Tag Archives: phoenix public market

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Get down and ‘derby’ deals in the Valley

If you are looking for something other than Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend, maybe the Kentucky Derby is more your style. Saturday, May 3, presents the 140th Kentucky Derby, which some describe as the most exciting two minutes in sports. There are several Kentucky Derby parties for women to dress up in spring dresses and giant hats and men to dress in their best seersuckers suits.

    Turf Paradise: This huge, spring party has all the Kentucky Derby musts including mint juleps and a fashion judging of traditional Derby clothes of bonnets, sundresses and suits. There are a variety of choices, depending on your budget, including a “Top of the Park” suite that encompasses a view of the infield lakes and two racetracks, a Turf Club Buffet that includes private televisions for viewing, a Clubhouse and Players’ Buffet that get you closer to the horses and the cheering crowd and finally, a Party on the Rail that lets you get up close to the race. All areas include Kentucky Derby food and drinks. Don’t forget to stay for the Hat and Ensemble contest!
    Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: This party is comprised of a Kentucky Derby Brunch and Lawn Party. Live blues music will accompany the mint juleps, bourbon tastings, buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, crab Louie, shrimp and grits and truffled mac ‘n’ cheese. If you haven’t divulged enough, then continue on to dessert with lemon meringue tarts, red velvet cupcakes and chocolate bourbon pecan pies. You can also try signature cocktails including a “Seersucker” cocktail with bourbon, peach and mint, “The Derby” with bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange curaçao and lime or the “Kentucky Cousin” with Know Creek Bourbon Cherry Herring, lemon and black tea. Once you have eaten your fill, you can play horseshoes and lawn games, take pictures with four-time National Champion racehorse, Saul, or enjoy the women in their stylish hats and men in their suits.
    The Phoenician in Scottsdale: Like the other two events, The Phoenician will host a Kentucky Derby Party with a special viewing party on the Orchid Lawn. The party will include flat screen TVs covering the pre-race festivities and the race itself. Women can compete in the best hat contest and men can win the best Southern fashion contest. Festivities will also include a Winner’s Circle raffle and a delicious Southern menu.

If you want a more low-key atmosphere to watch the race, visit one of these local restaurants to try a Kentucky Derby-inspired cocktail:
    Phoenix Public Market Café: The TNT, $8, contains Arizona Distilling Company Copper City Bourbon, tamarind paste, pequin chili simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon
    J&G Steakhouse: Whiskey Passion Fruit Fizz, $13, is composed of Passion Fruit Chili Bar syrup, bourbon and ginger ale
    Crudo: No Name, $12, is made of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon, Montenegro, Bonal, St. Elizabeth allspice Dram and Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, served in a chilled coupe
    Central Bistro: Old Fashioned, $10, has Wild Turkey Rye, Demerara syrup and old fashion bitters
    Del Frisco’s Grille: Tennessee Peach, $5, mixes Jack Daniel’s, fresh peaches, honey and fresh lime juice
    American TapHouse: Mint Julep, $3, is a classic drink that can be paired with a delicious BBQ pulled pork sandwich

So whether you are watching the races or just want to try something new, check out these local events and specials this weekend!

Klocke Dan dpp 6-14-05

Phoenix Public Market boosts micro-businesses

Micro businesses may be small, but they pack a big punch.

Though defined as businesses with less than five employees, www.microexec.com reports that micro firms “represent a staggering 99.7percent of all the employer firms in the country.”  That means more than half of all private-sector employees work for micro firms which pay “44 percent of the total private payroll in the county.”

A Small Business Administration (SBA) report in March 2010 showed that micro businesses created 64 percent of all net new U.S. jobs from 1993 to 2009.

For many micro-business owners, making their first foray into business can be a challenge.  The Phoenix Public Market provides very low-cost opportunities to promote products, establish revenue, and expand micro-businesses.  Along the way, they learn, perhaps make a few mistakes and grow in a low-risk environment.   Today, 45 vendors who started at the Phoenix Public Market now have products that can be found in major grocery stores and restaurants throughout the Valley.

In May, the Market will celebrate the grand opening of a new restaurant by St. Francis owner Aaron Chamberlin in the space that formerly housed Urban Grocery.  The restaurant is adjacent to the open air Market which supports over 100 micro businesses, many of whom will be selling products to the new restaurant.

Despite having to close the indoor Urban Grocery store last May, the open air Phoenix Public Market remains one of the Valley’s leading advocates for and tactical supporters of small business and has continued to grow and flourish.

Even with the setback and the financial challenges it generated, we were able to hold firm in our mission to create opportunities for small businesses that may not be able to open storefronts because of the cost.

Among the reasons we were able to maintain our focus and continue moving forward was the consistent and stalwart support from groups like the City of Phoenix and Bank of America.  The City of Phoenix has been a large supporter from a capital standpoint in building out the open air Market parking lot.  Bank of America was among the first to invest in the Phoenix Public Market with a three-year $25,000 grant and then stepped up with another $15,000 right after the grocery closed when we needed it most.

The impact of those efforts will be reflected long-term and locally. To date our micro businesses have sold over $7 million in local products.  Their support and our ongoing ability to provide opportunities for small businesses will create jobs and generate revenue, taxes and consumer traffic that will, ultimately, contribute to a stronger, more vibrant community.

Those benefits pay dividends to all of us.

 

Dan Klocke is Vice President, Development, for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (www.downtownphoenix.com).  For information about the Phoenix Public Market, visit www.foodconnect.org.

Food Truck Friday - Short Leash Hotdogs

Taking It To The Streets On Food Truck Friday

The Phoenix public market and Food Truck Friday stimulate the community and economy.

Each Friday on Central and Fillmore, students, seniors and dressed-down businessmen and women mingle and munch at an event that not only satiates the appetite, but stimulates the economy, too — the Friday Food Truck event at the Phoenix Public Market.

In 2010, the Phoenix Street Food Coalition joined forces with the Phoenix Public Market to create the first Food Truck Friday event, which launched that November with five trucks. Since then, the event has had to adapt to the growing number of patrons.

Brad Moore, owner of Short Leash Hotdogs and founder of the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, says the number of food trucks has doubled, increasing from five to 11.

“(Food Truck Friday) has been instrumental in helping food truck owners grow their business, and I think its helped to contribute to the overall awareness and success of the Phoenix Public Market,” Moore says.

The Phoenix Public Market recently added a covered patio with family-style seating where customers are able to converse and catch some shade. Moore says, on average, about 750 customers attend each Friday; and it’s quite the diverse group, too.

“We’ve seen everything from stay-at-home moms and those in the workforce, to senior citizens taking field trips to the Market, ASU classes reserving tables and civic groups,” says Cindy Gentry, executive director of Community Food Connections. “We’ve seen quite the range of people.”

Gentry, Moore and Cindy Dach, director of Roosevelt Row, all agree that the weekly Food Truck Friday event helps strengthen the sense of community within downtown area.

“It has a significant impact,” Dach says. “The success of Phoenix relies on the experience. People want to walk and bike and see a familiar face. The Market is a catalyst for that community impact.”

Because of the growing success and popularity of the event, the Market has added Wheel Food Wednesday to its events calendar, which features about nine food trucks. They have also extended the time of Food Truck Friday an extra half hour. They’re even planning to expand the venue’s space — into the street.

“Because the event is growing and more people are attending,” Gentry says, “the next frontier is to close off the street.”

For more information about the Phoenix Public Market and its weekly events, including Food Truck Friday and Open Air Saturday, visit foodconnect.org.

Produce

Local Non-Profit, Phoenix Public Market, Offers Food Connections

All across Arizona, communities are growing nutritionally. More farmers’ markets are opening in cities statewide, and areas that at first had difficulty finding homegrown and fresh food now have more options close by. A driving force behind this change is the non-profit organization known as Community Food Connections (CFC), based in Phoenix, Ariz.

Cindy Gentry, founder and executive director, started CFC in 2002.

Phoenix Public Market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The motivation was to create opportunities for low-income families, in particular to move beyond needing emergency food assistance by creating programs and developing and supporting policies that increase access to healthy food, while supporting local food production and distribution,” Gentry said.

Since its launch, CFC has gained $600,000 to support two food programs for low-income seniors. They have started a farm-to-school program in Arizona and founded the Phoenix Public Market in 2005.

The Phoenix Public Market, much like Farmers’ Markets across the state, is a unique program and currently the largest open-air market in the state. Local, small-scale agriculture and local artists and crafters showcase their work and products at the market.

farmers market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The difference between our market and many of the others is that it is a program of the non-profit Community Food Connections where we are actively working to create jobs, support micro-business development, help keep farmers on the land and create a vibrant gathering place in what has been a blighted area to-date,” Gentry said. “We are working actively to establish a public market like they have in other great cities of the world.”

CFC is in partnership with other non-profit organizations such as Arizona Homegrown Solutions, the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, the Association of Arizona Food Banks, LISC, and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. Their work and goals are geared towards self-sufficiency rather than the emergency and supplemental support that many other food programs offer.

“Our goal is to help create community food security – focusing on growing the assets of the community to make it possible for every person to have adequate, affordable, safe and culturally-appropriate food at all times that maximize self-reliance and social justice,” Gentry said.

For more information or to contribute, visit www.foodconnect.org.