Arizona Good Food Expo Celebrates Ten Years of Successful Local Food Relationships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Kendall Jones, Local First Arizona Foundation
[email protected], 602-956-0909 ext. 7

Arizona Good Food Expo Celebrates Ten Years of Successful Local Food Relationships

The all-local food event brings producers and buyers together

Phoenix, AZ (June 20, 2019) - For ten years Arizona Farmer+Chef Connection has been forging new relationships between farmers and food buyers and is now getting a refresh as Arizona Good Food Expo. This year’s event boasts all-local and locally grown food and specialty beverage producers from around the state and will be held Monday, August 26, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort followed by a reception at Different Pointe of View from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

“Changing the name to Arizona Good Food Expo better reflects the mission behind the event, to showcase Arizona’s best local food and build lasting relationships between food producers and wholesale buyers, but is more inclusive of the state’s broad range of food buyers who aren’t necessarily chefs,” says Emily Bell, Good Food Programs Manager at Local First Arizona Foundation.

Arizona Good Food Expo is a wholesale showcase of food producers from around the state in a marketplace setting with informative displays and wholesale details. Buyers will meet face-to-face with more than 75 farmers, food artisans, and specialty beverage producers to sample products, learn what is and will be in season, and set up contracts and relationships to foster local procurement.

“The Arizona Good Food Expo is the ideal setting to ensure the freshest Arizona-grown foods are being served on your plate – whether you shop at the grocery store, are eating at the school cafeteria, or dining out,” says Kimber Lanning, Founder of Local First Arizona Foundation, “The Expo makes it easier for our great chefs and food buyers to source local ingredients and be leaders in Arizona's food scene. Sourcing Arizona's homegrown foods is essential to build a healthier Arizona, and the relationships made at the Expo will leverage our agricultural bounty for the benefit of all.”

According to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the impact of the agriculture industry is $23.3 billion dollars and a recent study found that 85 percent of all farms in Arizona are family or individually owned. The industry fuels a significant number of job and contributes directly and indirectly to our state’s economy. Arizona Good Food Expo aims to link local food producers with buyers to strengthen our economy and create vibrant communities.

Chef Charleen Badman, Owner of FnB and recent winner of the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest Region, will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Arizona Good Food Expo.

“Before Edible Phoenix and Slow Food started Farmer + Chef Connection (now the Arizona Good Food Expo) in 2008, it was difficult to find those “hidden gems” of local food producers to connect with chefs and other wholesale food buyers,” says Pamela Hamilton, event founder and Editor of Edible Phoenix, “We’re pleased to see how the event has grown under the leadership of Local First Arizona Foundation from a small affair with buyer/seller "speed dating" in a little room at the Phoenix Zoo to the expansive state-wide event it has become today.”

The event has had many successes over the years, including Hayden Flour Mills, a well-known local flour manufacturer, which attributes the start of their business to relationships made at the event.

“We owe our start to the Farmer + Chef Connection,” says Emma Zimmerman, Owner of Hayden Flour Mills, “We showed up with nothing. No products. No samples. All we had was a sign that had our big idea on it - starting a local flour mill. Our crazy idea was received by amazing food community that was willing to help us get started. We have a thriving local food business because of the connections and people we met that day.”

This industry-focused event is best suited for the following individuals, businesses, and organizations:

  • Arizona-based, wholesale-ready farmers, food artisans, ranchers, dairymen, winemakers, brewers, and others

  • Chefs & restaurateurs

  • Grocery purchasers & marketing managers

  • Culinary students & professionals

  • Food distributors

  • Small & large-scale food buyers for institutions and organizations

  • Other industry professionals with the desire to network in the local food sphere

Tickets are now on sale for both food vendors and general admission, with early bird pricing through July 20. Tickets provide access to the Expo, keynote address, expert panelists, and reception. Pricing does not include online ticketing fees. Current Local First Arizona business members qualify for a 10% discount on all ticket prices.

  • Early Bird Pricing (through July 20):

    • General Admission: $15/person includes an all-day pass to the event.

    • Vendor Package: $79 includes standard tabled space with ability to sample, reserved parking, two all day passes, listing in post-event follow-up packet, and free admission to a customized webinar for entering the wholesale market in Arizona.

  • Regular Pricing (begins July 21):

    • General Admission: $25/person includes an all-day pass to the event.

    • Vendor Package: $99 includes standard table space with ability to sample, reserved parking, two all-day passes, and listing in post-event follow-up packet.

The deadline to purchase regular priced vendor packages is August 22.

The 2019 Arizona Good Food Expo is presented by Good Food Finder AZ and is sponsored by Bar and Restaurant Insurance, Courtesy Chevrolet, Edible Phoenix, Slow Food Phoenix, and the Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition. Those interested in sponsorship can reach Emily Bell at [email protected]

Information and tickets are available for purchase at https://www.goodfoodfinderaz.com/expo

Official event hashtag: #AZFoodExpo

ABOUT LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA FOUNDATION

Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF) is an award-winning organization focused on community and economic development throughout Arizona in order to build self-sufficient, healthy and prosperous communities. LFAF is creating a movement that has proven results across a wide variety of measurables including youth retention, job creation, and economic opportunity. More information is available at localfirstazfoundation.org.