These stories of impact illustrate how the Local First Arizona Foundation is building opportunity for all Arizonans, no matter their background, hometown, or experience.
Our programming is diverse but the results are always the same: helping underserved individuals build prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.
WINDSWEPT ACRES | Chino valley, az
Windswept Acres is a small, veteran-owned family farm producing pickled products and jellies such as asparagus, eggs, and prickly pear in Chino Valley. When Pam Herndon and Dave Harris originally started their canning business, they were growing their own produce; but by the end of 2016, demand was so high that they just couldn't keep up. They utilized Good Food Finder to connect with other farmers to meet their demand, and leveraged the resources and relationships gained at the Food and Farm Finance Forum to expand their business, create jobs, and increase their distribution of healthy local foods. "The contacts and connections we made through Local First Arizona Foundation have been invaluable, helped us grow, and have given us insight into the future and the direction we want our business to go!"
colados coffee | Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Graduate
When Berni Reina arrived back home from a family vacation, his routine life quickly turned to a nightmare when he and his wife were laid off from the company they had dedicated their careers to. That milestone turned Berni into an entrepreneur. When Berni applied for the 2nd cohort of the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program in 2014, all he had was an idea and a dream. The first step? Building a strong business plan that could become his map to success. Since its inauguration three years ago, Colados Coffee & Crepes has become a must-stop coffee shop in the West Valley. With the growing demand came the opportunity to grow their team, as they have quickly expanded from a team of 2 to 14 in just three years. “The Business Accelerator helped us tremendously. We started from zero, but little by little, we obtained valuable tools from those 12 courses. Fuerza Local was an incredible tool that helped me grow as a new entrepreneur.”
Noftsger Hill Inn | GLOBE, AZ
In February 2001 an early retirement dream came to fruition for Rosalie Lamentola-Ayala and Dom Ayala when they opened Noftsger Hill Inn in Globe, Arizona. Attending webinars offered by the Arizona Rural Development Council, presenting and attending at the Rural Policy Forum, and being apart of the Mayor of Globe's Marketing Task Force has given Noftsger Hill Inn networking and growth opportunities that has extended their relationships with countless like minded individuals and businesses not only in Globe, but statewide. “The Local First Arizona Foundation has taught our community that collaboration is the key to success. Being able to develop relationships with countless like-minded individuals and businesses in Globe and statewide has been critical to my success as a business owner and community member.”