Local First AZ Visits SARRC's Beneficial Beans Urban Garden

IMG_7357At the 16th Street Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC), Local First got a first-hand look inside the newly revamped Beneficial Beans Urban Garden. SARRC works with adults with autism providing opportunities for clients to learn valuable job skills and training, which are then transferrable to other jobs and career paths. Beneficial Beans operates a coffee shop cafe inside the Scottsdale Public Library as well as offering internships to adults with autism to work in the garden and manage the community shared agriculture (CSA) program. For local business owners in attendance, our November mixer was their first time hearing about the garden and the impressive program. SARRC's Social Enterprise Director, Kate Thoene, was among those in attendance and on-hand walking members around the grounds pointing to the "Chick Inn" chicken coop, which supplies fresh, local eggs for the CSA. Members munched on fresh picked produce straight from the garden, sipped local beer and wine and purchased bags of the Beneficial Beans coffee beans and shirts.

IMG_7361Our November Mixer also marked the final quarterly Wist Rebate giveaway. Wist is an office supply company based in Tempe and each quarter they donate 4% of the total sales made to them by Local First AZ members back to our organization. Local First then donates 2% to a local nonprofit organization. This month we chose to donate to SARRC to continue making a powerful impact on our job force.

Edgar Olivo, Fuerza Local Accelerator, took time to show Fox 10 News around to promote the Accellerator Program, which is now accepting applications for its Spring class. The Accelerator Program is a six-month business course open to Spanish-speaking local business owners with classes covering everything from building an online presence to insurance. Accelerator graduates receive a line of credit from MariSol Credit Union to continue building success with their business. The aim of the program is to celebrate a diverse and inclusive business environment here in Arizona.

IMG_7365As we circled around the group, Local First Director, Kimber Lanning, closed the mixer with great reminders each member could do to help the local movement:

1. Take clients to lunch at a local restaurant

2. Utilize the member directory for any services, like banking, auto, payroll, etc.

3. Recommend that each new client that wants to work with you look into becoming a member of Local First AZ.

4. Think about gifting locally for any thank yous, personal gifts or employee/volunteer appreciations.

We want to thank SARRC for hosting an amazing final evening mixer of 2015, and invite you to attend our 2016 mixers, which are hosted in Tucson, Northern Arizona and Metro Phoenix. For more information, click here.

Thank you to all those in attendance:

ABC Glass Co. AZ Social Media Wiz Be Buffum Breezy Pop - Fuerza Local Accelerator Program Graduate Desert Schools Federal Credit Union - Sustaining Member Executive Primary Care Medicine Green Living Magazine HomeSmart Hubbard Family Swim School - Sustaining Member Human Resource Essential Loutos Consulting, CPA Momentum Specialized Staffing Orchard Medical Consulting Outside in General Counsel R&S Mattress Sole Sports Running Zone Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) SPIES: Single Professional Introductions Studio ADT The Pulse Radio - Sustaining Member The Rag Collection T&T Documents United Cerebral Palsy - Sustaining Member Vanco, LLC Venue Projects: Kitchell-Perez, LLC Wave Productivity Z2 Media