Arizona Grown Hops Create A Tasty Local Beer

hops2Have you ever fallen in love with the taste of fresh local hops in a craft beer? Have you ever had the opportunity to even try fresh hops? Unless you have been on a vacation out of state the answer to these two question may be no, but soon they can be a yes. There is good news for local beer connoisseurs of Arizona; Granite Mountain Brewing, in Prescott, has acquired Arizona’s first locally grown hops to produce a truly unique, local beer.

These local hops have been delicately harvested from a farm in Chino Valley. The grower in Chino Valley first planted almost 400 plants on five acres a couple of years ago as a hobby that soon turned into a passion. This summer was the first year that the IMG_3286plants were ready for harvest and Granite Mountain Brewing knew just what to do. With each hop cone being carefully selected and hand-picked, the folks at Granite Mountain Brewing have crafted a one-time limited release craft brew series called #3 Pale. “The local hops went into our anniversary brew: #3 Pale. The pale was dry-hopped with 36 oz of Cascade hop. Dry-hopping is like steeping tea, but with hops, and is done after initial fermentation. This adds aroma and flavor to the beer, without adding bitterness.”

Fresh hop beers are typically brewed with hops that are picked and thrown in the brew kettle within 24-hours. Fresh hop beers give brewers the chance to work with an ingredient in its most natural state, resulting in unique flavors and aromas compared to beers made with hops that have been dried and stored. That is the essence behind #3 Pale.

“Damon and I fell in love with fresh hop beer during a trip to the Seattle area a couple of years ago. We were fortunate to be sitting at the bar at Hale’s Ale Brewery when their brewer brought in a sample of their fresh hopped beer. It was outstanding – grassy, citrusy and bright, so aromatic. We’re thrilled that our hop guy chose us to work with exclusively”

hops3Craft beer lovers are thrilled as well. The opportunity to try something new and fresh made right here in Arizona is simply too good of a chance to pass up. So stop in, say hello and ask all about their new local hops brew. Granite Mountain Brewery is located at 123 N. Cortez Street in downtown Prescott. They are open Wednesday through Sunday with varying hours. The offer a food menu in addition to the craft beer selection. Check out their website here for more information on hours and events.

Posted in Agriculture, Beer Wine and Spirits, Businesses, Excellence in Localism, Made in Arizona, Northern Arizona, Rural Arizona | Leave a comment

Putting Ethics Back Into Car Repair

25th St Auto 2Image via 25th Street Automotive

There’s the old saying: you get what you pay for. For those of us who have made last-minute car repair choices based on discount pricing and quick turn-around times, the old saying couldn’t be truer. But, navigating through the endless options of automotive repair shops is a task within itself especially when your automobile needs urgent attention and you’re not one for the fancy car speak. Consider 25th Street Automotive, which has served as a family Valley business since 1958 and continues to strive and deliver that old fashioned customer service with strong business ethics and transparency. “We’re very proud of our reputation for being a group of really talented, goodhearted people with a long history of ethical auto repair and service—that includes a caring staff of certified professionals that I’m proud to call friends,” said Bill Coniam, the manager/net owner and face of the 25th Street location. The shop honors and adheres to the Automotive Service Association’s code of ethics, are AAA-Approved and a Master Certified Mechanic is responsible for each repair.

25th St Auto 1Image via 25th Street Automotive

The shop provides ethical automotive repair, consultation, and long term automotive planning for our customers. Additionally, the folks at 25th Street Automotive help clients determine their objectives for their automotive needs and are committed to developing strong, long-term relationships and providing the best possible service and products for them. Each repair and service comes with a high level of integrity, fairness, sensitivity, honesty, trust and trustworthiness, and they are committed to making sure the highest levels of service are always delivered. As a locally owned business that has weathered the economic storm by putting great customer service first, they are equally invested in community and creating a family focused work-environment for their employees, maintaining balance between work and family life and using their talents and resources to help others in the community. Learn more about this great automotive shop and the services they provide in the Biltmore area.

Written by Somlynn Rorie

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

Local Impact Champion: SLO Restaurant Concepts

Slo logosFlagstaff-based SLO Restaurant Concepts has Localism baked into its DNA. SLO stands for sustainable, local, organic and these three beliefs that are prevalent in the company’s approach to running their business. Here are some of the impressive things they are doing to make their business a good community steward.

Local Sourcing
The foundation of the company revolves around local sourcing and they go above and beyond in their procurement of local products. SLO supports companies in the region, from farmers to office supplies to building materials. Their relationship with their vendors goes further than a purchase agreement as they often collaborate to host special dinners featuring Arizona growers and winemakers. Not only are they creating great relationships with fellow business owners, they are seeing the results of their attention to local in customer support. Some of their local food vendors include:

Foraged mushrooms

Mushroom foraging.

Tortilla Lady, Flagstaff
McClendon Select, Peoria
Ridgeview Farms, Paulden
Black Mesa Ranch, Snowflake
Queen Creek Olive Mill, Queen Creek
Arizona Legacy Beef, Central Arizona
Arizona Cheese Company, Tempe
Hayden Flour Mills, Tempe
Page Springs Vineyards, Page Springs
Firecreek Coffee Company, Flagstaff
Mother Road Brewery, Flagstaff
Chateau Tumbleweed, Camp Verde
Olinka Kombucha, Sedona
Top Knot Poultry, Tucson
Historic Brewing Company, Flagstaff
Pillsbury Wine, Wilcox
Sand Reckoner, Wilcox
Village Baker, Flagstaff
Pizzicletta Bread, Flagstaff
Rising Hy Hot Sauce, Flagstaff
Mountain Top Honey, Flagstaff
Lumberyard Brewing Company, Flagstaff
Flagstaff Farming Company, Flagstaff

Community involvement
The mantra that “we’re better together” is what inspires Heather Malloy, who is in charge of SLO Restaurant Concept’s business operations. She is always on the lookout for ways to collaborate within her community. Flagstaff restaurant Criollo, for example, is abundant in the arts scene. They host local artists in the restaurant and hold fundraisers for art projects. Flagstaff is a Dark Sky City meaning the city works to keep light pollution at a minimum to preserve the night skies, nocturnal animals and energy. An exhibit of photography that was only shot at night was hosted at Criollo Restaurant to raise awareness of this initiative. This is a perfect example of a business being in tune with what is happening in their community and letting people know their values.

Yarn bombs during Bike to Work Week.

One of their favorite events to participate in is Colorado River Days held in September. This week long celebration in Flagstaff raises awareness to issues facing the Colorado River. To celebrate, Criollo exhibits Colorado River inspired art work and they park a replica of an original hand built boat that first went down river. These events bring community together and shed light on the serious issues facing our watershed. Another favorite event is Bike to Work Week held in May. They have bicycle inspired art on the walls and encourage their employees to ride their bikes to work. Every year a local knitter yarn-bombs the bike racks out front.

Cash for Local Change was inspired by SLO Restaurant Concept. This program encourages customers to pay for purchases in cash, with 1% of all cash sales being donated to a local nonprofit. When customers use cash, businesses avoid the percentage of sales that credit card companies take which instantly leaves the local economy. This smart program keeps more money in our state and donates it to those that need it most, versus making credit card companies richer. Cash for Local Change is now run by Full Circle Thrift in Flagstaff.

Environmental Sustainability
Paying attention to natural resources and the impact of their business on the environment is a priority at SLO’s restaurants. Local sourcing means products travel less distance to get to them, and they use organic produce whenever possible. In Flagstaff, they partner with Roots Composting to turn their food waste into compost which is used throughout the community. They recycle and seek out recycled packaging materials. They use ecofriendly practices when possible, from rice bran oil for their frying to non-GMO tortillas to compostable cups to reverse osmosis water filtration. The pine used in building Proper and Criollo is locally harvested beetle kill ponderosa. Criollo also contains salvage wood from the Rodeo-Chediski fire that was locally milled at AP Sawmill.

Chef de Cuisine Flip of Criollo during a Navajo inspired Winemaker dinner with Pillsbury Wine.

Hiring practices include seeking a diverse workforce, and making sure that they are providing jobs for people that have history in the region. They support their employees by helping them further their culinary education, including sending them to events and conferences that help inspire them. They have an Employee of the Month program, where workers are chosen for their hard work and commitment, both from the back of the house and front of the house. The restaurant group also provides opportunities for their employees that are interested in the arts by doing employee art shows. During Bike to Work Week, they incentivize employees to pedal to work by entering those that do into a daily raffle for prizes.

Party in the Pines 1

Party in the Pines Localist event at Criollo

Local Movement Support
SLO Restaurant Concepts has heavily supported the local movement through supporting Local First Arizona. They have been involved with local foods events including the Arizona Food & Finance Forum, Farmer + Chef Connection, Devoured Culinary Classic and Savor Southern Arizona Culinary Festival. They have been present at several BALLE conferences, which focus on creating local economies and businesses that create prosperity for all. They regularly attend and host Local First Arizona mixers and events. They have measured the impact of their business using the B Corporation Quick Impact assessment.

Local First Arizona is extremely proud of this amazing restaurant group and all that they do for the state. Pay them a visit at any of their four locations to see their good work in action.
Criollo Latin Kitchen, 16 N. San Francisco St, Flagstaff
Brix, 413 N. San Francisco, Flagstaff
Proper Meats, 110 S. San Francisco, Flagstaff
Proper Tucson, 300 E. Congress St, Tucson

The Local Impact Champion series highlights Local First Arizona members who go above and beyond in supporting their local community. If your business is interested in sharing its story, email

Posted in Local First Movement, Local Impact Champion, Northern Arizona, Restaurants & Dining, Sustainability, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Real, Raw R Bars provide great nutrition on the go

IMG_3739For almost five years, cyclist, Brian Cornelius has been making RBars – a tasty nutrition bar for people on the go. The idea for the product came from Cornelius’ experience as a cyclist. Cornelius spent over 6 years as an elite cyclist. “Through races I learned a lot along the way about nutrition. I would take a bag of dried fruit and nuts with me and I wanted to find a way to make that into a great tasting product that could be eaten on the go. RBar Energy is about creating something that is very delicious and very simple – but doing it well and doing it consistently is very hard work.” Cornelius continues to make the bars from whole simple ingredients and sources locally when he can. Pecans from nearby Green Valley are used in the Prickly Pear Pecan and Double Chocolate bars. They also come in other great flavors like Cranberry Cashew, Lemon Poppyseed and Peanut Butter and Jelly.  All the bars use 7 or fewer ingredients.

“Its very hard to make something without cutting corners. We still make the bars from scratch from recognizable ingredients,” comments Cornelius. “ I have always felt like you should be able to go into a store, look at one of our bars and know exactly what the ingredients are. A lot of companies use fillers, we don’t do that. We used to use date paste because it was easier but when you taste the date paste and the dates side by side you realize they are nothing alike. Where we can use the whole product we prefer to use the whole product.”

IMG_3738RBar has an innovative process that allows them to use whole ingredients while avoiding the binders used in so many other commercially available nutrition bars. Cornelius cites their innovative process as one reason why they were awarded as one of six winners of the Arizona Commerce Authority Spring 2015 Innovation Challenge.  The challenge represents early-stage Arizona companies creating innovative solutions with the potential for significant economic impact. RBar Energy was the only Tucson company to win the statewide challenge. Cornelius also credits StartUp Tucson as a great resource that helped grow his business. RBar was one of the first graduating businesses of StartUp’s Thryve accelerator program. “To be part of that first cohort at Thryve was huge for us,” comments Cornelius. “ It was incredibly instrumental in growing our business. The local community has been fantastic to us and we have worked hard to earn their trust.”

As a part of the cycling community, cyclists were the first people that Cornelius reached out to for help improving the bars. The bars don’t melt and are a perfect fit for athletes on the go. “We have a lot of athletes who use the bars,” comments Cornelius. Athletes figure prominently in his business model as both ambassadors for his products and his focus group. RBar has gradually expanded from testing recipes in a kitchen to a full production facility making 20,000 bars each month. RBars are available at many local food retailers like Food Conspiracy and AJ’s and can also be found in over 14 airports nationwide.  The bars are also available as in in-room snack for guests at The Downtown Clifton Hotel.  The other thing that cycling taught Cornelius is follow through and perseverance. “People have been telling me since I started this company that I don’t have a chance. Its not about the end result, its about the process you go through. We always try, we always give it a shot.”

RBarCornelius loves having a business in Arizona. While his products are sold nationwide, he sees no reason to move. “This has been my home for 18 years. There are other businesses that pick up and go, but where do the relationships go? What is the upside to that? I love being from Arizona. This is an incredibly cool state to be from.” Cornelius cites the tight knit Tucson community as another key to success. Cornelius has a great relationship with a local packaging company and uses local talent to help with his marketing. “We have an enormous amount of cheerleaders and influential people in this town. This is a small community and if you do something good and you are honest, people will support you. In Tucson good news travels fast.”

RBar Energy is one of the many vendors at the Arizona Farmer Chef Connection on September 16th. Come learn more about RBar and other great local food producers at this important event.

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

Composting in the Workplace On the Biggest and the Smallest of Scales

Being a sustainability junkie, I am always looking for ways to get my fix. I became interested in composting after a Sustainable Cities course at Chandler-Gilbert Community College taught by Dr. Darien Ripple, who preached the importance of healthy soil. For my Honors project I was put in charge of the composting program they have implemented for their Environmental Technology Center, which is of substantial size. I became intrigued to find out how local businesses of varying sizes can go about composting in their workplace.

Organic materials like food scraps and landscaping trimmings make up a high percentage of waste that ends up in landfills. A Phoenix waste characterization study done in Summer 2014 shows that nearly half of the City’s residential waste is made up of compostable yard and food waste. While this study doesn’t take into account waste from business, we know that businesses like landscapers, restaurants and grocery stores contribute a large amount of compostable waste. A report from 2014 done by the USDA stated that the retail-level food loss was 43 billion pounds in 2010.

How large institutions compost
Arizona State University’s Tempe campus is a leader in ASUCompostsustainable behavior and takes huge strides in incorporating composting into their waste diversion. Their waste management teams work closely with the school’s food service businesses to collect food scraps from their eating halls and events. They work with their landscaping crew to create mulch from plant trimmings and spent coffee grounds. Their success relies on communicating effectively to their compost providers, the workers in the kitchens, landscapers and janitorial staff. An added bonus that thrilled us at Local First is that ASU contracts with two locally owned businesses, Sonoran Waste and Singh Farms for their services.

How a local cafe composts
ASU is a big institution with a lot of resources. So how does a smaller, locally owned restaurant handle composting? Enter Stephanie Vasquez, the owner of Fair Trade Café in Phoenix, which started composting a year ago. Her 20150828_114725biggest “challenge” was making a change and taking the first step. After connecting with compost provider Recycled City she decided to give it a try and quickly realized how easy it was. It was different, but different isn’t necessarily more difficult. Her staff, knowing that they were doing something that was making a positive impact on their environment and community, got excited and felt purposeful. They compost food waste, paper cups, coffee sleeves, napkins, stir sticks, pastry bags, and other paper products. Adding composting to her restaurant did add a new cost however, she pointed out that it was not significant and the money was practically being made up in trash bags alone. She went from using one large Hefty bag a day to one large Hefty bag a week.

Stephanie’s only regret is not starting composting sooner. She composts because it is responsible behavior and makes positive impact. People are starting to realize that sustainability is not an underground fad, but a driving force towards saving our world for future generations. It is going to take a collaborative effort from not only the government and individuals, but also businesses, which are influential members of society.

How a small office composts
Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 1.17.50 PMIn the time I’ve been in the Local First Arizona office, I noticed that our trash had banana peels and apple cores galore. I also noticed we had a small empty box on the side of the building that had potential for a compost bin. A quick ask to the LFA team and voilà; our very own compost bin was created. We collect food scraps, compostable cups and plates from the office and once a week we pick up coffee grounds from our nearby coffee shop Tammie Coe. It’s been fun to see the change in the Local First staff’s garbage habits and has led to great conversations about why composting is important, and how we can better motivate business owners to start.

How to Get Started
Adding compost to your workplace can be incorporated whether you do it yourself or work with a compost provider. Some companies across the state that can help you become successful composters include:
Flagstaff: Roots Composting
Tucson: Scraps on Scraps
Tucson: Compost Cats
Phoenix: Recycled City
Phoenix: Sonoran Waste

Want help or more information? Email We also love to hear how your business is incorporating sustainable behavior so please reach out!

Posted in Local First Movement, Sustainability | Leave a comment

Submit Your Vote for The Best of Phoenix!

newtimes best of phoenix

Graphic via The New Times.

It’s that time of the year again to submit your independently owned favorites to The New Times BEST OF PHOENIX Reader’s Poll!

Vote  for your Local Favorites Here!

This is the 37th annual chance for Phoenicians to submit their favorite spots in the Valley to The New Times. Submit your favorite locale in dozens of shopping, dining, and entertainment categories ranging from Best Dive Bar to Best Place to Watch the Sunset. Voting closes on September 10, 2015 at 11:59pm.

Business winners will receive an award to show off in their business, publicity for the win, and the honor of being 2015’s Best of Phoenix.

Some independently owned winners from 2014 include Ingo’s Tasty Food for Best Hamburger, The Clever Koi for Best New School Cocktails, Changing Hands for Best Bookstore, and LFA’s event Devoured Food + Wine Classic won Best Culinary Festival (thanks again, Phoenix!).

Posted in Greater Phoenix | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the LFA Tucson team, CJ!


We are pleased to expand the Local First Arizona team in Tucson by welcoming CJ Agbannawag as our Tucson Membership Coordinator. CJ will be working alongside the rest of the team to build up our programming in Tucson, including the business member program, the Localist program, and community engagement. Get to know CJ below, and make sure to say hi to him at the next Tucson event!

Tell us a bit about your background:

CJI call myself a “die-hard Tucsonan” but I can’t say that I am born and raised in Tucson. I was born in the lush green landscape of Salinas, California, just inland from Monterey Bay. My family and I moved to Tucson in 2001, so after enduring fourteen summers in Tucson, I like to consider myself a full fledged Tucsonan. I went to highschool at Salpointe Catholic High School, and then decided to attend the University of Arizona (Bear Down, Wildcats!). I started at the UofA as undecided. I could not find any program that truly fit what I was truly passionate about. I knew that I wanted to learn more about the environment and climate change, and more specifically the ways that we, as humans, could mitigate climate change. I was very lucky to learn about a new program at the University that was just starting called the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments, in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA). I am proud to say that I joined with only a handful of other students and that the program now has 100 plus students.

In the Sustainable Built Environments program, I studied with an emphasis on Sustainable Communities and Planning. One of the most influential things I did in my time at the UofA, was taking on an internship at Mayor Rothschild’s office, in Tucson. I found that the internship was so valuable that after completing the required semester for my degree, I stayed on for another semester. This is where I developed a passion for larger policy and community initiatives that ultimately make our community and environment a better place.

What drew you to Local First Arizona?

My friends and family can attest to the fact that I am very passionate about Tucson, and Arizona as a whole. I take any chance I get to tell my friend about new Tucson facts, snippets of history, or cool happenings and events. All through school, I just thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this amazing desert and city, and it was only a matter of time before I found out about Local First Arizona and all of the awesome programs they are part of. Local First Arizona was commonly spoken about in my classes and by my classmates as I learned about the importance that businesses and consumers have in issues of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. I learned more about Local First Arizona and the importance of the role that they play in supporting our local businesses, and the work they do to help transform Arizona’s economy. When the opportunity to work with Local First Arizona came up, I saw it as an opportunity for myself to help Tucson thrive and grow, so I jumped at the opportunity. As I tell my friends, Arizona is not just a dust bowl full of cactus and snakes. Arizona is a vibrant and diverse place, home to amazing cultures and communities. I am honored to be part of Local First Arizona’s efforts to promote and strengthen these communities, and to help them thrive.

What is your favorite local business and why?

For years now, my favorite store has always been Summit Hut. I am an avid outdoor sports enthusiast and Summit Hut has always been my go to store for gear and equipment. I went there to buy equipment for the first backpacking trip I ever took in high school and I remember how nice and helpful the staff was to me. I still go there today and learn tips and local trail knowledge from the awesome employees.

Tell us about one of your life’s passions:

My biggest passion in life is being outside. Any time that I can be outside is a good time! I love the desert that surrounds Tucson and I take any opportunity to go play in any of Tucson’s numerous National and State parks and forests. I decided to give back to the local outdoor community and joined the Southern Arizona Rescue Association; the volunteer Search and Rescue group that assists the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Unit. But if I’m being honest, search and rescue is just another excuse to spend more time outside.

What makes you proud to be an Arizonan?

There’s a lot to be proud of in Arizona! In Tucson, I am very proud to be part of such a special and unique community. The history of the area, the unique communities, and the passion that Tucsonans have is something that I am proud to be part of. Arizona is such a diverse and beautiful place. In Tucson, one could go from tanning poolside, to an alpine forest on Mount Lemmon in less than an hour! This is a truly special place, and I am proud to be an Arizonan.

Follow CJ and the rest of the LFA Tucson team on Twitter at @LFATucson.

Posted in Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The fine art of local at Cafe A La C’art

This post guest written by LFA Intern Loran Shamis.

August2015MixerThe Tucson Museum of Art and Café a la C’art were the perfect duo for our August mixer.  Café a la C’art is the ideal spot to enjoy a house made pastry while sippin’ on some wine on their cool, canopy patio. This wonderful, hidden gem of downtown Tucson provided an extensive array of tasty treats to all those who attended the August Mixer.  Owner, Mark Jorbin demonstrated Café a la C’art’s ability to host and entertain great parties, so spread the word about their amazing catering service! All of our attendees were given complimentary passes to the Tucson Museum of Art and we had lots to announce about some great upcoming events!

GrapesToGlassThis September 12th Maynard’s Market is going above and beyond by hosting a fundraiser to support Local First Arizona! From 1-4 during the Second Saturday celebrations downtown, Maynard’s is hosting Grapes to Glass Art and Wine Festival in order to showcase local wine producers. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Local First Arizona Foundation.

Are you a vendor looking to purchase local food in wholesale volume? Or, are you producer seeking to sell in wholesale volume? The Farmer Chef Connection is the perfect place to make future business connections. This statewide conference is, for the first time, in Tucson this year. It’s an awesome opportunity for local producers and local vendors to network in a conference setting. This event will take place on Wednesday, September 16th from 12-5:30 PM at the Tucson Convention Center. Learn more and register for this one of a kind event!

Registration for our award-winning Downtown Tucson Small Wonders Maps is open. Receive an early bird discount by registering before August 31! Do not miss this great opportunity to be featured alongside great local businesses in the unique Tucson Small Wonders maps. Email Erika for the early bird code-

Want to find more ways to get involved in Local First AZ?  Member 101 Sessions are a great way to get started! Every month, we hold online educational sessions where you can discover how to get more involved with local movement. Learn more about our organization, membership opportunities and more! Session runs about 30-45 minutes. RSVP here for the next one!  Interested in learning more about the benefits of Sustaining Membership in Local First Arizona?  Find out more here.

Need to renew your membership? Renew online here. Please don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters. These are a great way to stay on top of great local happenings and important local business “news you can use”.

Our next mixer will be hosted by Vantage West Credit Union in Marana.  Due to limited capacity at this venue, all attendees MUST RSVP in advance.  Attendance for this event is capped and only listed RSVPs will be admitted.  Please RSVP here to attend.

Thank you to all the great businesses who attended –

A&E Recycled Granite, L.L.C.
A-1 Mattress Inc.
Acupuncture Pain Relief Center
America’s Mattress
Arizona Heritage Tours, LLC
Arizona Jewish Post
AZPM – Arizona Public Media
Barbara McNichol Editorial
Best Western Inn Suites
Breakout Studios
Brown Bear Studio
Burns Pest Elimination
Cady Ltd.
Casa de la Luz Hospice
Chilttepica ,Salsa
Community Renaissance
CSI Point of Sale Consulting
Custom Quarters LLC
Dependable Personnel, Inc.
Downtown Tucson Partnership
Envoy Mortgage
Fermata Media Group
Film Creations LTD
Flowers, Rieger & Associates
Green Valley Pecan
Intestinal Health Institute
IPA Family
JAZ Landscape Design & Consultation
Jennifer Mead Creative
Kat Black ACS
KXCI (Independent Media Partner)
Mama’s Hawaiian B-B-Cue (Sustaining Member)
Many Hands Artist Cooperative
Marion Integrative Wellness
Maynards Market + Kitchen (Sustaining Member)
McMichael LLC
Merit Foods
MJE Handyman Service
MJGrushka Consulting
Ms. Fix-It Home Solutions
Munger Chadwick
New York Life
Picture Rocks Cooling & Heating LLC
RBar Energy
Roadrunner Auto Glass and Window Tint
Sky’s Sunlight
Southwest Solutions
The Downtown Clifton Hotel (Host for our next great LOCALIST event)
TMAL Art League
Top Knot Farms
Tucson Coffee Roasters
Tucson Federal Credit Union
Tucson Museum of Art
Tucson Originals (Sustaining Member)
Tucson RV Storage
Western Sky Communications
Yellow Brick Coffee


Posted in Business Member Event Recap, Businesses, Local First Movement, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Local Labor Day Events Across Arizona

think local buy local be local chalkboardLabor Day is September 7th!

A huge benefit of shopping and using local businesses is the larger increase in jobs when compared to chain stores. This helps to  create a larger working class and Labor Day is a celebration of those of us in the working class, so what better way to celebrate Labor Day than to support a local business?

Below are a number of local events and deals happening across the state.

Pick your area to see the events in your region:

Northern AZCentral AZ Phoenix AreaSouthern AZ

Northern Arizona

23Fossil Creek Creamery Farm Tour & Picnic Lunch
Beginning on Saturday, September 5th 2015 RSVP for a Farm Tour and Picnic Lunch at Fossil Creek Creamery for $10 an adult and $5 per child. The tour includes petting goats, pictures with llamas, and information about the farm. Lunch is served for an additional cost maxing at $12/person.

1Enjoy 20% Off at Scott’s’ Marketplace
All Arizona

Now until September 7th, enjoy 20% your purchase at online and local Scott’s Marketplace. Use the code “LaborDay15″ at checkout to redeem.

HORU_ParkHomolovi State Park
Join park rangers for tours of ancient Hopi sites in and around Homolovi State Park, hikes and walks on September 5. Other surrounding attractions including Sunset and Meteor Craters, Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monuments and don’t forget to “Stand of the Corner” right in the heart of the town.

TONA_BridgeTonto Natural Bridge State Park
The Tonto Natural Bridge was named one of the Top Three Parks to Visit on Labor Day Weekend.  This park is surrounded by a forest of pine trees and visitors can stand on top of the bridge or hike down below to appreciate the geologic wonder. With average temperatures in the 80’s the city of Payson is an amazing day trip.

N2ational Barrel Horse Association – Labor Day in the Pines
Brought to you in the Town of Payson, Watch cowgirls from all over the State of Arizona as they compete against the clock.  This is an annual event that has come to Payson for the past 5 years.


Greater Phoenix Area


158916First Draft Book Bar All Day Happy Hour
Phoenix and Tempe

Celebrate Labor Day at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix and enjoy Happy Hour Prices all day at First Draft Book Bar! Both locations will be open: Tempe from 10am to 9pm, and Phoenix 9am to 9pm.

4658SanTan Company Labor Day Weekend Brews Cruise
On Sunday September 6th, 2015 SanTan Brewing Company will invade the streets of Old Town Scottsdale with their annual Labor Day Weekend Bathing Suit Brews Cruise. Grab your beach cruisers, tricycles or 10 speeds, don your best bathing suit, and cruise through some Scottsdale bars.

Hotel Valley HoSpend the Weekend at Hotel Valley Ho
Stay a weekend at Hotel Valley Ho and enjoy a DJ by the pool beginning on Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with DJ Adrian Michaels on Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The pool area is reserved for hotel registered guests only, so be sure to book your room. Enjoy brunch at ZuZu on Saturday or Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m with Bloody Mary + Mimosa Bar from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

1Enjoy 20% Off at Scott’s’ Marketplace
All Arizona

Now until September 7th, enjoy 20% your purchase at online and local Scott’s Marketplace. Use the code “LaborDay15″ at checkout to redeem.


UntitledPop-Up Charity Shop for Sunnyslope Youth
Opening Labor Day Week at the Scottsdale Waterfront will be truckloads of new Converse, Vans, Puma shoes for youth and adults. These shoes are being sold for $20 per pair to for Back-To-School. All proceeds to benefit Sunnyslope Youth Center Enrichment Programs. Full info here.

qc olive millLabor Day Grill at the Mill
Queen Creek
Join us for the Annual Labor Day Grill at the Mill at Queen Creek Olive Mill on Labor Day from 11AM-3PM. They will be serving up grilled gourmet goodies featuring Chicago Style Hot Dogs along with regular menu items. Enjoy the park like atmosphere out in the grove under the olive trees while sitting back and enjoying the music and great food, beer and wine!

Southern Arizona

HoCoFest Music Festival
Downtown Tucson

30-plus bands playing inside Hotel Congress’s Club Congress as well as outdoors on Labor Day weekend. HoCoFest starts on Friday Sept. 4 and goes through Sunday, Sept. 6. This party will also feature an eco-fair and BBQ. More info.

Catalina State Park
Jimmie and the Jitterbugs will be playing smooth oldies at Catalina State Park at the First Saturday Concert at 5 p.m. on September 5. Join us for the outside concert and then drive 23 miles to Oracle State Park and get free entry to Oracle after you visit Catalina on the same weekend. Hike in the Park or tour Oracle’s historic Kannally Ranch House

KACA_CaveKartchner Caverns State Park
Visit Kartchner Cavern State Park’s “live” cave that is host to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations and bring your RV to stay in the adjacent campground. Surrounding attractions in Tombstone, Sierra Vista, Bisbee as well as Benson.

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Experience the Life of a Frontier Solider

FVSP1Fort Verde State Park offers visitors a rare glimpse into the unique life led by frontier soldiers. Established in 1865 as Camp Lincoln and later relocated and named Fort Verde in 1871, this military camp was specifically designed to protect local farmers during the Central Arizona Indian Wars period. This tumultuous time, when Arizona was still just a territory, was filled with land disputes, settler hostilities and malaria.  As a result, General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers arrived and a new way of life began.

FVSP2Today, Fort Verde State Park is well known for having some of the best preserved buildings from the Indian Wars era. Covering just over 11 acres of beautiful Verde Valley land, visitors can experience three historic house museums, all furnished in the 1880’s period. The museums include the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, Surgeon’s Quarters and the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters, each of which is listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. The welcome center itself also boasts interpretive exhibits and a wide collection of period artifacts from military life in the Verde Valley. History experts and novices alike will certainly stand in awe of the unique architectural expressions of the park, as buildings of this type are a rare and rapidly disappearing historic resource.

FVSP3Aside from being a history staple in the community, Fort Verde State Park has an extensive list of outdoor events held on park grounds year round. One of the most popular attractions is Fort Verde Days, held in October, where locals and guests can enjoy period reenactments, Dutch Oven cooking lessons, a vintage baseball game and more. Other notable festivities include Cornfest, Victorian Christmas, History of the Solider weekend, and candlelight tours. For more information on events through out the year check out Fort Verde State Park’s event calendar here.

FVSP4Located at 125 E. Hollamon in Camp Verde, Fort Verde State Park is now open seven days a week from 9AM-5PM. Park entrance fee is only $5 and includes access to museums and park grounds. For more information on Fort Verde State Park visit their website here or call (928) 567-3275. Do not miss the chance to see a special part of Arizona’s history and create your own adventure.

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