Feeling Eclectic

This Local First Arizona member spotlight is on Purple Lizard Boutique:

purple lizard boutiqueMake a fashion statement all while staying cool during these summer monsoon months. The Purple Lizard Boutique, located near Encanto Park, is filled to the brim with a unique mix of clothes, hand crafted jewelry, shoes, hats, scarves and more. Owner Marguerite Tram’s personally selected and diverse collection of linen and breathable dresses, comfortable shoes, cute purses, and Mexican-inspired gifts and wares are some of the best in town. This funky boutique is definitely the go-to-place for Mexican art including Santos, woven linens, Mexican oilcloth bags, nichos, candles, and Dia de los Muertos and other rare treasures. With its large collection of handmade and local artists’ work, this is just the place to swing by when you’re on the hunt for the perfect southwestern-inspired gift or looking for an outfit that is summer-in-the desert approved from hard-to-find brands like CP Shades, Flax, and Krista Larson.

Click here to find out more about Purple Lizard Boutique. You can click here to read past member spotlights. You can also search our local business directory to find 2,500 local businesses across Arizona. 

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

Grand Living Bed and Breakfast


This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for Grand Living Bed and Breakfast in Williams

grandlivingfrontBill and Gloria Job have traveled throughout the world, and called many places home. Now, they call Williams, Arizona home and they share their experiences and their hospitality with others with their peaceful and welcoming bed and breakfast. Grand Living Bed and Breakfast is a cozy and quiet log home that offers six rooms for guests to stay in and truly relax. The B&B is surrounded by a lush grove of Ponderosa Pines. It’s just a half hour’s drive from Flagstaff, about an hour from both the Grand Canyon and Sedona and three hours from Phoenix, providing the perfect location to jump off to your next Arizona adventure.

JasmineroomThe rooms at Grand Living are well appointed and certain to make you comfortable. Every room is individually decorated with antiques and artwork pieces, and has a private entrance (except for the Suite & Blue rooms). The wood floors, accent rugs, fireplaces, King or Queen-size bed with plush linens, a private bathroom with bathrobes and a claw foot tub, a sitting area with high back chairs, and a work desk. The B&B also offers wireless internet and televisions for those that do want to stay connected while on vacation.

Since there are so many amazing adventures nearby, the Jobs can also arrange a private tour of Northern Arizona, ancient ruins, train ride to the Grand Canyon, golfing, rafting, helicopter rides, tours or horseback riding. The location also provides easy access to the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, the Petrified Forest and other northern Arizona treasures. They are determined to make your stay unique and customized to your needs. The B&B can also accommodate groups that are seeking a charming setting for weddings, baby/wedding showers, family reunions and other communal get togethers.

TripAdv.GrandlivFor this reason, the B&B is highly ranked on Trip Advisor and on other major B&B websites. Grand Living won a Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor for 2013 and 2014 and the reviews on the website are telling of the amazing experiences that visitors from all over the world have had there. Congratulations to Bill and Gloria for running such an amazing business and establishing great customer satisfaction year after year!

For reservations or inquiries, call the B&B at 800-210-5908 or email them at job@grandlivingbnb.com. Online reservations can be made on their website anytime by visiting www.grandlivingbnb.com. You can also follow them on Facebook here!

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

Pinetop-Lakeside hosts Kimber Lanning for series of Rural Seminars

PinetopLakesideThe Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and the Ad and Promotions Committee for the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside is excited to announce it will be hosting Kimber Lanning for a series of workshops on July 29th and July 30th. The workshops will take place at 6:00pm on July 29th and 8:30am on July 30th at The Gathering Place in Pinetop. Each seminar will be approximately 1.5-2 hours in length and refreshments will be served. These are the first two of four seminars that Ms. Lanning will be presenting in Pinetop-Lakeside.

The topic for July 29th’s seminar will be Tourism Strategies, and will include an assessment of Pinetop-Lakeside. The topic for July 30th’s seminar will be Customer Service. Each seminar is open to the public and costs $10 per person (cash or check only). Call the Chamber of Commerce office to reserve a space at 928-367-4290.

pinetop_8The Chamber invites you to save the date for the final two seminars. On September 4th at 6:00pm, Ms. Lanning will present “How to Leverage your Localness’. On Sept 5th at 8:30am she will present on social media strategies for small businesses. More details about these two events will be forthcoming.

Ms. Lanning will be presenting these seminars based on her previous work in the Pinetop-Lakeside community, and on her background as an entrepreneur, economic development specialist and founder of Local First Arizona. Lanning will focus on building awareness of the importance of developing focus on local businesses as a tool for creating a sustainable, healthy region with a diverse local economy.

Posted in Economics, Northern Arizona, Rural Arizona | Leave a comment

Growing Dreams: Lucky Nickel Ranch

828c0634d86008c399a57a6a8c86051e_largeI’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our readers to one of the great social entrepreneurs in Arizona’s agriculture industry today. Marine Corps Veteran, Michael McKenzie is an up and coming game-changer in healthy, local living. McKenzie’s Lucky Nickel Ranch (LNR) began in 1999, with a social mission in mind to create employment opportunities for underserved and underutilized populations, such as veterans and seniors, and to help build the movement for healthy, sustainable, and local food in Arizona.

1209059_567277879988362_1120747278_nOver the years, Lucky Nickel Ranch has built up its offerings and provided essential services to the community, including a Community Supported Agriculture program, Farmers’ Markets, and most recently, a farm incubator program.

 


Read on to learn more about LNR’s incubator program, and visit this page to support their Kickstarter campaign to fund new incubation services on the farm.

The agricultural sector in America is shrinking at an alarming rate, centralizing the life-sustaining work that is agriculture into the hands of just a few megalithic corporations, known to waste fossil fuels and to cause a huge tax on our environment and public health. Since 1870, employment in the industry’s labor force has nosedived from 70-80% of the US population to less than 2% today[1]. In addition, the number of farms has shrunk, nearly three-fold[2], separating us from our food, and facilitating the ambivalence that has led to a steady increase in diet-related health conditions. We MUST re-establish competition in this industry, if we ever want to see a return to healthy living in America. 

10177868_658394580876691_708122558143747290_nIncubator farms are a groundbreaking concept that has taken hold in various pockets around the country. Very similar to co-working spaces, which have become popular in urban areas, incubator farms provide business management skills and tools, as well as modern agricultural techniques with an eye toward sustainable agriculture at a local level.

70f70363482dda9cc758832c8aaaf9df_largeSmall local farms are smarter than the industrial agriculture machine we support when we purchase “conventional” food products, which often travel thousands of miles to reach us. With our economy the way it is, the work of incubator farms like McKenzie’s Lucky Nickel Ranch is SO important, not only for the greater public and the environment, but also for those who are out-of-work, and those who have an interest in the agricultural sector, but limited experience.


Please, support your local farmers whenever you can. A great way to do that today is to pitch in on Michael McKenzie’s Kickstarter campaign to expand the incubator program—this program is a crucial building block in the re-emergence of the local food and agriculture economy.

 

[1] http://www.farmersedge.ca/blog/2013/07/04/neat-facts-about-united-states-agriculture
[2] http://www.statista.com/statistics/207273/number-and-size-of-us-farms/

Posted in Local First Movement | Leave a comment

Weekend of parties to celebrate Tucson’s new streetcar

14366895337_7cb5bb2435_zAfter years of waiting and watching, the opening of Tucson’s streetcar is finally here! As with all great events in Tucson, the opening of the streetcar will be launched with several celebrations. On Friday, July 25th the very first streetcar run will have ceremonial ribbon cuttings at each stop. The first ribbon cutting will take place at 7 am at Mercado San Augustin, followed by ribbon cuttings at Helen & Warren at 7:40, University and Tyndall at 8:05 and 4th Avenue and 7th Street at 8:28. Then it’s off to Congress & 5th Ave at 9am for the streetcar Grand Opening. Local First Arizona will be downtown to join everyone for the Grand Opening, so stop by to say hi. Be sure to ask for one of the few remaining Localist Fed By Threads tees, we have just a few left so be sure to grab yours!

bellAfter the presentations, the streetcar will officially open to the public at 10:00 am for three days of free rides. And what a great three days it will be! There will be ongoing celebrations in each of the business districts along the route with lots of LFA members joining in on the fun. On Friday July 25th, from 11am-5pm, and Saturday July 26th, from 3-9pm, the FOX Theatre will be showing FREE cartoons on the big screen and The Tucson Museum of Art will be offering half priced admission Friday through Sunday. Ben’s Bells will be passing out special scavenger hunt maps to identify kindness murals around town. Turn in your maps and you may even win one of the exclusive Ben’s Bell’s commemorative Streetcar Bells. The MLK parking lot will be converted to a public “beach” complete with sand, water, live music and food. Check out the great beach parties Friday and Saturday nights.

In the Mercado District, there will be Beer and Brats in the courtyard Friday night along with live music and wandering mariachis. Friday will also feature a special “pop-up party” hosted by Living Streets Alliance. You can check out bike-themed art at YAYBig’s Pop-Up Art Gallery, make a homemade sign to cheer YAY! for the Streetcar, learn more about Living Streets Alliance’s Pedestrian Safety and Comfort Campaign and enter LSA’s bike gear raffle. Saturday features a karaoke party under the Cushing Street bridge and Sunday will feature a special brunch. Fourth Avenue will be celebrating the “Soul of the City” with live music up and down the avenue as well as public slide presentations, light towers and an outdoor movie screen. Main Gate Square will be getting “Jazzed in the City” with musical celebrations. There will be street troubadors, an instrument petting zoo and live jazz concerts. The University of Arizona will also feature a farmer’s market and free Yoga lessons. Check out all the great events planned, as well as merchant specials here.

uniquelyIt’s important to note while the streetcar celebrations will bring lots of fun and games for the three day opening weekend, the public benefits of Tucson’s new streetcars will be felt far longer. The streetcar line supports hundreds of locally owned businesses, identified here on this collaborative map. The streetcar has already led to over $350 million in additional private investment along the route and helped attract new businesses. “I would say that the streetcar had a really large influence on me choosing this spot for The Hopyard. It’s been great so far, even just people now coming out, just checking out what’s been happening, looking at all the new additions with the streetcar.” says Hopyard owner and LFA member, Allison Crist.  Tucson’s Downtown has seen an amazing revitalization.  Linking the University to the Fourth Avenue, Downtown and Mercado business districts will also bring a great new influx of visitors between the areas. Party now for the grand opening events and enjoy the ride into a more connected future for Tucson!

Posted in Economics, Local First Movement, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Ready to be a hero?

wishlist_hero_kidOne of the things we love best about working with Arizona’s local businesses is their commitment to the communities that they call home, especially with charitable causes. Some studies have found that small businesses donate about twice as much per employee to charitable organizations as large businesses, showing that local businesses have a deeper commitment and understanding of the impact they can make on their local community in regards to helping fellow community members. 

Local First Arizona Wish List Hero continues this trend. WishListHero.org is a website that empowers anyone to become a hero and impact their community. Wish List Hero helps nonprofit organizations share their greatest needs for items, projects, and programs year-round.

It has never been easier to help out a local charity. In just five minutes, you can click from your couch and impact your favorite cause. You simply go to the site, pick a charity, review their needs, and choose what to give. Could you give a new doll to a child at Ronald McDonald House or provide peanut butter for puppies at the Humane Society? Sure you can! Congratulations, you are a hero!

You and everyone you know can support in three ways. You can:

1. Provide the tangible items that are in need
2. Donate money online toward granting a wish
3. If you want to really increase your impact…you can start a Hero Campaign with your friends and family to support a larger item!

The site includes a wide variety of fantastic organizations that grows each week. Wish List Hero already has more than 100 wishes waiting to be granted! Are you ready to be a hero? Visit the website and see what you can do for your community.

Posted in LFA Member Spotlight, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Northern Arizona Food Hub Survey Results

vvagc logoIn January 2014, the Verde Valley Agriculture Coalition hosted a community dialog focusing on the potential for creating a Food Hub in Northern Arizona. The day’s program included presentations and work sessions focusing on the potential creation of a Food Hub, and gathered representatives from different sides of the food system: farmers and producers, farmers market organizers and CSAs, restaurants and chefs, processors and value added markets, social food services, marketing and economic opportunities.

The meeting was meant to be a call to action to stimulate conversations about how a food hub might work in northern Arizona and to gage interest in participation from the different parties that would/could be involved. The forum had an amazing turnout and each of the groups, including buyers, producers, processors, food insecure organizations and marketing / economic opportunity groups, all focused their conversations in a productive and positive way. The goal of the day was to have the groups of participants develop a relationships with each other, and make connections with those they could potentially buy from or sell to. We produced some great connections and gathered lots of great qualitative data.

YC logoAs a follow up to this meeting, the VVAgC developed a follow up survey with the goal of gathering some additional, quantitative data from both buyers and producers. The net was cast a bit wider and the survey was sent out to both the attendees of the Food Hub Forum and also other potential participants in a northern Arizona food hub. This survey was implemented in partnership with Yavapai College’s Regional Economic Development Center. This 24 question “Buyer” survey and 21 question “Producer” survey was sent out in April-May of this year, in order to further understand the demand and capacity for a Food Hub located in the Verde Valley. The ensuing executive summery summarizes the highlights of those results.

Of the respondents for buyers, 56% were restaurant owners and 26% were caterers, with distributers and specialty distributers coming in as the third largest grouping. 44% of buyers stated that they would be very interested in participating in pre-season ordering. 64% of buyers stated that they prefer delivery or products to their locations. The primary challenges for purchasing locally include finding sufficient volumes of product and finding product at the price point desired. The diversity and seasonality of local foods was also a concern for buyers.

P1030646The most in-demand products articulated by respondents were tomatoes, lettuces of all types, processed tomatoes (canned and diced), poultry, eggs, and grass-fed ground beef. Top certifications required from respondents are GHP/GAP (21% demand), traceability documentation (21% demand), commercial kitchen production area (27% demand), and USDA certification for meat exports (15% demand). Ultimately, 70% of buyers responded that they would be very likely to purchase from a Food Hub.

The majority of producer respondents were involved in vegetable, fruits, dairy, grain, and grapes, no producers of meat products responded. Over 70% of respondents have been growing for 1-10 years on less than 5 acres, and 90% stated that they are growing using sustainable methods including no pesticides or fertilizers and USDA organic certification requirements. The majority of producers are selling through Farmer’s Markets with farm stands, CSAs, and direct sales to institutions, restaurants and grocery stores coming in a distant second. 57% of producer respondents process their harvest in some way prior to selling. Branding of the product is a meaningful factor according to 67% of survey respondents, and 61% of producers currently extend their growing season using various methods, the cost of these methods was noted as the single-most inhibitor to extending growing seasons.

P1030697Producers articulated that education in specific arenas is needed. Top responses included enhanced knowledge of specialty crops, understanding how to price in a wholesale versus retail market, and understanding how to obtain contracts. 100% of respondents noted that training in how to obtain certifications is needed, with assistance needed in accessing commercial kitchen space and delivery options. Here again, producer respondents showed interest in participating in a Food Hub, 67% responding that they would be very interested and 70% stating they would be willing to participate in a follow-up meeting to this survey.

The results of this survey display a definite demand for local foods and growing interest in supplying food for that market. Major issues remaining are distribution and accessibility of product, increasing supply of various products to meet demand, and entrepreneurial education in the context of food certification and commercializing products in terms of marketing and contracting.

If you would like to view the full survey results, please email meg@localfirstaz.com and you will be emailed a full copy of the results in pdf format.

 

Posted in Economics, Local First Movement, Local Food, Northern Arizona, Rural Arizona | Leave a comment

What a Week! Independents Week 2014 Recap

IndieWeekLogoThis year’s Independents Week was hugely successful in taking the Buy Local message to every corner of the state. Thanks to all of the participating businesses, patrons, and organizations, we brought people into local businesses during a time that is traditionally slower for some, especially in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

We are pleased to report the findings of our participant survey: Arizonans spent over $35,000 shopping at 300 member businesses in this year’s week-long campaign. Those dollars will re-circulate when local businesses in turn hire other locals to do business with. The multiplier effect will grow this impact exponentially.

We certainly had a blast this year! Here is a recap of some of the highlights from this year:

Over 300 Local Businesses Accepted the Golden Coupon

Independents Week GoldenTicket2014 tilted2We had over 300 participating businesses from all over the state and all sectors of the economy participating in Independents Week! We had toy stores, restaurants, music stores, jewelry stores, plumbers, salons, yoga and massage studios, printers, candy companies, boutiques, pet stores, sporting goods stores, coworking spaces, and so many other businesses accepted the Golden Coupon all week long. Let us know in the comments which businesses you visited!

Golden Coupons Everywhere!

AZ Jewish Post Indie Week Golden CouponWe printed 13,000 Golden Coupons and sent them to every corner of the state. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers for Chow Locally and Maya’s Farm received a Golden Coupon in their shares of fresh produce. If you placed an order with Wist before Independents Week, you received a Golden Coupon with your order! Additionally, if you picked up June’s copy of the Arizona Jewish Post, you had a Golden Coupon waiting for you inside. We distributed them at events and farmers markets in Flagstaff, Gilbert, Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, and more.

Many Golden Coupon users chose to go digital with their spending. During Independents Week, the Local First Arizona website received over 30,000 visits and 100,000 page views from users looking to download their Golden Coupon and find which businesses they planned to visit.

Incredible Media Presence and Promotional Opportunities

Your Life A to Z Independents WeekWe had an overwhelming presence in the media this year for Independents Week. We had great success earning media appearances in a number of outlets. We appeared on 5 different television segments on Fox 10, AZTV’s Morning Scramble, 3TV’s Your Life A to Z, and Arizona Midday, and Tucson’s KVOA. You may have heard our radio spots playing on KJZZ in Phoenix, KRIM in the Payson area, and KVOI in Tucson! We had nearly 30 mentions in online and print publications including The Arizona Republic, Tucson Foodie, Phoenix New Times, Tucson Weekly, Downtown Phoenix Journal, the Cottonwood Journal, and others. We partnered with over 20 Local First Arizona media members who ran ads about Independents Week including:

Arizona Jewish Post
AZ-TV7/Cable 13 (KAZT)
Bear Essential News for Kids
Bite {the magazine}
Copper Area News Publishers
Discover the Phoenix Region Magazine
Edible Baja Arizona
Edible Phoenix
Eight KAET Channel 8/PBS-TV
frontdoors news network
Green Living AZ Magazine
KioKom Information Kiosks

KJZZ – 91.5 / KBAQ – 89.5 FM
KVOI 1030 AM The Voice
KXCI 91.3FM Community Radio
Local Revibe
Mrs. Green’s World
Raising Arizona Kids
The Moon Valley Tattler
Unified Brand
Zocalo Tucson Magazine
The Noise
Modern Times Magazine

We also got creative this year and hired a local artist to take over the mural space at Eye Lounge on Roosevelt Street in Phoenix. Passersby could not avoid the huge “Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local” slogan plastered on the wall.

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Strong Support from Local Governments

governor-brewersmallWe were happy to have so much support for Independents Week from local governments around the state. 11 cities and towns and the state of Arizona issued proclamations declaring June 30 – July 6 Independents Week. Thanks again to the following local governments for issuing official proclamations:

State of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer
City of Buckeye, Mayor Jackie Meck
Town of Clarkdale, Mayor Doug Von Gausig
City of Cottonwood, Mayor Diane Jones
Town of Jerome, Mayor Nikki Check
City of Mesa, Mayor Alex Finter
Town of Oro Valley, Mayor Dr. Satish I. Hiremath
City of Phoenix, Mayor Greg Stanton
City of Prescott, Mayor Marlin Kuykendall
City of Scottsdale, Mayor W.J. Jim Lane
City of Tempe, Mayor Mark Mitchell
City of Tucson, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Many Opportunities for Fun During Independents Week

Passport MayorWe had an unprecedented amount of events to celebrate the spirit of independents! We launched the Passport to Local Success in Tucson, which saw over 100 people descend on 4th Avenue to kick off Independents Week. Local businesses donated thousands of dollars worth of prizes that were awarded to lucky shoppers. In Flagstaff, we partnered with Criollo Latin Kitchen for a 4th of July block party in the alley where we connected with many visitors and residents about the Buy Local movement.

Phoenix Indie BowlIn Phoenix, we saw the return of Phoenix Independents Bowl, an amateur bowling tournament at Let it Roll Bowl that brought together over 100 localists competing for the grand prize trophy and ultimate bragging rights. We also hosted a Downtown Dinner with Pizza People Pub and the Phoenix Art Museum, where attendees got to sample delicious food and see the Phoenix Art Museum’s Hollywood Costume Exhibit featuring over 100 costumes from Hollywood films over the past century. Modified Arts’ gallery show for the month featured local artists Douglas Towne, Jeremy Rowe, and James Angel, who displayed works related to the history of Phoenix and Phoenix’s local business community. We started the Independence Day celebrations early with a Roosevelt Row Pub Crawl on July 3, hitting some of the area’s best bars including Carly’s Bistro, Phoenix Public Market Cafe, The Local, Bliss/Rebar, Short Leash Hot Dogs, and FilmBar.

Fed by Threads Shirt Independents WeekWe also sold limited edition Localist shirts at our events throughout the state. These shirts were printed by LFA member Fed By Threads, and are 100% made in America. The cotton used to make the fabric was organic and grown in America, and the shirts were designed and printed right here in Arizona. Isn’t the design awesome?! We still have a limited number of shirts available in sizes Large, XL, and XXL! If you are interested in purchasing one for $20, call our office at 602-956-0909 ext. 1.

Social Media Shout Outs

Participating businesses and Golden Coupon users flocked to their social media accounts to talk about Independents Week! Here are a few of our favorites:



 


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Testimonials

We loved hearing from participating businesses and Golden Coupon users about their experiences! Here are a few samples of what they had to say:

We love to support local businesses in AZ! This is just extra incentive to do so! – Jia in Peoria

Loved this campaign! Such a great way to spread the word about local businesses! - Alexandria in Tucson

[Independents Week] brought in customers that I hadn’t seen in awhile which was nice. - Local business in Phoenix

By this date I’ve been open 3 months and a LFA member for just over 1 month. My business is listed on Google Plus and Facebook with 0 interest in ads I’ve placed there. The Independents Week coupon actually generated business. The customers I received through the LFA listing were genuinely concerned with supporting local business, were happy with their purchase at my business and shared their experience with others. – Local business in Phoenix

It was great! We had fun participating in Indie Week and will definitely participate next year. - Local business in Tucson

Thanks to everyone for making Independents Week a successful event! We hope you had as much fun as we did. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Posted in Independents Week, Local First Movement | Leave a comment

Pillsbury Wine Company to Open new Winery in Willcox

pillsburylogoPillsbury Wine Company recently announced that it has secured financing to establish its own winery facility on the 100-acre vineyard property, 13 miles south of Willcox. Construction is commencing this week for use in time for harvest.

Passionately committed to producing 100 percent local wines from the first vine plantings in 2000 on the famed Willcox Bench, owner and grower Sam Pillsbury has made wines solely from grapes from his own organic vines or those of nearby neighbors in Cochise County ever since.

“There’s enough generic food and wine in the world already,” Pillsbury said. “I have been committed from the start to make a wine that rigorously and honestly reflects the characteristics of the region we are from.”

Pouring all his personal resources into establishing the vineyard so he could actually source locally, Pillsbury, until now, has been making wines under custom crush contracts with local wineries.

SamPillsburyTractor“This new facility will give us the opportunity to complete the circle, and actually make and age the wine right here where the grapes are grown,” Pillsbury said. “It will give us the ability to press our grapes within moments of harvest, and allows us to optimize quality—the kind of control most small boutique operations can only dream of.”

In keeping grassroots, Pillsbury Wine Co. wines are marketed and distributed by the company itself. All employees are involved in the growing, harvesting, processing, blending, and bottling. Pillsbury feels this is integral to assuring consumers that his wines are personal, local, and authentic, wherever they are purchased.

Pillsbury Wine Co. grows its own organic fruits and vegetables, eggs, poultry, sheep, and goats, which it can supply to select restaurants. Future plans include farming lavender and tilapia fish and building a pizza oven.

“One day, people will be able to come to our land and eat and drink everything entirely produced from our property. It will be the ultimate locavore experience,” Pillsbury concluded.

New Zealand Film Director Sam Pillsbury gambled that the high-altitude, endless sunshine, sandy loam, and dry desert would make for a perfect terroir. In 2000, he planted 20 acres of Rhone varieties at 4300 feet in Cochise County. He now grows Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Viognier, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Symphony, Roussanne, and Chenin Blanc in his vineyard and produces more than 2,500 cases annually

Posted in Agriculture, Beer Wine and Spirits, In The News, Local First Movement, Local Food, Northern Arizona, Press Releases, Rural Arizona, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Leave a comment

Heirloom Farmers Markets Teams Up with Chefs, Igniting Passion for Local Food and Benefiting Tucson Restaurants

Heirloom Farmers Markets is teaming up with outstanding local chefs from Tucson’s top restaurants to share the rich flavors of local food and mouthwatering recipes.  Every Sunday at the new Rillito Park Farmers Market, patrons will discover a new chef and experience freshly prepared gourmet dishes. 

“Summers are tough on all of us, so being able to reach out and increase awareness of our restaurant is a great opportunity,” says Maria Mazon of Boca, the featured chef for Sunday, July 20. “Plus, it’s just fun to be at the Sunday Heirloom Farmers Market.”

Heirloom Farmers Market

Heirloom Farmers Markets recently launched Tucson’s largest farmers market at Rillito Park.  With over 70 vendors on Sunday mornings from 8am to 12pm, the market is filled with freshly harvested produce and locally made foods.

Bringing local chefs into the action inspires patrons with fresh ideas and generates business at Tucson restaurants, where traffic can be notoriously slow during the hot summer months. 

Heirloom Farmers Market 2“Our new farmers market space allows us to connect with local restaurants to provide them with a great chance to promote their food,” says Heirloom Farmers Market Executive Director, Manish Shah.  “It also gives the chefs an opportunity to see what’s available at the markets for them to use in their kitchens.  And of course the customers love how they can taste so many different ways market ingredients can be prepared.”

With an ever-growing calendar of exciting local food events in the works, Heirloom Farmers Markets is leading the way in generating a vibrant local food community.

The Sunday Farmers Market is from 8am – 12pm in the summer months and is located at Rillito Park, 4502 N. 1st. Ave. Follow Heirloom Farmers Markets on Facebook for the latest updates on visiting chefs.

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