Holiday Shopping Road Trip to Tucson

Looking for a different holiday gift buying experience? Join Local First Arizona on Saturday, November 22nd for our 2nd Annual Holiday Shopping Road Trip to Tucson! Local First staff will be your tour guides to some of the great shops that the Old Pueblo has to offer, where you can find treasures for everyone on your list.

Artisans MarketThe tour begins at the Holiday Artisans Market at the Tucson Art Museum. Over 100 of the Southwest’s best artisans set up shop in the Museum’s courtyards to exhibit and sell their work.  The Museum will be offering free admission so you can spend time perusing the exhibits, visiting the Museum gift shop and checking out El Nacimiento, a traditional Mexican nativity scene.

At your leisure you can walk across the street to told town artisanshe Old Town Artisans Center that is home to a variety of eclectic shops including jewelry, art, gifts, vintage clothing and more. Stroll through the shops in this historic building and you will see original ceilings made of saguaro cactus ribs, packing crates, and whiskey barrel staves with remnants of imported wallpaper and gold-leaf mouldings. Enjoy lunch at your choice of La Cocina, Café a la C’Art or food trucks which will be at the Holiday Artisans Market.

sunshinemileNext we’ll hop back on the shuttle and head to the Sunshine Mile, a Modernist architecture and great shopping destination. This two mile strip is lined with a variety of shops including Arte de la Vida, Picante, Little Bird Nesting Company, Yikes Toys and Deco Boutique Shop for books, artisan housewares, antiques and collectables, clothing, toys, jewelry and more.

This trip is designed so that attendees can visit the shops of their choice. Timeline is as follows:

7:30 a.m Meet at the Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S. Arizona Grand, Phoenix, AZ 85004 to board shuttle and leave for Tucson at 8:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m. Arrive at the Holiday Artisans Market at the Tucson Art Museum. Shoppers can walk to nearby Old Town Artisans center. Enjoy lunch at your leisure.

2 p.m. Board shuttle to go to the Sunshine Mile.

4 p.m. Depart Tucson to arrive in Phoenix at 6 p.m.

Grab aBuyLocalMonthAZ friend, skip the stress of the mall and join in our road trip to whittle down that growing holiday gift list while supporting locally owned businesses. Cost per person is $30 which will cover transportation to and from Tucson in a comfortable shuttle bus. You are welcome to bring multiple guests but space is limited. Click here to RSVP or email with any questions. Check out a recap of last year’s trip!

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Throwback to 2005: The First Ever Certified Local Fall Festival

Ten years ago, a brand new organization banded together with 30 local businesses to bring about the first ever Certified Local Fall Festival in November, 2005.
Fall Festival 2014 Throwback 2005

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Phoenix at the Duck and Decanter, where nearly 1,800 attendees perused the local vendors, enjoyed food samples from local restaurants, and visited with the community.


A scene from the 2005 Certified Local Fall Festival

Local First Arizona, then known as Arizona Chain Reaction, was a brand new organization on the scene but had already garnered attention from local business leaders. At the time, Director Kimber Lanning was the owner of an independent record store and an art gallery, and had grown frustrated with the lack of awareness from consumers about the effects of their spending habits. She also noticed a “brain drain” in Phoenix, where young people were leaving for other cities like Austin and Portland, and that local governments were handing out tax dollars to lure big box corporations rather than invest in the local community. Kimber founded Local First Arizona to combat these issues and to build community prosperity and pride across Arizona. 

Ten years later, the Certified Local Fall Festival has grown into a beloved community event that is expected to attract 10,000 attendees to downtown Phoenix.

Fall Festival 2014 Ten Years Later

Over 100 local businesses will participate in this year’s festival and will provide a variety of kids activities, food samples, and unique wares for sale. There will be live music all day from some great local bands, and a beverage garden filled with exclusively Arizona-produced beer, wine, and spirits.

You won’t want to miss the awesome local-fest! Click here for more information, or click here to RSVP on Facebook!

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Food Day 2014: Join the Movement



This Friday, October 24th, more than 8,000 events will be held nationwide in recognition of National Food Day 2014. The number of events has grown from 3,200 in 2013, more than doubling the event’s reach!


Food Day’s mission is to inspire Americans to change their diets and our food policies. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are among the biggest health problems that relate to the typical American diet, costing Americans over $150 billion dollars per dietyear [ref]. Not only is the typical American diet unhealthy, but also negatively affects the environment.


Celebrate, learn, and join the movement to end diet related health problems, promote sustainable food systems, and utilize our national resources to end hunger, low wages, and inhumane conditions for the farm animals – – and improve YOURS and your children’s lifestyle.


Local First Arizona will be participating in the action at the “Get Growing, Get Healthy, Get Real” Phoenix Food Day Celebration. Come check out, and support, healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food at the Cesar Chavez plaza in downtown Phoenix starting at 10am to 2pm.


Don’t miss out, Arizona will be hosting five more events across the state:

Go Local, Eat Real, Get Healthy
            Healthy, affordable, sustainable potluck and food film 6pm-9pm
12:00pm-3:00pm Chandler, AZ

Food Day at Desert Mission Food Bank
            Bringing the community together to celebrate a healthy lifestyle. Activities
           include a healthy cooking demonstration.
10:30am-2:00pm Phoenix, AZ

The Dhaba on Food Day
            Eat REAL, certified, healthy, sustainable food
11:00am-9:30pm Tempe, AZ

UA Food Day 2014
             Bringing together University of Arizona and the Tucson community to celebrate
a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.
10:00am-2:00pm Tucson, AZ

Food Demo & Taste Testing
             Food demo, taste testing, and nutritional resources outside the Coconino County
Public Health and Community Services office.
11:00am-1:00pm Page, Arizona





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Member Spotlight: Flagstaff Jean Company

This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for Flagstaff Jean Company in Flagstaff


The Flagstaff Jean Company is dedicated to helping women and juniors find the perfect pair of jeans at prices suitable for every budget and sizes for every body shape. Serving customers at the Aspen Place at The Sawmill in Flagstaff since 2011, this locally owned company specializes in everyday basics, ranging from tops and jewelry to premium denim. Their recent merge with Flagstaff Jean ‘The Rack’ has expanded the discounted brand options available to customers.

However, Flagstaff Jean Company far exceeds customer expectations by offering additional services to ensure the perfect fit. Those services include free jean fittings and free personal shopping, as well as discounted jean hems. The trained and knowledgeable staff is committed to helping customers find a fit that leaves them feeling polished and confident based on their personal style.

FlagstaffJeanCo3While committed to providing an exceptional experience for customers, Flagstaff Jean Company has also taken on the role of a contributing citizen who values the improvement of our community. Each month, they sponsor one local charity and promote it through creative marketing efforts. At the end of each month, Flagstaff Jean Company donates $1,000 to that charity. October’s appointed local charity is the Flagstaff American Cancer Society. Upcoming charities include Hope Cottage, Flagstaff Family Food Bank and Sunshine Shelter.

FlagstaffJeanCo1The remainder of October will focus on continuing to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Located at the Aspen Place at 319 S. Regent Street #203, the Flagstaff Jean Company invites you to stop by and support this cause. Each day in October, the first customer of the day will win something from Flagstaff Jean Company and all customers have the opportunity to pop a pink balloon to win a $5, $10 or $25 gift card that can be used right away. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday & Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm. For more information, call (928) 226-7600 or visit their website at

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AWGA Celebrates 6th Festival at the Farm

Sunglow Ranch B&BArizona Vineyards and Wineries are growing in number, and are even earning international acclaim. At nearly 100 vineyards and wineries currently in AZ, there are opportunities across the state to enjoy, and purchase your wine—and do it locally.


The Festival at the Farm is an event sponsored by the Arizona Wine Grower’s Association, which is held at the historic The Farm at South Mountain. Come down and learn more about the Arizona wine production, enjoy wine tastings and a picnic lunch, and participate in the live or silent auctions on November 14th-15th.

You can buy tickets now for $65, or $75 at the door.

Don’t forget to check out Local First Arizona members at the event:

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

arizona-home-care-logoWhen unpredicted events happen to those we love, we yearn to provide the best care possible. One option that may be overlooked in the frenzy of urgent decisions and good intentions is the concept of home care. Home infusion therapy is a welcome option for children and adults with health issues who are comforted by the familiarity and warmth of home. Arizona Home Care offers home therapy and care to assist patients with prescribed medical treatments in the comfort of their home. In cooperation with physicians, a care plan is designed that specifies the type of infusion therapy required and the duration of the treatment.

AZ Home Care peopleExamples of home infusion provided by Arizona Home Care include: Chemotherapy, Antibiotics, Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), Hydration, Pain Control, Line Maintenance, Growth Hormone, and Anticoagulation Therapy. With careful assessment and evaluation, Arizona Home Care’s skilled nursing professionals administer medications, are equipped to manage the most complex therapies, and are trained to educate the patient and/or caregivers on the various aspects of infusion therapy.

Arizona Home Care is recognized for their excellent patient outcomes and have been chosen as preferred providers for many of the Valley’s premier hospitals and healthcare networks. Visit Arizona’s Home Care’s website to learn more:

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Daily Dose Midtown Hosts October Lunch Mixer

dailydoseLogoOur October lunch mixer led us to Daily Dose in Midtown Phoenix. Located on Highland Ave. near 20th Street, Daily Dose offers guests delicious all day neighborhood dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

IMG_4691On the menu are mouth-watering breakfast dishes like Peach Créme Brule Griddle Cakes and Prime Rib Eggs Benedict to amazing lunch and dinner cuisine, including Grilled Butternut Squash White Lasagna and Ancho Chili Rueben. Complimentary to the unique menu is the urban chic atmosphere. Midtown’s location is a great pick for your next gathering or meeting and can accommodate 20 – 30 people alone in their private room creatively separated by stylish floor-length drapes.

IMG_4723As we went around the room introducing members, long time sustaining member and local advocate, Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair, took a moment to speak about Brake for Breasts a month-long campaign raising awareness and funding for a breast cancer vaccine. All October, Community Tire is giving out free brake pads for customers and donating 10% of those proceeds towards breast cancer vaccine research. You just pay for labor and any necessary parts. Find a Community Tire near you.

We want to thank Daily Dose Midtown for a delicious lunch and invite all Local First Arizona members to join us next month as we head to Tavern Americana in North Scottsdale. Click here to reserve your spot before it sells out!

Thank you to all those in attendance:
Arizona Organix
AZ Social Media Wiz
Blue Sky Airport Parking
Community Tire Pros – Sustaining Member
Consolidated Personnel Services
Daily Dose Bar and Grill
Heard Museum
Joann Cohen Matchmaking
mARC Architecture
Matek Media
Max On Snax
OnSite Oil Change
Republic Bank AZ
Sage Payment Solutions
Sonoran Waste Disposal
The Running University

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Northern Arizona Mixer – Cottonwood Style (Recap)


CottonwoodMixerPicOctober2Local business owners gathered at Fire Mountain Wines in Old Town Cottonwood Wednesday evening for Local First Arizona’s local business mixer and networking event. It was Local First Arizona’s second event in held Cottonwood, and fourth mixer held in the Verde Valley during the past year. It was one of the monthly events the organization holds throughout northern Arizona to discuss local business initiatives and bring together local businesses for an evening of networking and collaboration.

Local First Arizona is a local business coalition and nonprofit organization. It works statewide to create stronger local economies, build vibrant communities and produce better local job opportunities.

CottonwoodMixerPicOctoberThis event was an opportunity to meet and connect with existing members, as well as to build a stronger network of local, independent businesses in the region. Over 50 local business owners throughout northern Arizona attended the event. The businesses, which represented the Verde Valley, Flagstaff, Prescott and Prescott Valley and Phoenix mingled, networked, and learned more about what Local First Arizona is doing to build the local economy throughout northern Arizona and statewide.

The organization also kicked off sales for local businesses to participate in the third addition of the award-winning tourism piece, the Verde Valley Small Wonders Map. Many, many thanks to Fire Mountain Wines for hosting the event and to SEED Restaurant for providing the food.

The next Local First Arizona mixer will be held at Granite Mountain Brewing in Prescott on Thursday, November 13 from 5-7pm.

Check out the members & local businesses who came!

Fire Mountain Wines
Burning Tree Cellars
Verde Canyon Railroad
Desert Diamond Distillery
THAT Brewery
Town of Clarkdale
Town of Cottonwood
Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce
Brazen Chocolates
Old Town Mug Company
The Haunted Group
Friends of the Verde River
Revelation Wine
Yavapai College
Verde Digital Works
Sedona Monthly Magazine
Desert Dancer
Regner Group
Dr. Cheryl Kasdorf
Green Papillon
Sedona Virtual Assistant
Spirit Rising Yoga & Healing
West Side Deli
SEED Restaurant
Mingus Union High School
Red Geranium Boutique
Blazin M Ranch
Million Dollar View Vacation Rental
Mary Phoenix Artist
Gallery 527
Verde River Adventures
Cottonwood Hotel
Smart Window
Second Chance Center for Animals
Tom Pitts
CPI Realty
Northern Arizona Healthcare
Ink Impressions Tattoo
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
Divinely Nurturing Therapies
Peter Pierson Freelance Writer – Communications
Nicole Jurisin Hair Studio
Simon Chiropractic
The Cellar Door Unhinged
Hilltop Deli
Rickeldoris Candy & Popcorn Company


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Member Spotlight: The Lite Company

This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for The Lite Company in Flagstaff


Serving the Flagstaff community since 1979, the family owned and operated Lite Company is the largest lighting and furniture showroom in the state of Arizona. The Lite Company offers a complete selection of residential lighting ranging from major lines and styles to specialized and custom products. They are also a destination region-wide for stunning, quality home furnishings and decor, most of which is crafted in the USA.

The 10,000 square feet showroom in Flagstaff radiates a high-country atmosphere. Situated in a town in the midst of mountains and ponderosa pines, The Lite Company helps customers bring the northern Arizona vibe into their 10551662_811059295612785_3683169573079468072_oown homes. The Lite Company even offers lighting and furniture design based on your personal preferences. They have furnished unique homes in Sedona, Williams, Tucson, Phoenix and have even traveled to Colorado, Idaho, Utah and California! It is their mission to build “trust relationships” with their clients through outstanding service and support while simultaneously transforming homes into a warm and inviting retreat, reflecting the lifestyle of their clients.

The Lite Company is hosting their largest furniture sale of the year beginning today, October 16th through Nove10169361_839528146099233_706755954305093724_nmber 11th.  All furnishings in the store and every piece special or custom ordered are all on sale at 20% off or more. Even their solid hard wood, handcrafted Amish line is on sale.  The Lite Company wants to invite you to Flagstaff in the upcoming weeks to see the beautiful fall Aspen leaves and visit their showroom for the sale. What could be more fun than that?

Located at 2109 N 4th St. in Flagstaff, The Lite Company welcomes you their showroom Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on The Lite Company, call (928) 774-6257, visit or visit their Facebook page for recent photos!

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Celebrate Co-ops for National Cooperative Month

thumbWhat is a Cooperative? A cooperative (or co-op) is a not-for-profit business that belongs to the people who use it, meaning that it is owned and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Cooperatives are democratically controlled, volunteer-run, and member-owned. This means that the co-op truly has their customers’ best interests at heart in the way that they operate their business.

According to a 2012 survey, co-ops are also preferred by many for their excellent customer service. Co-ops out-performed for-profit businesses for all of the following qualities:

  • Run their business in a trustworthy manner
  • Have the best interests of customer in mind
  • Are committed to providing the highest quality of service to their customers
  • Provide products that are of high value
  • Can be counted on to meet their customers needs
  • Offer fair, competitive prices

Co-op_Month_LogoThis October is National Co-Op Month, celebrating nearly 30,000 co-ops across the country and all they has done for local communities across the country. This is a great opportunity to recognize Local First Arizona cooperative members!

Cooperative Local First Members:

Co-op_Month_2013_Poster_8-5x11-redcoLAB Studio, LLC – Founded in 1999, our studio strives to be a cooperative-laboratory (co-lab) for art and architecture, bringing ideas together, and blurring the line that would normally define one discipline as separate from another.

Food Conspiracy Co-op – A natural foods market, cooperatively owned by its members and open to the public. Since 1971 we have been committed to providing the highest quality natural and organic foods and products to the Tucson community. (Join this month and get a $10 gift card!)

Four Eight Wineworks – Northern Arizona’s First Wine makers Co-Operative. An incubator for the driven on their quest not only to survive,but to make their mark in our fledgling wine region.

Gila Farms Cooperative – Gila Farm Cooperative is a group of refugee farmers resettled in Central Arizona. The 27-acre farm where Gila Farm Cooperative primarily raises crops is located in Pinal County, just south of Phoenix.

Many Hands Artist Cooperative – MHAC is a group of local Tucson artists and artisans working, teaching, showing and selling their wares.

Mesa Arts Center Artists Cooperative – A juried group of 60 Arizona artists make up the MAC Artists Co-op and offer their unique, locally made paintings, pottery, jewelry, glass, scarves, photography and other art in the MAC Store.

On the Edge Artists Gallery - On The Edge Gallery is an artists’ cooperative, the first of its kind in Scottsdale. Over forty Arizona artists display original fine art and unique gift items in this airy 2,000-square-foot gallery, “on the edge” of the arts district in Old Town Scottsdale.

Tucson Clay Co-op – We are a pottery cooperative which offers classes to adults and children in handbuilding, wheel throwing.

Credit Unions:

Arizona State Credit Union
Canyon State Credit Union

Credit Union West
Desert Schools Credit Union
Hughes Federal Credit Union
MariSol Federal Credit Union
TruWest Credit Union
Tucson Federal Credit Union
Vantage West Credit Union

Are you a member of any Arizona co-ops? Let us know in the comments!

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