online retailers to Ajo businesses. Business owners are also encouraged to come learn information and recieve print materials to educate their patrons on the benefits of shifting more of their spending to Ajo businesses. The launch party is free to attend and will be held at Oasis Cafe (28 Plaza, Ajo, AZ 85321). Click here to RSVP on Facebook, and we’ll see you there!

Posted in Economy & Jobs, Local First Movement, Rural Arizona, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finalists Announced for the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition

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The nine finalists have been determined for Round 2 of the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition that will take place on Sunday, February 28, at 2:00 p.m. at the DeSoto Central Market. Finalists were selected in Round 1 with a two-week online voting process that concluded on Friday, January 29. The top nine vote recipients will compete in the final round for the title of Arizona Star Bartender.

The nine finalists include:

RELATEDTickets for the Devoured Culinary Classic Have Sold Out

Devour Bartending Competition Mixing

Round 2 of the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition will pit the finalists against one another in three heats, each mixing their best cocktail featuring local ingredients and spirits from Arizona Distilling Company and 3 Amigos Tequila. Once the results are in from the judges panel, the top three bartenders will compete in the Final Round, which will task the bartenders with creating a cocktail with local ingredients from a mystery basket as well as a selected spirit from Three Wells Distilling Company. The winning bartender will be featured in an exclusive mixology demo at the 2016 Devoured Culinary Classic, showcased on the website of Arizona’s own Bite Magazine, take home the Arizona Bartender’s Craft Kit valued at over $200, and be crowned with the coveted title of Arizona’s Star Bartender. Second and third place winners can also expect to receive Arizona’s Spirit prizes, including the newly-introduced Copper Cup and the Arizona Bartender’s Craft Kit.

RELATEDDevoured Culinary Classic Adds “The Seven Chef Singh Along” for March 2

The judges panel for this year’s Bartending Competition will include Brandon Casey, general manager of The Ostrich, President of the Phoenix chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, and the 2015 Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition’s Arizona Star Bartender; Christina Barrueta of WriteOnRubee.com; Michelle Jacoby of Bite Magazine; Layla Linn of Arizona Cocktail Week and Alliance Beverage; and Aaron DeFeo of Casino del Sol and President of the Tucson chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild.

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Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition attendees will also have the opportunity to sample and vote for their favorite cocktail, and the bartender with the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award. Attendees will be guided through the afternoon’s entertainment by emcee Ross Simon, the Principal Barman and Proprietor of Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlor, who will be calling the event in “Queen’s English.” Guests will also be treated to the musical creations of DJ Mr PHX.

The Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition is part of the Devoured Culinary Classic week of events. Tickets for the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition are $40 and are on sale now at devouredphoenix.com/tickets. Tickets include cocktail samples as well as craft spirit samples and the ability to vote for your favorite cocktail. Attendees can also purchase a combined tickets package to attend both the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition and Palette to Palate for $60.

The Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition is sponsored in part by Bar & Restaurant Insurance, Arizona Distilling Company, 3 Amigos Tequila, Three Wells Distilling Company, Bite Magazine, Accurate Companies, and Downtown Phoenix, Inc.

Posted in Devour Phoenix, Greater Phoenix, Restaurants & Dining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeking a Sweet Home for Tara, Our New Foster Cat for Adoption!

Local First AZ proudly participates in the Arizona Animal Welfare League’s Kitty in the City program, where we virtually foster a cat and help him or her find a “furever” home. Any business is welcome to sign up to virtually foster a kitty and help spread the word about adoptable cats! You can find out all about the Kitty in the City program here.

Our new foster cat is a playful sweetheart! Her lucky adopter not only gets a lifetime of Tara’s affection, but she comes with a Local First goodie bag with donations from Noble Beast and Cobblestone Vet care!

TARA Kitty

Name: Tara Animal ID: 24972670
Age: 5 years Size: Large
Sex: Female Spayed/Neutered: Yes

Tara is a sweet, mellow kitty who’s full of love and gets along great with other cats! She is guaranteed to make you smile and is looking for someone to give her the love she deserves! Potential adopters are invited to experience Tara’s cute self by visiting her at AAWL’s main shelter located at 25 N. 40th Street in Phoenix. Find Tara at: https://aawl.org/content/adoptable-cats.

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Artist and Chef Lineup Announced for Palette to Palate

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The complete artist and chef lineup has been announced for Palette to Palate, presented by Devour Phoenix and Local First Arizona as part of the Devoured Culinary Classic week of events. Hosted by the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Thursday, March 3, at 6:00 p.m., Palette to Palate is an event that blends the visual arts and culinary arts by pairing chefs and painters to interpret each other’s work for a show that is at once unique and insightful into the worlds of the two artists. The evening will feature Arizona wines and award winning chefs paired with regional artists who will prepare new works for the event.

RELATEDTickets for the Devoured Culinary Classic Have Sold Out

Artist and chef pairings include Leonardo Bianco paired with his son Chef Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco; Casebeer paired Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe and Barrio UrbanoJames Angel paired with Chef Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail; Jesse Perry paired with Chef Josh Murray of ICON Lounge at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel; and Jonathan Buford paired with Chef Stacey Carson of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company.

Tickets are $40 each and available at http://devouredphoenix.com/tickets/. Attendees can also purchase a combined tickets package to attend both the Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition and Palette to Palate for $60.

More on the chefs and artists:

Chef Chris Bianco and Leonardo Bianco

Bianco_2016When Chris Bianco started Pizzeria Bianco inside the back corner of a neighborhood grocery store in 1988, little did he know that he would be such a driving force in the slow food movement and specifically the artisanal pizza front. Chris, who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003, helped spawn a generation of independent and artisanal pizzeria’s, lending his advice, wisdom and food philosophies to dozens of fellow chefs and restaurateurs.  

Leo BiancoLeonardo Bianco, father of Chris and Marco of Pizzeria Bianco/Pane Bianco, is a still-life painter. His elegant aesthetic has given him the opportunity to paint the likes of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. His work has been featured in New York where he also worked for years as a professional wine label maker, to Arizona, where many of his pieces proudly grace the walls at all Pizzeria Bianco locations.

Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza and Casebeer

Silvana Salcido EsparzaSilvana Salcido Esparza is a baker’s daughter, an activist and a chef. She comes from a long line of cooks and bakers and was trained by her grandmother and parents, in business and in the kitchen. Now she’s busy training the next generation. Chef Silvana creates award-winning food and restaurants in Phoenix, where she is celebrated for her contributions to the city’s vibrant profile. Her food has been featured in Esquire Magazine, and on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Chef Silvana has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award numerous times and has been inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. While Chef Silvana’s culinary expertise has earned her plenty of accolades, she is also a successful businesswoman and an promoter of the arts.  Chef Silvana advises and mentors young chefs-in-training and has been an outspoken civil rights advocate. As a citizen of both the United States and Mexico, she feels a personal responsibility to elevate popular perceptions of Mexican American culture.

Casebeer_2016Casebeer is an artist and writer whose work explores meaningful coincidence. Her mixed-media paintings are composed of book scraps, color, brush strokes and drips, which are then built upon through layers of paint, found collage pieces and overheard sentences until they eventually reveal an order and a narrative, and a curious, synchronic relationship to one another. Casebeer is represented by Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale. She has exhibited her work in Scottsdale at Tilt and 5&6 Galleries, in Mesa at the i.d.e.a. museum, and in Downtown Phoenix at Modified Arts, Monorchid, The Ice House, Legend City Studios and the ASU Downtown Museum, and at the Phoenix International Airport Museum. Her piece, “Wait. Do You?” was part of The Phoenix 7th Ave Streetscape Public Art Project in 2012.

Chef Justin Beckett and James Angel

Justin BeckettAn award-winning chef and renowned restaurateur, Chef Justin Beckett partnered with his wife Michelle and their longtime friends and sommeliers, Scott & Katie Stephens, to open Beckett’s Table in the popular Arcadia area in 2010. Since then, Beckett’s Table has garnered national attention for its excellent service, memorable wine list and innovative menu, earning Wine Spectator’s 2012 and 2013 Award of Excellence and a nomination for Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Best New Chef. Following the success of Beckett’s Table, Justin and the ownership team set out to open a second concept in uptown Phoenix. Warm and centered around community, the highly-anticipated Southern Rail opened its doors on May 30, 2014. The vibrant restaurant offers Chef Beckett’s inspired interpretations of classic American dishes with a Southern twist.

Jamesangel_2016James Angel is recognized as a major contributor to an “emerging” downtown art scene. As one of the founders of the artist collective 3CARPILEUP and the inaugural few Chaos Theory annual events, which now in it’s sixteenth year has become the most viable approach to engaging local contemporary artists and artwork currently produced in Arizona. A recent Contemporary Forum of Phoenix Art Museum emerging artist award recipient. www.jamesangelportfolio.com

Chef Joshua Murray and Jesse Perry

Josh MurrayPassion and focus would aptly describe the journey that has taken Joshua Murray to his place as Executive Chef at Phoenix Renaissance Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona. Joshua’s interest in food stems from his boyhood in rural Spotsylvania, VA, and he fondly recalls a home life filled with entertaining family and friends regularly and abundantly – the perfect opportunity to develop his keen interest in cooking as well as his kitchen skills. After graduating Johnson & Wales University, he forged a path that included chef’s positions at multiple private upscale restaurants, the Westfield’s Marriott in Virginia, Harbor Beach Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale, JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance and on to Phoenix Renaissance Downtown in his current role. Accolades and honors accompanied him along the way: gold, bronze and silver medals in American Culinary Federation competitions, restaurant awards, television appearances, as well as being featured in numerous Signature Chef Events and in multiple publications.

Jesse PerryJesse Perry, age 30, is a lifelong artist with aspirations for greatness on a worldwide scale.  He has worked with several art programs throughout Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Mesa and is now teaming up with a variety of organizations to bring some creative wisdom to the heart of one of America’s fastest growing metropolitan cities. Emerging as an artist at a young age, Perry was encouraged to nurture his creative side at every turn.  He experimented with a variety of media and techniques in his formative years before releasing the, “How To: Series” in his 20’s which began as a line and space study that quickly evolved into an ambiguous blueprint behind a host of ideas and concepts. After completing his first public project in 2013, Perry has focused his efforts on larger scale murals, both public and private.  He has had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of businesses and organizations ranging from the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel to Mother Bunch Brewery to the Downtown Mesa Association and is looking forward to some amazing projects coming up this 2016.

Chef Stacey Carson and Jonathan Buford

Stacey CarsonStacey Carson is Wilderness Brewing Company’s first executive chef. She was brought on recently to take a fresh look at their menu of gourmet burgers and to tighten up the kitchen workflow. Stacey was the chef-owner of the recently closed Nosh Arizona in Chandler, which was known for its neighborly atmosphere and upscale gastropub offerings.

Jonathan-BufordJonathan Buford is a professional photographer and the creator of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. With his photography, he seeks to find the unique and stunning images in the desolate areas of the desert, finding waterfalls that flow after the snow and capturing conservation through the lens of southwest sunsets. His point of view is often manifested in his unique craft brews at Arizona Wilderness, which has been named number one of the ten best in the world.

Posted in Arts and Culture, Devour Phoenix, Greater Phoenix, Restaurants & Dining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Local Sweetness

Purple Gurls

Images via Purple Gurls

Who can resist handcrafted, locally made sweet treats that are sure to make your sweet tooth go wild? A local favorite on the farmer’s scene, Purple Gurl’s Popcorn & More offers sweet treats and yummy goodies, such as popcorn, cookies, sweet breads and macaroons. Purple Gurl’s popcorn is made fresh in small batches using only the finest ingredients. Hot-air popped white kernels ensuring a tender, fluffy, crispy crunch, which are then handcrafted in small batches and are gently coated, making a delicious, addictive treat. Flavors include: Gourmet Caramel, “Kittle,” “Triple Threat,” Peanut Brittle, Bananas Popster, Cheesy Cheddar, SloBurn, White Cheddar & more.

Image via Purple Gurls

Image via Purple Gurls

Additionally, Purple Gurl’s homemade baked goodies are sure to remind you of your grandma’s secret recipe. Superbly moist and scrumptious baked breads, soft-batch cookies, coconut macaroons, and granola bars are a treat beyond words. Purple Gurl’s takes pride in providing the absolute best taste experience for you and concocting sweet treats that pair great with movie night, sporting events, birthdays, weddings, church festivals, or anytime you crave something sweet. Purple Gurl’s guarantees each product is made fresh and addictively delicious with every bite. Sample their treats at Valley farmer’s markets or order online.

Written by Somlynn Rorie

Posted in Arizona, Businesses, Greater Phoenix, LFA Member Spotlight, Local Food | Leave a comment

Yellow Brick Coffee: From Farm to Cup

Anna and David in their shop, Yellow Brick Coffee.

Anna and David in their shop, Yellow Brick Coffee, in Tucson.

Like a fine wine or a great beer, a lot of craftsmanship, skill, planning, and practice goes into making a great cup of coffee. Yellow Brick Coffee in Tucson specializes in roasting high quality single origin coffee, and the craftsmanship and passion behind the brew is evident when talking with Anna and David Perreira. Anna and David are brother and sister, and together they’ve been brewing their coffee in the Warehouse District since May of 2014.

Anna started her journey and education of coffee roasting years ago at a well known coffee shop in New York City where she learned the different profiles, flavors, and aromas that come from a well crafted coffee roast. Her mentor in NYC encouraged her to develop a business plan and take her education to the next level, eventually moving her to San Francisco to be formally trained as a roaster.

Anna and David on one of their trips to meet coffee growers.

Anna and David on one of their trips to meet coffee growers.

Eventually, Anna made her first trip to Honduras to meet coffee plant growers. She made her first connection with the women run farm of Mi Tizita, and became one of the first to export their coffee beans to the US. Over the years, Anna and David have traveled through El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Ethiopia, and other countries to meet the farmers and families who grow the coffee that they roast and brew at Yellow Brick.

Anna, like many coffee roasters and connoisseurs, realized the problems with lack of proper payment and treatment of the families and farmers who grow coffee for the rest of the world. To help address these problems, Yellow Brick Coffee’s business model is designed to highlight the producers associated with the quality of the roast and product. This means that they buy traceable coffee, so that they know exactly which farms their beans are coming from. This single origin process of procurement also means that by buying from the farms, they are avoiding third party companies that don’t provide the farmers with the income they deserve. Ensuring that farmers get fair value and payment for their product.

We are excited to have Yellow Brick at SAVOR this year to educate atendees about their roasts and all of the people involved in making a cup of coffee. SAVOR Food and Wine Festival is one of Tucson’s premier food events of the year, bringing together some of the best food and beverages that Souther Arizona has to offer, all within the beautiful settings of the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Yellow Brick will be preparing a coffee tasting of sorts, similar to a wine tasting. They will be highlighting some of their unique roasts, prepared in three different ways; highlighting different flavor notes and aromas.

From left to right: aeropress brew, cold brew with nitro, and the chemex brewer.

From left to right: aeropress brew, cold brew with nitro, and the chemex brewer.

They’ll have their popular cold brew on tap with nitro, their Kenyan roast prepared through an aeropress, and their Costa Rican roast prepared with a chemex brewer. The areopress will help to highlight the brightness and tomato orange notes of the roast; while the chemex will bring out the clean balanced, acitic and fruity notes.

If you’re going to SAVOR on February 6th, be sure to stop by the Yellow Brick booth to try their crafted coffee flight and meet Anna and David. There is still time to buy tickets for SAVOR but don’t wait or they’ll be gone! You can get your tickets here. If you can’t make it to the event, be sure to stop by Yellow Brick’s shop to experience their unique roasts!

 

Posted in LFA Member Spotlight, Local First Movement, Local Food, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30+ Local Valentine’s Day 2016 Events Throughout Arizona

Valentines Day Events Roundup Header 2016 450

For young love, old love, and everyone in between–there’s no better way to share your love with your significant other and the entire community by going local for Valentine’s Day! When you keep your dollars local, you create a stronger, more vibrant community, and isn’t that the best gift of all?

RELATED: 9 Ways to Go Local for Valentine’s Day

We’ve put together this list of local events and opportunities for you to partake in for Valentine’s Day this year. These are all amazingly unique opportunities which may fill up quickly so get your RSVPs in. All events are happening on Sunday, February 14th unless otherwise stated. There are a few events in here that are fun for singles as well!

Select your region:
Northern AZPhoenix AreaSouthern AZ

Northern Arizona

bookmans logoBlind Date with a Book
State-wide at Bookmans
Need a valentine? No worries Bookmans is hooking you up, celebrate Love of Reading Month and Valentines Day by picking up a book blind date at any of your Bookmans locations! Starting on Valentines Day till the end of the month, each store will have a set up displays with books completely wrapped with only a few small clues, you never know you might just pick up a new favorite read!


d3logosmallerVodka & Valentine’s – A Taste of Arizona Vodkas hosted by Desert Diamond Distillery
February 12, 13 , + 14

Cottonwood, AZ + Prescott, AZ
Enjoy a tasting flight of the three distinctly different vodkas, and enjoy a chocolate plate that is paired with a craft cocktail featuring one if the Vodkas. Held at 2 Arizona locations: Desert Diamond Distillery in Cottonwood, as well at Thumb Butte’s location in Prescott. More information is available online here.


burning-tree-wineTreat Your Lovely at Burning Tree Cellars
Cottonwood, AZ
Burning Tree Cellars specializes in small batch, meticulously maintained, boutique wines utilizing the finest available fruit sources, quality oak, and patience. Enjoy 2 glasses of wine and a rose for $20.00 on Valentines Day. More information is available online or by calling (928) 649-8733.


Vittles, Vines, & Valentine’s Special at Blazin’ M RanchVittles-Vines-N-Vallentines_2015
February 10th to 13th

Cottonwood, AZ
Enjoy the Western Town, Saloon, shops, and more for a fun-filled adventure at Blazin’ M Ranch. For Valentine’s you can enjoy half off selected bottles of wines and a chocolate tastingy. Full information is online here.


Miller, Miller, Martin and KiValentine’s Eve Concert at Old Town Center for the Arts
February 13th
Cottonwood, AZ
$18 adv or $20 door. The Valentine’s Eve Concert will be a love fest of songs – personal and universal, featuring the Miller, Miller, Martin, and Ki, the 3MKi Band. Tickets are online here.


TavernThe Tavern Hotel and The Tavern Grill Do Valentines
Cottonwood, AZ
The Tavern Hotel wants to treat you a romantic night away with their Romance Package. For $299 enjoy a Deluxe room, sparkling wine, roses, chocolates and a gift-card for Nic’s Italian Steak and Crab House. The Tavern Grill will also be serving a special Valentine’s day menu Feb. 8th to the 14th.  More info is online here or available by calling (928) 639-1669.


chocolates9th Annual Valentine’s Day Concert with Wine & Chocolate Tasting
Flagstaff, AZ

Flagstaff Arts Council is pleased to present the 9th annual Valentine’s Day Concert with Gipsy Moon. There will be a chocolate and wine tasting beginning at 6:30 pm, and the concert will begin at 7:30 pm. Get tickets online here.


SweetShopFlagstaff Chocolate Walk
Saturday, February 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Flagstaff, AZ
The Flagstaff Chocolate Walk is a one-day chocolate tasting adventure where you can enjoy all different varieties of chocolates; exploring downtown businesses in a unique and flavorful way. More information is available online here.


Choclovers-rezweb_giftcard1-300x300Verde Canyon Railroad‘s Chocolate Lovers’ Festival
February 12, 13, & 14th
Sedona, AZ
Share tasty chocolate pastries, cakes and luscious hand-dipped delicacies while enjoying the scenery of the Verde Canyon viewed from the comfort of a train. $129 per person. For full information and to RSVP click here.


14341201414 Course Dinner and Music at Salt Restaurant & Wine
Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ
Enjoy a delicious 4 course meal at Salt Restaurant & Wine Bar for $45 per person. Ryan Orr will be preforming live. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 928-367-1819. More information about Salt is available online here.


Man at Leisure logoRed, White, and Chocolate Tasting at Man at Leisure
Prescott, AZ
Drop by any time 4pm till 7pm at Man at Leisure to learn about and sample wines with chocolate pairings. Harry Haff, who teaches wine classes at Yavapai College, will be teaching and answering questions about wine.  RSVP is encouraged and can be completed online here.


Phoenix Area

bookmans logoBlind Date with a Book
State-wide at Bookmans
Need a valentine? No worries Bookmans is hooking you up, celebrate Love of Reading Month and Valentines Day by picking up a book blind date at any of your Bookmans locations! Starting on Valentines Day till the end of the month, each store will have a set up displays with books completely wrapped with only a few small clues, you never know you might just pick up a new favorite read!


white shirtWhite Shirt Red Wine
February 10, 5:30 PM
Phoenix, Arizona

Join Local First Arizona for an evening of authentic Italian arts. First, we will meet at the Phoenix Art Museum to enjoy an exclusive tour of the Gianfranco Ferré “White Shirt According to Me” exhibit, lead by Curator of Fashion Design Dennita Sewell. Afterwards, we will head over to Cibo where you can show your Localist Card (or printed ticket) to receive a complimentary glass of Chianti, as well as your choice of dessert for the table (included in price)! MORE


Cart-front-Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House Dinner
Cave Creek, AZ

4pm – 10pm. Cartwright’s is serving a special Valentine’s Day menu. RSVP online or by calling 480-488-8031.


loren north through the closet door

Personal Stylist Through the Closet Door Dresses You for Valentine’s
February 13
Glendale, AZ
Professional personal stylist, Loren North from Through the Closet Door, wants you to look your best for Valentine’s Day and will be at Simply Posh on Feb. 13th helping you choose the last minute items to complete your date night look. Loren will be on hand from 10am to 1pm the Saturday before date night at Simply Posh Consignment Boutique (1145 E Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020). Learn more about Through the Closet Door online here.


 National Comedy TheatreValentine’s Show at National Comedy Theatre
Feb. 12th + 13th
Mesa, Arizona

Competitive Comedy at National Comedy Theatre is ALWAYS a hilarious and spontaneous good time, but Valentine’s Day Weekend… LOVE is in the air! The Valentines Shows at NCT feature fresh and funny games you can ONLY see once a year. You don’t want to miss the fun and excitement of Valentines Shows at NCT! More information.


datesyumA Special Giftbox from Sphinx Date Company
Scottsdale, AZ (Statewide shipping)
Each heart shaped box is packed with a choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or Arizona pecan stuffed chocolate covered Medjool dates, dipped by Cerreta Candy Company. Prices start at $26.95 for 10 dates and vary based on what they are dipped in. Order online here!


12509730_799215873537902_3352406294996275907_nThere’s Love on the Menu at Bink’s Kitchen + Bar Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ
Starting at 3pm on Sunday, Bink’s will be offering a six course prix fixe menu for $75 per person with optional $35 wine pairings on February 14th. There will also be special menu items in addition to the regular menu on February 12th and 13th. RSVP online here or by calling 480-664-9238.


Arcadia FarmsLove at Arcadia Farms
February 13th
Scottsdale, AZ
Join us for a Special dinner, February 13th, to celebrate Valentine’s day.  Reservations currently being accepted from 6-9 pm.  Call 480-941-5665 or 480-947-2596 to secure your spot.


Valentine's Day Dessert 2016.jpgValentine’s Day Weekend Dinner
ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
Scottsdale, AZ

Enjoy a romantic, candle-lit dinner on Saturday or Sunday. They will be serving some delicious Valentine’s specials along with our seasonal menu. You can make a reservation online or by calling (480) 376-2600.


12669548_944605782259861_8536978989953724451_n

Popcorn and More Sweet Treats
Tolleson, AZ
Popcorn and More has a collection of sweet, salty treats for your love this year. You can get more information online here or by calling (623) 907-8500.


Winery 101 Special Events for Gals and Couples
Peoria, AZ
On February 12th grab your gals and enjoy a Galentine’s Day with wine and fun from 5pm – 8pm at Winery 101. Then on Sunday, February 14th experience a special wine and chocolate pairing from 2pm to 6pm for only $15 per person. RSVP for etiehr or both by calling (520) 477-9463. More information is online here.


TEXAZ GrillTEXAZ Grill Serves up Valentine’s 
Phoenix, AZ
Celebrate the most romantic day of the year at TEXAZ Grill, with their Valentine’s Day supper special, Steak Lin Sue, for just $26 after 4 pm, including a complimentary piece of Texas Sheet Cake.


sauce pizza salad

2 for $20 Valentine’s Weekend at Sauce
February 12th – 14th
Multiple Locations
Enjoy a fresh salad, whole pizza, and two glasses of wine at all Sauce locations for only $20 over Valentine’s weekend. More information about Sauce is available online here.


One•n•ten Valentine’s Day Fresh Brunch Gala
Phoenix, AZ
Fresh Brunch is one•n•ten‘s 7th annual signature gala brunch. This year it will take place at the Arizona Biltmore on Valentine’s Day from 11 am – 1:00 pm. Celebrate 23 years of service to the Valley’s LGBT community and Questioning youth.  All proceeds raised at Fresh Brunch will go towards one•n•ten’s mission to enhance lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self?expression, self?acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices. Tickets and more information are available online here or by calling 602.400.2601.


Hula cocktailHula’s Modern Tiki Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day
Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ
No schmaltzy paper hearts, no cheesy pri fixe menu, no reservations needed. Just great food and even better friends with killer cocktails. Come and burn a photo of your ex in our fire pit in Phoenix. See and be seen in Scottsdale (and maybe find new love). Either way, visit us this year write that great memory in your burn book. For more information visit online here.


Becketts Table A Weekend to Celebrate at Beckett’s Table
February 12, 13, and 14th.

Phoenix, AZ
This Valentine’s Weekend, Beckett’s Table will be serving a three-course prix fixe menu. You pay also chose items from their seasonal menu. $39 per person. View more information and make a reservation online here or by calling 602-954-1700.


12514010_10208679351367055_2967668949968471760_oHeavenly Sweets, Hidden Track  Bottle Shop’s Wine, and 19th Floor Yoga 
Phoenix, AZ
Local Heavenly Sweets AZ  and Hidden Track Bottle Shop are collaborating with 19th Floor Yoga to spoil you on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy yoga guided by Gabriel Gavin, gluten free brownies + other sweets, and wine samples for $20 per person. Happening at 3:30pm on Valentine’s Day. Sign up online here.


Southern Rail’s Valentine’s Day Specialsouthernrail_az_logo
February 12, 13, and 14th
Phoenix, AZ
Join Southern Rail over the romantic weekend to enjoy a prix fixe menu and half-off bottles of wine (Feb. 14th only) Full information about the restaurant can be found here on their website or by calling 602-200-0085.


the gladlyThe Gladly on Valentine’s
Phoenix, AZ
Chef Bernie is cooking up his 3-course tasting menu full of his favorite dishes. So grab that special someone and show them a great time full of delicious food and exquisite drinks. Now taking reservations throughout the night. Call 602-759-8132 or book conveniently online.


valentinesdayLove is in the Air at Phoenix City Grille
February 12, 13, and 14th.
Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix City Grille’s Executive Chef, Rory Hewitt, just announced his specials for Valentine’s Day which will be featured all weekend. The full menu and information can be seen here.


puppyValentine’s Dog Party at Noble Beast
February 13th
Phoenix, AZ
Share the love for your furry co-pilots. Swing by Noble Beast with your furry best friend for including: Free Nail Trims Provided by Puff & Fluff, Special Heart-Shaped Dog Cookies by Puppy Belly Deli,  Paw Massages Provided by Natural Paws Cookies.  There will be refreshments for humans and a Valentine’s craft table will keep any little humans busy. You can find more information online here.


unnamedLove Your Heart Class by  Revolution Health Medical Center 
February 10th
Phoenix, AZ
February is Heart Health Awareness Month.  Learn how to reduce your risk of heart disease by eliminating risk factors you can control and managing the risk factors you cannot control. This workshop will discuss nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices that will help you “love your heart”. 6:30pm. FREE Class! RSVP online here or by calling  (602)265-1774.


qc olive millQueen Creek Olive Mill Valentine’s Dinner
Queen Creek, AZ
Spend a romantic evening in the olive grove. Their annual Valentine’s Dinner will take place outside in the olive grove on our heated patio. Enjoy live music by Soundscape and delicious prix fixe menu selections. 3 seatings at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 pm. $64/person (no wine) or $69/person (with wine). RSVP is necessary and can be placed by calling 480-888-9290 ext. 102. More info.


Southern Arizona

bookmans logoBlind Date with a Book
State-wide at Bookmans
Need a valentine? No worries Bookmans is hooking you up, celebrate Love of Reading Month and Valentines Day by picking up a book blind date at any of your Bookmans locations! Starting on Valentines Day till the end of the month, each store will have a set up displays with books completely wrapped with only a few small clues, you never know you might just pick up a new favorite read!


Valentines-Ticket-2016_featuredSonoita Vineyard Sweet & Savory Food and Wine Pairing
February 13
Elgin, AZ
In the beautiful Southern Arizona wine country, join Sonoita Vineyards for 8 sweet and savory pairings from Happy Cooker’s Catering. Sonoita Vineyards wines accompany each pairing for a truly luxurious meal. 10am to 4pm, $20 per person. Tickets and more information are online here.


maynardsValentine’s Dinner at Maynard’s Kitchen
Saturday Feb 13 + Sunday Feb 14
Tucson, AZ

Maynard’s Kitchen welcomes you to enjoy a romantic evening. Besides their regular full menu, they will also be serving a special menu just for the night. RSVP online or by calling  520-545-0577.


Hotel Congress ImageValentine’s Day Dinner at The Cup Café at Hotel Congress
February 13 + February 14
Tucson, AZ
Cup Café, the signature Hotel Congress restaurant, is serving a special menu for Valentine’s Day 2016. See the menu and receive more information online here or by calling (520) 798-1618.


pastiche logoValentine’s Day at Pastiche
Tucson, AZ
Pastiche will be serving their full  menu as well as a special Valentine’s Day menu. RSVP online or by calling (520) 325-3333.


Playformance Tucson Camps Youth FitnessParent’s Day Out at Playformance
Tucson, AZ
Parents’ Day Out gives parents the opportunity to take a break from 10am to 1pm on Valentine’s day. Parents can relax and enjoy Sunday afternoon off while professional Playformance staff provides fun themed activities for children grades 4 and up. $40 per family. You can enroll your child online here.


I-love-Zoo-590x350I Love Zoo! at Reid Park Zoo
Tucson, AZ
Keepers will provide animals with valentine-themed treats, and you’ll have the opportunity to make your own valentine for a furry, feathery, or scaly Zoo friend. All activities are free with regular admission. No registration is required.


10357253_701874186544369_7091387515712478038_nValentine’s Day Prix Frie at The Coronet
Tucson, AZ

Please join The Coronet for a romantic evening with a special Valentine’s Day menu. View the menu and more information online here or call (520)444-2830.


Make Your Own Gifts at Deco
February 13th
Tucson, AZ
Have fun creating on Saturday February 13th at Deco: An Illuminating Experience. From Noon to 3pm create a smooth skin moisturizer or a beautiful bracelet for yourself or your date. You can learn more about Deco online here or by calling (520) 319-0888.


sauce pizza salad

2 for $20 Valentine’s Weekend at Sauce
February 12th – 14th
Multiple Locations
Enjoy a fresh salad, whole pizza, and two glasses of wine at all Sauce locations for only $20 over Valentine’s weekend. More information about Sauce is available online here.


tucson museum of art cafeValentine’s Dinner at Café a la C’Art & Tucson Museum of Art
Tucson, AZ
A special 3 course menu will be served at Café a la C’Art inside the Tucson Museum of Art from 5:00pm to 10:00pm on Sunday Feb. 14th. After dinner, the museum will be open exclusively for Café a la C’Art guests from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. $60 per person or $50 for TMA members. Call 520-628-8533 to make your reservation or see more information online here.


Run for the Love of it!
Saturday February 14th at 8:30am
Tucson, AZ
Be a part of the LOVE-liest run of the year! Celebrate your Valentine’s Day this year with a morning of running, mimosas, p.d.a., awesome prizes and more! All profits benefit Ben’s Bells. Full information can be found here!


lobors1Valentine’s Day at Tucson Botanical Garden
Tucson, AZ
Enjoy delicious food from Café Botanica in the beautiful Gardens while enjoying great love songs performed by the talented LoBros. Two seatings, one at 5:30 and another at 7:30. Price ranges from $30-$45. More info is online here or RSVP by calling 520-326-9686 x 41.


Valentine’s at Ghini’s
Friday Feb 12th
Tucson, AZ
Celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday Feb 12th! Prix Fixe $50 per couple. Choice of Beouf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin,  Apple Roquefort Walnut Salad or Caesar Salad and a decadent, fresh baked Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Mousse Cake. Make a reservation online here or by calling 520-326-9095.


jonathans corkJonathan’s Cork Has Homemade Candy
Tucson, AZ
Famous hand-crafted Almond Roca is available now through Valentine’s Day.  Call in your order or stop by the Cork for a sample and to purchase.  $15/pound (bag).  Please call for more information about their Valentine’s hours/specials (if any). (520) 296-1631.


25TH-CHOC-TASTING-POSTER25th Annual Chocolate Tasting
February 13
Bisbee, AZ
For only $10 per ticket enjoy 3 hours of chocolate in the amazing small town of Bisbee. Hosted by Central School Project the Chocolate Tasting will be from 6pm – 9pm. Tickets can only be purchased in person at The Copper Queen Library, Friend’s Bookstore, High Desert Market, and Finders Keepers.


Stay up to date with local events, news, and happenings in your region by subscribing to our Local Insider newsletter. Sign up here!

Are you a Local First Arizona business coalition member hosting a Valentine’s Day event that you would like featured here? Please email celeste@localfirstaz.com.

Posted in Go Local Guides, Greater Phoenix, Northern Arizona, Restaurants & Dining, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saving money, saving time, saving energy

When running a business, it can be daunting to figure out how to implement energy saving options like high-efficiency lighting, low impact appliances, and upgraded electrical systems.  Stinkweeds, an independently owned record store of 28 years, found a way
to do it while staying busy selling new and used music from mostly independent artists.  

Last year, Stinkweeds completed a complete lighting retrofit of their store on Central and Camelback in Phoenix.  They replaced all of their indoor track lighting with high-efficiency LED bulbs for one-third of the cost that it usually requires.  Better yet, Stinkweeds is saving over $200 on energy bills annually, meaning the project paid itself off within the year.

                                                                How did they do it?   

IMG_1608        stinkweeds

Stinkweeds worked with local lighting provider Lighting UnLimited, who offer free energy audits and processing of all the energy efficiency rebates available through local utilities. Energy utilities regularly offer rebates for upgrading to high-efficiency lighting, but the rebate process can be tedious and confusing.  Lighting UnLimited completed the energy audit and did all of the research, application, and processing steps for receiving the maximum cost savings from rebates  The result was a cost estimate that decreased the original price of the retrofit by 66%, with little to no extra work for the staff at Stinkweeds. “All we had to do was sign on the dotted line,” says Lindsay Cates, manager of Stinkweeds, of any additional work required to complete the retrofit.  

Cates reports that the effects of the retrofit can be felt IMG_1606 and seen.  Before switching to LEDs, the lights gave off much more heat, despite the actual light being dimmer than the new ones, indicating that energy was being wasted.

Thanks to local companies like Lighting UnLimited, it’s easy for independent businesses like Stinkweeds to reduce their environmental impact and save money at the same time!

 

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