Forging New Partnerships at the 2019 Arizona Good Food Expo

 
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On August 26th, Local First Arizona Foundation and Good Food Finder celebrated the 10th Annual Arizona Good Food Expo by hosting the largest and most successful event to date, bringing together 75 exhibitors and over 300 attendees from across the state. The Arizona Good Food Expo is known as the event for wholesale buyers and suppliers in Arizona’s food industry to meet, build new partnerships, and enjoy Arizona’s finest food and beverages.

This year, exhibitors arrived early to the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix to set up their displays of Arizona food and beverage products, giving early attendees a special glimpse of new products.

 
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James Beard Award Winner Charleen Badman, owner and chef at FnB Scottsdale, officially kicked off the event with a keynote address, speaking to the importance of the relationships she has formed with local food producers over the past 20 years. Listeners were emboldened to support local food and start telling the stories of Arizona’s food and producers.

Chefs have a special opportunity and responsibility to showcase what local farmers are doing and the diversity of Arizona produce.
— Charleen Badman, FnB Scottsdale
 
Chef Charleen Badman, 2019 James Beard Award Winner from FnB Scottsdale

Chef Charleen Badman, 2019 James Beard Award Winner from FnB Scottsdale

 
I’ve been here before and just walked around and not talked to anyone. But that’s not how you’re going to make change. Develop a relationship today.
— Charleen Badman, FnB Scottsdale

Fired up and ready to make connections, buyers flooded the floor to connect with new suppliers for their food stores, restaurants, groceries, institutions, and more. Exhibitors provided samples while sharing information about their businesses and wholesale pricing, all while networking with new business partners.  

 
From left to right: Kate Radosevic of Local First Arizona Foundation, Stephen Jones of the larder + the delta, John Panza of BiGA by SENSES, Shanti Rade of Whipstone Farm, Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper, and Todd Hanley of Hotel Congress and Maynards Market & Kitchen.

From left to right: Kate Radosevic of Local First Arizona Foundation, Stephen Jones of the larder + the delta, John Panza of BiGA by SENSES, Shanti Rade of Whipstone Farm, Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper, and Todd Hanley of Hotel Congress and Maynards Market & Kitchen.

 

The Recipes for Success panelists built on the day’s momentum with valuable insight for both buyers and producers about how to succeed when switching to local sourcing and creating strong, thriving, local business partnerships. Read their top tips and tricks for sourcing local in our Recipes for Success Recap here. The Expo was buzzing up until the final shoutout from David DeLorenzo of Bar & Restaurant Insurance, thanking exhibitors for their hard work and buyers for taking the time to network, build relationships, and make the switch to local.

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After the Expo, attendees and exhibitors headed up the hill to Different Pointe of View for the Local Foods Reception, where Chef Anthony DeMuro had crafted a meal using ingredients from over 20 of the farms and food artisans who had exhibited at this year’s Expo. Participants continued to network and forge connections while unwinding and enjoying Arizona’s bounty.

Thanks to everyone who attended, exhibited and sponsored this year’s Expo. We can’t wait to see you again in 2020! Check out the event photo gallery below to see more snapshots from the day.

2019 PHOTO GALLERY

 
 

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS

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Emily Bell