This article was written by past Local Food Program Director, Steve Russell. We are very excited to announce the launch of a new pilot program with Bashas’ Markets, Arizona’s Hometown Grocer, to carry locally-crafted goods from Arizona’s own local business scene. This pilot, which we hope to expand to additional locations in the coming years, features over 50 products from local businesses, ranging from hot sauces and peanut butters to deodorant and organic cleaning products! This pilot has HUGE potential to become a major sales outlet for local businesses, which often have a hard time getting shelf space in large chain grocery companies.
Now, we knew the demand for this program already existed, but we were absolutely blown away by the organic response we had on our first Facebook post; which, in just three days, and without paying a dime for ads, outperformed every other social media post we’ve made in the year 2014.
We’re very fortunate that here in Arizona, we have a market like Bashas’, whose leadership really gets the importance of supporting local—and it makes sense, because Bashas’ Markets is the state’s largest locally-owned grocery store, with over 130 locations statewide. Their sister store AJ’s Fine Foods also has a long history of supporting Arizona’s local businesses; in fact, many of the products featured here were already in the AJ’s system!
Our pilot location is at Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale. The endcap is located near Bashas’ great local wine selection and features products from the following LFA members:
Arizona Spice Company Big Red’s Hot Sauce Cheri’s Desert Harvest Christopher Creek Spice Co. GB Proudfoot’s Natural Body Care Grassfed Beef Crisps Hayden Flour Mills Los Gamiz Imports Mrs. Klein’s Pickle Co. Nutwhats Peanutbutter Americano RisingHy Specialty Sauce Slavo Salt Strawberry Hedgehog Tracy Dempsey Originals Truce
If you would like to see one of these racks at a location near you, please spread the word, make the trip, and let your local Bashas’ Market know that you’d like them to enroll in the “Arizona’s Best” pilot program by Local First Arizona! If your business would like to participate in this program, please contact [email protected] for more information.