Tempe Restaurant Owner Receives Face of Diversity - American Dream Award

If you haven't already heard of Raveen Arora maybe you have heard of his multi award winning restaurant, The Dhaba Restaurant & Marketplace has been serving local residents divine Indian food for nearly 15 years. Raveen Arora was bestowed the Face of Diversity award last month for his philanthropic initiatives, celebration of diversity and his exemplary leadership skills. 

This award shows that Arora is and has been going the extra mile for longer than his restaurant has even been open. His roots are ingrained in philanthropy and as a refugee from India, Arora is no stranger to adversity. As a child he worked with Mother Theresa and faced long ration lines. Instilling some important values that would last him a life time.

I would wake up hungry and angry as a child and now, 65 years later, I wake up hungry but humble.
— Raveen Arora

Arora has taken all of twists and turns that life has had and used them as learning opportunity. An extremely humble man he uses his life lessons to boost others and treats his staff as family. Restaurants are an important part of the fabric of American culture and Arora's belief and support of his staff allows everyone to succeed. It is clearly shown that because of those humble beliefs, not only has his restaurant succeeded but so as he.

As a member of Local First, Arora represents the perfect image of a local business success story. He and his business have become intertwined with Tempe and its local residents. Businesses like The Dhaba Restaurant & Marketplace bring out the true culture of our state and its people like Arora who tie the fabric of our community together. Local First Arizona exists to connect local businesses together to strengthen our local economy and its businesses owners like Arora, who continue to allow our local economy to thrive.


State of the Watershed Conference 2017

State of the Watershed Conference 2017

The Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) announces The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference for May 10-11, 2017. This two-day event will kick-off with Verde Watershed Field Trips on Wednesday, May 10, where participants can select from of a dozen field trips will be led by local watershed experts across the Verde Watershed. On Thursday, May 11, The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference will be held at the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, in historic Clarkdale, Arizona.

Breaking the Waste Cycle in Fashion

Breaking the Waste Cycle in Fashion

Loren North was working as an environmental consultant when she decided to start a new career. After working for a decade to help clean up the chemical and dump sites of companies, she combined her passion for sustainability and fashion to create a new business, Through the Closet Door, that focuses on responsible use and purchasing of clothing. 

New Self-Storage Facility in Downtown Phoenix Caters to Local Community

We have all come to a realization in our lives that maybe we have one to may "things". Whether that realization hit after coming home with a brand new kayak in the small studio apartment you live in, or perhaps it was riffling through the cupboards looking for that one Tupperware lid among the thousands of containers. Regardless, at some point we need more space.

Emerge Garfield Storage, a newly build facility at 16th Street & Portland officially opened its doors for business last month. The facility is owned by Hibernia Capital Advisers and operated by Cox Armored Mini Storage. Mark McLoone who leads the Hibernia team, is not new to this business as he has owned and developed storage throughout southern California and the Valley. McLoone's connection to the city that he grew up in provides that Garfield Storage wants to establish roots in the revitalization of downtown Phoenix.

We are very bullish on downtown. Having grown up in Phoenix, we hear about downtown revitalization most every real estate cycle, but with ASU’s commitment coupled with an emergent and vibrant creative class that vision has become a reality.
— Mark McLoone

Garfield Storage hosted an Open House and official launch with refreshments provided by Local First Arizona member Welcome Chicken + Donuts as well as Songbird Coffee & Teahouse.  Numerous guests attended such as Sharon Smith-Dean of Downtown ASU Students, Councilwoman Kate Gallego and Director of Operations Thomas Barr were excited to see Garfield open it's doors.

In addition to Garfield Storage's opening, the company has elected to become a sustaining member cementing their foundation to Arizona's local economy. Here at Local First we are extremely proud of this partnership and are eager to watch the progress of Garfield as it emerges itself in downtown Phoenix. Expect to hear great things about this company!



SEDI Hosts Workshops on Small Business Marketing

SEDI Hosts Workshops on Small Business Marketing

Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) is hosting a series of three complimentary lunchtime workshops on small business marketing developed and presented by Mountain Mojo and co-sponsored by the Flagstaff Center for the Arts.

Third Annual Flagstaff ABV Dinner

Third Annual Flagstaff ABV Dinner

The third annual Flagstaff Arizona Beer and Veterans dinner continued the tradition of delicious food and great beer pairings to raise funds for Arizona Veterans. Seven Flagstaff chefs and breweries brought their best creations to the table for all to enjoy.  Raffle items were given away throughout the night. It was a fun and festive celebration of Flagstaff's chefs and brewers.

Inaugural Old Town Arts Festival Celebrates Earth Day!

Inaugural Old Town Arts Festival Celebrates Earth Day!

Looking for a staycation and a great way to celebrate Earth Day this year?  Head to the Verde Valley for a weekend of wine, art and earthy fun! The Old Town Arts Festival will feature fine arts and selected crafts from Arizona artists, as well as live entertainment, wine tasting by Winery 101 and Pillsbury Wines, and a farm-to-table food demonstration.

Local First Celebrates Craft Beer & Food at The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen

This months mixer was held at the Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen. The founder of this popular local gastropub, Richard Stark, mentioned that this concept really came to life while he was holding the position as CEO of NYPD Pizza. He always had the idea of creating a beer that paired perfectly to each pizza but he didn't want to make the mistake of white labeling the product. That's when he approached Greg Fretz and George Hancock from The Phoenix Ale Brewery. From this local coalition of delicious food and beer came the Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen. 

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Each mixer we see many new faces joining us, this one had an especially great turnout! We mixed and mingle for the first half and afterwards we were able to go around the room and introduce ourselves and our businesses. It always speaks volumes on the local movement when  members are able to tell their story of how partnering with other local businesses and being more involved in the local movement has helped their own personal development as well as the community around them!


Kendall was able to give a little insight on April's Community Banking campaign. Touching the subject on why it is so important that, as Arizona residents, we move our money to a local Arizona bank or credit union. Giving us some quick and easy tips, that can be found in our Switch Kit, in order to ensure that we are getting what fits our financial needs. If you are interested in moving your money, Local First Arizona has many events this month in order for you to learn more!

Joing us at our next event which will be a free screening of the movie The Big Short.

Thursday April 13th 6:00-9:00 PM

Filmbar - 815 North 2nd Street Phoenix, AZ, 85004 United States

A special thanks to all of those who attended this months mixer, to our sustaining members and to Richard Starks and to all those at the Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen for the amazing food and drinks! 

Alliance Bank of Arizona - sustaining member

PK Tech

OPACS - sustaining member

VIP Taxi - sustaining member

Clever Art Studio

Another Hand Advantage

Ahab Noss Photography

All City Towing - sustaining member

AJR Public Adjusters

Green Living

Interior Home Designs


Gwin Wine + Beer - sustaining member

Earth Day in Camp Verde

Earth Day in Camp Verde

Join the Town of Camp Verde at Rezzonico Park and help them put the “Verde” in “Camp Verde” and go green on Earth Day! The Earth Day Art Festival will be an event-packed day featuring family-fun activities and exhibits for everyone to enjoy!