Question: The cycle of “buying local” involves consumers purchasing from local vendors as well as vendors purchasing supplies from local sources. Studies indicate that not only do both benefit but so also does the overall community. How can you leverage the power of “local” in your industry?
Edward “Trey” Basha
President and CEO
Bashas’ Family of Stores
What people may not know is that they each have the ability to strengthen and enrich our community by exercising their power of choice. Every time consumers make a purchase, they have the power to benefit Arizona’s economy by shopping at locally owned businesses and purchasing locally made products. It’s those tax dollars that are created from shopping locally that help to fund our schools, fire and police departments, and help our cities to improve our streets and local parks.
Grocery stores are primary channels of purchase for local products. Several opportunities exist for grocers and marketers of locally made products to promote and sell more local brands. In-store signage is a real opportunity to highlight local products and tell the story about an item and its quality distinctions. Consumers also enjoy meeting face to face with the producers of local products. This is evidenced by local farmers becoming the face of their products, sharing recipes and, ultimately, bringing a whole new level of authenticity to the grocery store.
Edward N. Basha III is president, CEO and chairman of the board of Bashas’ Family of Stores — the family-owned grocer that operates Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Sportsman’s Fine Wines & Spirits, Eddie’s Country Store and Bashas’ Diné supermarkets. He has served as a decision-maker in many different areas of the company, and is currently responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of more than 120 grocery stores and 8,000+ members (employees). He has served on the board of numerous Valley nonprofits.
Executive Chef and Owner
It has always been paramount for Beckett’s Table to support the Valley’s growing culinary scene, including sourcing as much as we can from local purveyors. This industry is like a family. A lot of our friends are making great, high-quality products that we want to support. From Crow’s Dairy, The Roastery of Cave Creek (ROC2) and Sand-Reckoner Vineyards to Berry Bros. Firewood, Brand X T-Shirts and Refresh Glass, we are able to partner with local community producers of the best cheeses, produce, wines, meats and other resources.
We not only get to help support friends and local vendors, we can take comfort knowing where these products are coming from. Often, we create long-lasting partnerships in our community that flourish through awareness. Take, for instance, Devour Phoenix. This nonprofit coalition of independent restaurants working together is a platform for sharing ideas and building purchasing power to advance dining in the Phoenix area. Guests are also becoming more involved with identifying and knowing where their food comes from, leading to the rapid rise of the farm-to-table movement in the industry.
An award-winning chef and renowned restaurateur, Chef Justin Beckett partnered with his wife, Michelle, and their longtime friends and sommeliers Scott & Katie Stephens to open Beckett’s Table in the popular Arcadia area in 2010. Since then, Beckett’s Table has garnered national attention, earning Wine Spectator’s 2012 Award of Excellence and a nomination for Food & Wine Magazine’s People’s Best New Chef.
Sector: Real Estate
Here in Arizona, some of the greatest success stories in local business come from the restaurant segment. At local retail properties — including RED Development’s CityScape, Town & Country and Hilton Village — restaurants are increasingly important anchors and local restaurants are a big part of the mix. Retail property owners help Arizona have a true local flavor by helping local restaurants succeed, some of which even emphasize micro-local preparations: Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco, with its house-smoked mozzarella, and Chef Kevin Binkley’s preparation of Arizona-grown fruit and vegetables.
People crave authentic and local experiences, which we believe are central to an engaging retail mix. At our Arizona retail properties, these include appealing local retailers like The Linen Tree, Flagstaff Jean Company, Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House, Olive Creations and Elevate Coffee Co. There is an art to merchandising a compelling project, and this includes making sure there is enough local presence to ground the experience and differentiate it from what you could find anywhere else in the country. This supports local businesses and also shoppers’ growing desire to shop and eat local.
As a founding partner, Mike Ebert has shaped RED Development’s successful development area in projects across the country since 1995 and leads all aspects of the company’s business. Significant contributions include leading the groundbreaking public-private partnership with the City of Phoenix to develop CityScape, the high-profile, 1.1-million-square-foot, mixed-use urban destination in downtown Phoenix that is a signature project for both the company and the city.