If you’ve never heard of Local First Arizona, you should check it out!!! It’s the largest local coalition in the country with over 1300 members! We just became members ourselves and within our first meeting we were grateful to be a part of something so wonderful! We became inspired as we listened to the founder, Kimber Lanning, speak about supporting our local businesses and celebrating our community. We learned that if you spend $100 with local businesses; $42 remains in the state vs. the same $100 spent at a chain, only $13 stays in the state!!! It’s becoming apparent that we cannot pay for tomatoes traveling 1500 miles (at $4.80 for a gallon of gas!!) Plus, who would want to pay extra for older produce?? Not this chef!!
I personally feel a stronger sense of community now more than ever in the past 8 years that I’ve lived in the valley. I’ve found that you have to change your way of thinking – like the other day I said “Well, let’s just run to Home Depot for that” I looked at Nathan like “Omg, I can’t believe I just said that” (we did not go to Home Depot that day! Lol!) Instead, we went to a local hardware store up on Bethany Home Rd, and as we were paying we heard the lady next to us say “I just want to support my local businesses!” I thought that was awesome, and I felt like I was doing the right thing!
The pennies that we save by going to the big box stores does not justify all of the money leaving our community every year. I’m not saying that every single cent I spend is only spent at a local store, but I have made a change and encourage others to do the same! An old colleague of mine used to say that ‘everyone just lives in their own little world’ Well, I think that’s true in most cases. We all value the important things pertaining to our lives, and for me that’s food! Local food consumption has quadrupled in the last 2 years alone! With Nathan and I being chefs, it’s extremely important for us to have the freshest quality produce, meats, dairys, and grains. We try to obtain as much as we possibly can locally for the food truck! We will have a list of local vendors for you to view soon! I feel like Phoenix has a lot to offer it’s residents and as we learn more, we want to share it with everyone who follows us:)
Check out the Local First Arizona website for more facts and a huge directory of all businesses that participate in this awesome program! Thanks LFA for all that you do! And thanks to everyone we met at the meeting!!