Crowd funding is getting popular for local concepts

Have you ever wanted to own a business without all the headaches of owning a business? Now you can as several local food and beverage businesses are using crowd funding to raise money for expansion or relocation. In some cases is an investment where you should get a return on your investment and some your just giving you’re money to support the local business.

A business sets a goal of how much they want to raise and a deadline to raise the money. If the goal isn’t raised in the time frame your money is refunded. Several companies handle crowd funding campaigns such as Indiegogo and SeedInvest & Mainvest help raise money as an investment. All hold money until the goal is met and then release the money to the business. Some choose to self-raise the money themselves and as with any transfer of funds one should do their due diligence before contributing or investing.

Who’s crowd funding around Phoenix

Tater Traderz

The gourmet loaded fries company working out of a cloud kitchen is looking to raise $65,000 for a concession stand, trailer and equipment to expand and become a mobile concept.

“Everything worthwhile starts as a dream and dreamers are the hardest working people we know,” says Marrero, co-founder with Patrick Wills of Tap That Concepts, which owns and operates Kitchen 602 and Tater Traderz.

“We’re ready and eager to get to work! Even so, it takes more than that. It also takes community, support, and capital; that’s why we’re coming to you. Dreams can be expensive. Our team is truly passionate about what we’re doing and believe that Tater Traderz can change the way everyone enjoys food.”

For more information and to help them reach their goal head to their Indiegogo page.
 

Santé

The north Scottsdale health conscious restaurant and market is looking to expand by raising $75,000 with the investors set to receive 1.7x their investment in return.

“We love our little farmers in AZ and our great partners in middle America that create the best environment for the animals and for climate change. We are looking at growing our grab and gourmet market with keeping our purpose and mission in mind. We are expanding and adding new items as well as in plans to create a stand-alone marketplace near you!” Co-owners Nico and Nick.

Their Mainvest page has all the details.

Cider Corps

The Mesa based cidery is looking to raise $300,000 due to some unfortunate circumstances with their Gilbert location they opened 2 years ago. The story of why and how you can help is found on their Goodbye 685 page of their website.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week in September

As plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options when dining out. The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week, September 11th-18th, people can get a chance to dine on special plant based meals at full service restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, meal delivery services and more.

Founders Jozh Watson (PHX Vegan) and Chef Jason Wyrick (The Vegan Taste) want to continue to bring awareness to plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options to dine out at. “According to Watson, “Last year, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week was so well received by the community. Every eatery that participated reported a significant increase in traffic during the event. This year promises to be even bigger and better.”

During the week-long event diners will be treated to plant based meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating restaurants not normally found on their menu. Breakfast will be capped at $15, lunch will offer an appetizer, entree and drink for $20 and a three course dinner for no more than $30 with a 5 course meal no more than $44. Reservations are now being taken for the week at restaurants including Salvadoreno Restaurant (Phoenix and Mesa), Dilla Libre (Phoenix and Scottsdale), Early Bird Vegan, Freak Brothers Pizza and others.

A list of restaurants and menus can be found at their updated website as the list continues to grow. Non-vegan restaurants are encouraged to participate to showcase their plant based options. Menus are available for both dine-in and take-out. According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are realizing they need to appeal to a variety of food preferences. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is here to stay, and we’re proud to show off the amazing culinary mark Phoenix is making.” Photo credit Debby Wolvos

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Specials for National Pi Day next Monday 3.14 around Phoenix

Normally closed on Monday’s, downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps will open from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the special occasion. At 3:14 p.m. they will tap new pie-styled ciders Brambleberry Pie, Cherry Peach Pie and Key Lime Pie and sell 8 oz. pours for $3.14. They will also offer 10 oz. Apple Pie Slushies for the same price.

Fired Pie get a 1 topping pizza for $3.14 with the purchase of a beverage at all 19 Phoenix area locations.

At Streets of New York buy 1 pizza at regular price, get a 2nd at 1/2 price at their 17 Phoenix area locations and Prescott.

Meet the winemaker tonight at Aridus Wine Company

The tasting room in old town Scottsdale welcomes winemaker Lisa Strand to town from the winery in Willcox. Stop by from 5-8 p.m. for a glass of wine to celebrate Women’s History Month and Arizona Wine Month.

3rd Tuesday 3-course dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The European style cafe hosts its monthly dinner prepared by owner & chef Romeo Taus. A salad, entree and dessert paired with wine at the downtown Gilbert cafe is $39. The dinner next Tuesday, March 15th starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-862-4224.

Roxx Vodka donates to Polish charities helping Ukrainians refugees

The locally owned spirit, made in Poland is donating $1 of each bottle sold for a good cause. Distilled six times and made with naturally grown grains contains no sugar, corn or pesticides. Roxx is available at AJs Fine Foods for between $26 -$32.

Angry Crab Shack opens newest location in Casa Grande

The restaurant that specializes in seafood boils with an Asian and Cajun influences opened its 14th location in Arizona this week. The new location at 1601 E. Florence Blvd. sources seafood from the coastal waters off the United States and Canada also includes seafood entrees, Po’Boys and more.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Chefs Rochelle Daniel & Samantha Sanz headline James Beard dinner

Two of Phoenix’s top chefs are collaborating when the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America returns on Wednesday, February 23rd. Chefs Rochelle Daniel of Fat Ox & Atria and Samantha Sanz (pictured) of elements are teaming as part of the Foundation’s 18 city chef hosted dinner series to raise money, support and celebrate local restaurants. Sanz will host the dinner as its being held at elements restaurant at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort where she’s Chef de Cuisine.

The three course menu will showcase each of the chef’s unique styles of cooking and the restaurants they represent. Dinner begins a bread course from Breadworks by MJ Coe and James Porter. First course gives guests a choice of Sakana Blue baby scallops with shrimp mousseline, apple and seafoam or a vegetarian-friendly brown butter-poached cauliflower with apple and hazelnuts. For an entrée, guests can choose smoked beef short rib with porcini tamal, black truffle mole and pomegranate or a mushroom steak with truffle mole and pomegranate. For dessert guests will enjoy a coffee-chocolate tart with whiskey caramel. Each course is being paired with Arizona’s Rune Wines and a flight of four whiskeys from Rabbit Hole Distillery.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and seats are $350 per pair and also include a swag bag. As part of the Taste America initiative to help local restaurants and diners support the local industry 65% of the dinners ticket purchase goes to the featured chefs to support their business and the remaining 35% goes to the James Beard Foundation’s national programs including Open for Good which has helped restaurants survive the pandemic and re-build. Seating is limited and Covid-19 safety protocols will be enforced. To join Rochelle Daniel and Samantha Sanz get your tickets at the Foundation’s website.

Local First Arizona announces the return of “Devour at Home” in 2022

Local First Arizona announced that when Devour Week returns for its 13th year in February 2022 its signature event will be “Devour at Home” for the second year in a row. To kick-off the popular culinary event “Devour Week”, will be the in-person “Seven Chefs” dinner on Sunday, February 20th.

Like “Devour at Home” in 2021, foodies can order dinner from any number of participating restaurants from January 31st – February 18th and pick up dinner on Saturday February 26th. More than 430 dinners were prepared for “Devour at Home” in 2021 raising almost $75,000 for participating restaurants.  3-course dinners for 2 are $95 and $200 for 4 with orders packed in commemorative tote that includes other goodies.

Returning restaurants include Beckett’s Table, Cibo Pizza & FnB with new restaurants include Sapiens Paleo Kitchen and Kaizen. To see all participating restaurants and menus as they become available visit the website that is updated as restaurants are added. Each menu is in limited quantities and orders are suggested early as they all sold out in 2021.

The “Seven Chefs” Dinner will be the evening of the 20th at The Gladly with details of the 7 chefs and the menu announced in early January. Proceeds from both events will go to participating restaurants. For more information about Local First Arizona visit their website.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Foch Café & Bistro opens in Tempe

A new hip bistro opened in downtown Tempe recently serving American & European inspired cuisine and cocktails. Foch Café & Bistro pays tribute to the street in Paris that Fares Tarabichi’s grandparents used to live on. “I am so proud of my French education and visiting my grandparents in Paris every summer made me truly appreciate the beautiful French culture.” says Tarabichi, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch honors both the memory of my amazing grandparents, as well as French culture.”

Tarabichi and partner Chef Timothy Richardson are no strangers to the Phoenix restaurant scene as Tarabichi founded The Crêpe Cafe and co-founded The Bodhi and AZ Liquids. Arizona native Richardson attended Le Cordon Bleu where learned French cooking techniques. For 16 years since he’s worked in several different restaurants from cantinas to fine dining. Before opening Foch Café & Bistro he was senior sous chef at the Arizona Biltmore.

“As a chef, it has always been a dream of mine to open a restaurant and I am excited to share delectable French inspired cuisine with the wonderful residents and visitors of Tempe.” said Richardson, co-founder of Foch Café & Bistro. “Foch is an open, bright and happy space for people to gather and celebrate community once again.”

The bistro offers a full menu for dine-in of hot & cold paninis, salads, freshly baked pastries, a coffee bar and to-go items from Foch Market. Crêpes are featured on the menu and can be paired with unique flavors of gelato. The craft cocktail menu includes cocktails made with house made fresh juices along with local craft beers.

Foch Café & Bistro is at 21 E. 6th St. is open daily from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. and is dog friendly on the 600 square foot patio. For more information visit their website. Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

Oak on Camelback brings laid back fine dining to central Phoenix

When Robert Bogart graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2001 he knew he wanted to stay in Arizona to open his own restaurant. It didn’t happen as quickly as he wanted having gone to Denver to become executive chef at Elway’s Steakhouse at The Ritz- Carlton before heading to Temecula, California to open two restaurants. He decided that 2019 would be the year he returned to Arizona in pursuit of a restaurant to purchase. By early 2020 he decided that the popular central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis was the place. Not long after taking ownership not only did the pandemic hit but so did a kitchen fire. Now almost 2 years later after navigating the restrictions of Covid and a re-branding Bogart’s opened Oak on Camelback.

Oak on Camelback

Chef Bogart has introduced his globally inspired menu while keeping a few favorite dishes from St. Francis. He’s also kept the wood burning oven as the centerpiece of his cooking at Oak on Camelback. Wood fired cooking by the fire with his grandfather in Texas is where he found his love for cooking and with a wood fire. New menu items include Scallop & Risotto, a Banh Mi Pho Dip and Thai Peanut Salad. Dining at brunch you’ll see the likes of Lox Pizza and Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast on the menu. He continues to use high quality seasonal ingredients that compliment his cooking techniques.

Oak on Camelback is at 111 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85012. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information and to view the menus visit their website.

 

 

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opening 8th location in Northwest Phoenix

The locally owned Mr. Mesquite has announced it’s now going by Mesquite Fresh Street Mex and will open its 8th location at the end of August. The grand opening is scheduled for August 28th at 10:30 a.m. at 1730 W. Happy Valley Rd. Phoenix.

“We are thrilled to expand the Mesquite brand in Arizona with our eighth location,” said Ahmad Alatrash, co-founder of Mesquite Fresh Street Mex. “Northwest Phoenix is a thriving area with strong businesses, services and a great community around it. We look forward to connecting with residents and sharing our authentic meets modern Mexican concept with the neighborhood.”

The 1,930 square foot fast casual restaurant will serve meats grilled over mesquite wood for a unique and smoky flavor. Tacos, killer burritos, protein bowls and quesadillas make up the menu. Family meals will also be available and tacos start at $2.19 each. All ingredients are of the highest quality and a prepared every day.  Grand opening celebrations will include giveaways and the first 200 people will win a free taco for week for six months.

The restaurant is looking to hire 30 people for the new location joining over 150 other employees throughout Arizona. “We are seeking ambitious and driven individuals ready to join a collaborative team,” said Naser. “We pride ourselves in a family-driven environment and place a large emphasis in creating a supportive and fun atmosphere for our staff.”  For more information about job openings and the grand opening visit their website.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

The running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday

The 1st Saturday of May is the famed Kentucky Derby from Louisville. Here in Phoenix you can celebrate around town at the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub at Turf Paradise along with other restaurants and bars offering cocktails and food for the festive day. Belle’s Nashville Kitchen, CRUjiente Tacos and Blue Clover Distillery have specials for the day.

May the 4th be with you at SanTan Spirit House

Star Wars fans are invited to dress up like their favorite character from the George Lucas film and head to downtown Chandler to celebrate on Tuesday. Specially created Stars Wars themed cocktails will be available along with Millennium Falcon and Death Star raffles.

Cinco de Mayo happens Wednesday around Phoenix

The popular May 5th celebration has quite a few restaurants around the valley celebrating with food, drinks, live music and more. Head to places such as Z’ Tejas, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Hopdoddy Burger BarA Su Salud, Ghost Ranch, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen, The Spotted Donkey Cantina, Ghett’ Yo’ Tacos,

Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants celebrate teachers and nurses

All 7 of the Phoenix area locations celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 3rd -7th with teachers getting 20% off their order. May 6th – 12th nurses can get 25% their orders during Nurses Appreciation Week.

Thai Chili 2 Go emphasize new vegan & vegetarian dishes on menu

Meat and dairy-less Pineapple Fried Rice and Vegetarian Spring rolls are now available for take-out and delivery at all 10 valley locations.

NYC experience coming to new Chompie’s Deli’s Phoenix location

When the new Chompie’s Deli opens this summer it will be like going home without leaving Phoenix. The new location at 32nd St & Cactus Rd. it will be only a mile away from the original location the Borenstein family opened at 32nd St & Shea Blvd. in 1979. For us East Coast transplants it will be like going home to visit NYC.

Enter the new 27,000 square foot restaurant through the bakery and market that will also be the hub for all baking, kosher cooking, and packaged goods. The NYC styled market will offer fresh baked bagels, breads, pastry and merchandise. A barista bar will be serving coffee drinks including cold brew, espresso and a variety of caffeinated beverages. The larger location allows Chompie’s to expand its gluten-free and keto friendly baked good for the menu and retail.

Chompie’s and its new investment partner JRI Hospitality have envisioned this type of NYC experience restaurant since it decided close its Paradise Valley Mall location (closing May 17th) last year as the mall goes into re-development.

“We all are extremely excited to bring Chompie’s back to its old stomping grounds and to be a part of the revitalization of the area,” says Mark Borenstein, co-founder and owner. “We’re so humbled by the support of our loyal customers and proud of everything the Chompie’s brand has come to represent for so many — a great meal anytime, a feast for the holidays, a dozen bagels to bring to the office, a beautiful cake for a celebration, or just a really good cup of coffee or a Bloody Mary to enjoy while catching up with a longtime friend. We intend to be part of our customers’ best memories for years to come.”

NYC state of mind

Entering the restaurant guests will recognize the glitz, a mural of the NYC skyline and memorabilia including the iconic Times Square ball from New Year’s Eve. The patio will remind you of Central Park with greenery, trees and lights among the various seating including a community tables and lounge seating.

“It’s an honor for us to partner with the Borenstein family to help Chompie’s grow and develop well into the future,” says Jason Ingermanson, CEO and president of JRI. “This partnership allows the family to remain an integral part of the restaurants’ day-to-day operations while we explore opportunities to further expand the brand that they’ve worked so hard to build to what is it today.”

When the new restaurant opens it will be filled with grand opening events and fundraisers. The new restaurant will be at 3212 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix and more information is at their website.

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