Tag Archives: Local First Arizona

8th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival This Saturday in PHX

Courtesy of Local First Arizona

It’s that time of year and Local First Arizona is hosting its 8th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival… no doubt, this fest will be better than ever. With plenty to see, do, eat and drink at this family-friendly event, don’t forget to get a jump start on your holiday shopping (you’ll be supporting a grateful local community).

Besides a new venue — on Portland Street between Third and Central Avenues — the following local businesses will be on-hand, waiting for you to stop by and say hello: Hubbard Family Swim School, Community Tire, Salvador Calvano Hair Salon, Practical Art, Greener House Today, Strawberry Hedgehog, Scottsdale Cat Clinic, Furniture Affair, Desert Song Yoga and Massage Center, The Pool Tile King, Del Sol Furniture.

As for food, think: Souvia Tea, Postino, Windsor/Churn, Urban Cookies, Luncha Libre food truck and Pizza People food truck. Yum. Good stuff. You should definitely GO… Oh, did we mention: it’s FREE.

The dets: http://www.localfirstaz.com; 602.956.0909

Below, Local First Director Kimber Lanning talks about why you should hang out with the Local First crew this Saturday:

This is your 8th year… how have things evolved over the past several years?
We have grown, grown, Grown! We’re so much more now: We have more food, more shops, more fun stuff for kids! We have always had something for everyone, but now it’s just amazing. From Frances Boutique, Samurai Comics and Noble Beast pet store to Kidstop Toystore and restaurants, including Postino, Parlor, St Francis and more.

What can visitors to the festival expect?
They can expect green grass, sunshine, live music from the Valley’s best musicians, a large beer and wine garden, 12 of the Valley’s best restaurants and lots of kids activities like a rock climbing wall, a bounce house, craft booth and face painting, plus the Diamondbacks are going to have a T-Ball cage out there. Food tickets are just $1, and admission to the beer and wine garden, where you can sample dozens of Arizona-made beverages are just $10!

This event is very community-oriented. Talk to me about the importance of nurturing our community — after all, we live in a city that is pretty spread out.
Yes, the heart of this festival is in the messaging: This is a day to celebrate Arizona! When you see how many AMAZING stores and restaurants we really have, it’s impressive.

Let’s talk buying local. Why is it so important to our local economy?
Choosing to support locally-owned businesses keeps more money right here at home, recirculating and creating additional revenue for things like parks, libraries and fire departments. In addition, people who choose to buy goods from Arizona-based companies feel like they’re part of the community and are more apt to create a place that everyone feels proud to call home.

What are you excited about this year?
I am excited about the new location! There are so many trees and a wide open green space. We’re also anxious to see how many people choose to ride the light rail down — it’s literally a few feet away from the festival. Also, our expanded beer and wine garden will really WOW people, and we have great new kids activities lined up, too. We were voted “Best Free Festival” last year and I think this year is really going to be something to see! You won’t want to miss this event.

Leave a comment

Filed under Loco for Local, Things to Do

Support Local Businesses and Use This Special Coupon

In recognition of National Independents Week, Local First Arizona will honor locally owned, independent businesses from July 1 – July 7, 2012. Known fondly as ‘Indie Week,’ the weeklong celebration will be filled with festive events and a special “Golden Coupon” offer which is good for a 20% discount at participating businesses (print out this coupon and bring it with you). The collaboration between independent businesses and consumers is just the boost the Valley needs, especially moving into the summer months.

Talk about a win-win. Check it out:

  • SAVE!  The popular Golden Coupon is the ticket to saving 20% off purchases from hundreds of locally owned establishments including auto repairs, home furnishing stores, restaurants, yoga studios, salons and boutiques. Shoppers and diners can simply print the Golden Coupon from the LFA website and use it at participating businesses. A digital version of the Golden Coupon will also be available for smart phone users. A list of participating businesses is listed below while the most current list can be viewed on the Local First website.
  • SUPPORT!  Local First has two cash mobs planned for Glendale and Mesa in the week leading up to Indie Week. On Thursday, June 28th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., shoppers are encouraged to spend what they can at The Country Maiden and Papa Ed’s Ice Cream, located at 7146 N. 58th Avenue in Historic Glendale. On Friday, June 29th at noon, shoppers are encouraged to spend what they can at Lo Fi Coffee, located at 105 W. Main Street in Mesa. The goal of the cash mobs is to give these businesses a cash injection heading into the slow summer months as well as bring the community together to experience what these great local businesses have to offer. Local First Arizona will be on site handing out Golden coupons.
  • WIN!  Local First Arizona will be holding a social media contest in which consumers can post a photo of themselves using the Golden Coupon. They need to tag Local First Arizona on Facebook or use the hashtag #GoldenCoupon onTwitter to enter the contest. Once they make a post they will be entered to win a staycation package to Tucson which includes a two night stay at Casa de Jacobus, a two-for-one massage at Lotus Massage & Wellness and a fun activity. Multiple posts = multiple entries!  The winner will be randomly chosen.

While Independents Week is a festive week long celebration, the larger message and goal is to create a ripple effect of local spending. By shifting even a small percentage of purchases to locally owned businesses, money is circulated back into the economy over and over creating up to 75% more tax revenue to the community and state. Independents Week is a great starting point on the road to a healthier local economy and more cohesive initiative to “Keep Your Money Where Your Home Is.”

Participating Local First members as of today by category include: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Loco for Local, Things to Do

Loco For Local… A Year In Review

Just one of many locally owned businesses in AZ

In case you haven’t noticed, we are loco for local here at Arizona Highways (you’ll see what I mean when our March 2012 issue hits stands), and it’s always great to read about the fantastic progress being made by our very own Local First Arizona.

The organization recently posted their year-in-review on their Website and I have to say, I was really impressed…. this group is working incredibly hard to promote local businesses throughout the state, while at the same time, making Arizona a destination — that’s good for me, for you and for future Arizonans.


OK, so check it out:

The Buy Local movement has over 2,000 members across the state and that number continues to grow every day.

The movement has managed to “capture the attention of the Arizona media in a profound and meaningful way. The “Buy Local” movement has been featured:”

  • Over 28 times on TV! Members AZ-TV and Channel 8 continue to graciously support us, as well as Channel 3 Phoenix, Channel 13 Tucson and Channel 15 Phoenix. Sonoran Living and Your Life A to Z have invited us back again and again to tell the local story! Thanks for all of the coverage and support and thanks to all of our members who helped us put the segments together!
  • Over 22 times on the radio! We’ve been featured on the Steve Henry show, several times on Rosie on the House, The McMahon Group, All Things Considered, and more. Thanks to the support of KJZZ, KTAR and others who continue to champion local causes
  • Articles in Arizona Highways, Phoenix New Times, Arizona Republic, Arcadia News, Desert Living Today, The Business Journal, East Valley Tribune, Arizona Daily Sun, The Camp Verde/Cottonwood Journal, Payson Roundup, Sierra Vista Herald, Williams News, The State Press, The College Times, The Downtown Devil, frontdoors, Raising Arizona Kids, Downtown Phoenix Journal, Your West Valley, Tucson Weekly, Inside Tucson Business, Tucson Citizen, Sonoran News, Phoenix Magazine, Green Living Magazine, Discover the Region and lots more!
  • The Independents Week celebration in July brought over 9,200 visitors to our Golden Coupon page on the Local First website, and we got over 620 BUY LOCAL mentions on NPR radio in one week!
  • This year’s Certified Local Fall Festival at the Duck and Decanter attracted over 6,000 people, 65+ vendors and 40+ volunteers. Thanks to the huge number of participants this year- it’s such a great day to celebrate Arizona!
  • Local First launched our first Verde Valley Small Wonders map featuring retail and dining destinations in Jerome and Cottonwood.
  • Local First helped to form a coalition called Devour Phoenix, a group of 25+ restaurateurs in and around the Phoenix area that have banded together to promote the city as a premier dining destination.
  • The second annual Devoured Culinary Classic at the Phoenix Art Museum won best Southwestern Culinary Festival from the New York Times and received other amazing accolades across the country. The event sold out and local chefs reported they had an amazing experience. Next year’s Culinary Classic will be March 10th and 11th, and you can get your tickets now at www.devouredphoenix.com.
  • Local First Arizona won a grant from the ACA to expand programs into rural communities across Arizona, and boy have we expanded!  Our team went to Cottonwood, Bisbee, Sonoita, Prescott and Kingman to share tools and resources to help strengthen the main streets in each of these communities.

Well done friends and keep up the good work!

And hey, don’t forget to tell us your favorite local hotspot!

Leave a comment

Filed under Eco Issues, In the Area, Loco for Local, Things to Do, Wining & Dining

Why Going Local First is Good

This weekend, come out to the Duck and Decanter in PHX and celebrate locally owned businesses at the 7th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival presented by Local First Arizona. This is a fantastic opportunity to support those local businesses (think Zia Records, Desert Song Yoga, Noble Beast Pet Boutique, Bookmans, Smeeks Candy Shop and a WHOLE lot more) that help boost the state’s economy.

Local First Arizona is the largest dues-paying alliance of independent businesses in the country, working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining and celebrating locally owned business throughout the state.

Now, you might think buying local costs more or maybe it doesn’t really impact our economy very much… Well, think again. We spoke with Kimber Lanning, the Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, about this weekend’s event and why buying local is a very good thing.

Why should Arizonans care about purchasing local?
Dollars spent locally circulate up to three times more in the local economy. When someone chooses to buy locally, that local business owner in turn hires a local attorney, accountant, graphic designer, PR company and/or sign maker to help support their business. This keeps money re-circulating locally and helps creates jobs.

How did this festival get started?
Seven years ago, we decided we needed a “day to celebrate Arizona,” and so we called some of our members and the festival was born.

How can buying local make a difference within the community?
Buying locally keeps more dollars at home and creates more tax revenues for things like libraries, schools and fire departments. In addition, jobs and opportunities are created when local businesses thrive.

What are some local brands that people may already be familiar with?
Hickman’s Eggs, Harkins’ Theaters, Bashas’ and Food City, Shamrock Dairy products, China Mist Tea, Community Tire, are just a few you may have heard of.

What can folks expect from the festival?
Over 60 local vendors including Bookman’s, Frances, Practical Art, Kidstop Toys, Mountainside Fitness and more will be on hand; 15 of the best restaurants in town will be giving out free food samples, including Postino, Spinato’s, America’s Taco, Green, St Francis, and more; there will be live music, a beer and wine garden serving up Arizona wine and beer; and fun stuff for kids of all ages, including a craft booth, rock climbing wall and a bounce house.

Some people may think local costs more to buy… Is this true?
It’s definitely not always more expensive to buy locally. Harkins’ Theaters, for example, is the exact same price as their national competitor. Local tireshops, pharmacies, services of all kinds and, of course, things like Hickman’s Eggs are not more expensive. There are also lots of local second hand businesses like Bookman’s, Changing Hands, Buffalo Exchange and more.

Where: Duck and Decanter, 1651 E Camelback, Phoenix
When: Saturday, Nov 12
Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: FREE


>>Photo by Rick D’Elia of D’Elia Photographic © 2010

Leave a comment

Filed under In the Area, Loco for Local, Make a Difference, Things to Do, Wining & Dining