Founded in 2003 Local First Arizona (LFA) is a statewide non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona.
LFA seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship and collaboration. Visit localfirstaz.com for more information and a directory of more than 2,500 locally owned businesses.
The Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition is a membership of select, independent restaurants, an initiative of Local First Arizona, and home of the annual and award-winning Devour Culinary Classic. Our members represent Phoenix food culture, celebrating its unique heritage and gastronomic style, while proudly participating in an economically vibrant local system. From shared knowledge and collaborative marketing to exclusive socials with Local First Arizona’s Localist program to events of all kinds, the Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition reaches nearly 40,000 food enthusiasts in the Phoenix area every year.
What is the mission for Devour Phoenix?
- Maintain a forum for sharing ideas, purchasing power, and marketing dollars to advance dining in the Phoenix area
- Create an image for Phoenix that is a respected destination for dining and culinary exploration
- Share resources to strengthen and grow restaurants in Phoenix
- Manage and host events such as culinary festivals and restaurant crawls that will strengthen business and build awareness for all Phoenix restaurants
- Identify and encourage the use of local agriculture and local artisans as a means for increasing sustainability in the region
Why is it important to support local restaurants?
Arizona is part of a growing trend as organizations like Local First Arizona are starting up across the country. Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, roughly $42 remains right here in Arizona, while for the same $100 spent in a national chains, only $13 remains here. Consumers have grown leery of the false sense of savings promised by national chain restaurants, and are becoming acutely aware of the homogenization of our communities. As a result, an explosion of sorts is occurring here and everywhere, as people look to define a sense of place, community, and quality of life for their families and their futures.
Current environmental challenges facing the world are also driving local economies. Consumers can no longer afford to pay for tomatoes trekked 1,500 miles to the local grocery store. They are seeking out local farmer’s markets to buy tomatoes grown right here at home. Spending on local foods has more than quadrupled in the past two years. The average American is beginning to understand the consequences of over-consumption and are seeking out and discovering the benefits of “going local.”