Rift Tap and Wine Bar opening in south Scottsdale

If all goes as planned with the expiration of the current Covid-19 lock down on Monday July 27th south Scottsdale could have a new beer and wine bar in early August. Regardless of the lock down Rift Tap and Wine Bar opens for curbside pick-up and delivery that same Monday. Rift is the brainchild of owners Damien Kanser, a wine industry veteran and friend Jon Coppins, the winemaker at Su Vino Winery.

Named after a Phish album that inspired Kanser since his childhood, Rift converted a spot that was a convenience store at Fillmore and Scottsdale Rd.. With little or nothing for craft beer and wine between old town Scottsdale and Tempe they felt this would be the perfect location for their neighborhood bar. The neighborhood is home to many service industry people and young professionals who have had nowhere to gather since Papago Brewing Co. closed a few years ago.

Rift will feature affordable wines and beers from local brewers and wineries and from across the country and the world. 25 beers on tap will be poured along with wines by the glass as guests gather at the 23 seat bar, high top tables or couches. Food trucks will be scheduled for guests to enjoy a bite to eat with their beer and wine. Coolers will house cold beers to go along with a few racks of retail wines. Kanser envisions Rift’s retail component as a quick grab n go for people to purchase on a regular basis to enjoy with dinner or by the pool. They’re sourcing limited production small batch beers directly from brewers giving the shop a unique selection by the bottle and tap.

Rift owners Damien Kanser and Jon Coppins

The wine club at Rift Tap and Wine Bar

This fall Rift will house a studio for their “Spilling the Truth” podcast they started in late 2018. Windows to the studio will allow guests to view podcasts live with brewers and winemakers joining the podcast.

Two wine clubs will be offered featuring local wines and wines to a national audience based on wineries visiting the podcast.

Rift is at 431 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. For updates check out their Facebook page.

TasteMakers Marketplace sells local products from Sphinx Date Co.

Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Co. is looking to regain sales lost due to closing mandates of the Covid-19 virus in March. Customers can purchase local goods at their location, website and at the new online TasteMakers Marketplace. The local retailer is a go-to place for dates, Arizona sourced foods, ingredients and wines.

“We could not be more excited to be included in the launch of the TasteMakers site,” says Rebecca Seitz, co-owner of Sphinx Date Co. “With all the changes and restrictions that have taken place over the course of just the last 30 days or so, this avenue could give us a boost of new consumers we need right now to help save our business.”

TasteMakers Marketplace was created as a way for artisan producers and small businesses to connect with people around the country. Date gifts and bulk date items are available on the site with all of Sphinx’s products available on their website. Their retail location is at 3039 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

SanTanitizer now being made at SanTan Brewing Co.

Restaurants haven’t been the only businesses to change the way they operate business in the world of coronavirus. Breweries and distilleries are doing their part trying to keep the at home public refreshed with cold beer and cocktails. Many are trying to keep us healthy and safe by using their breweries and distilleries to make hand sanitizer. SanTan Brewing Co. has decided to not sell 16,000 gallons of beer and turn it to SanTanitizer.

The medical grade hand SanTanitizer will make 400 gallons to be donated to HonorHealth and the City of Chandler. The public can purchase bottles for home use when they order takeout from SanTan’s brewpubs. Last week the brewery had their distributor return mostly IPA for making the SanTanitizer that for retail and restaurants.

“SanTan beers are best served fresh, we insist on serving each beer within 90 days of brewing. So, this idea struck me as a great way to repurpose and give back to our Arizona community. We want to do our part to help flatten the curve, save lives and get Arizona back to work,” said Anthony Canecchia, founder + brewmaster, SanTan Brewing Company.

Making the SanTanitizer

The distilling and kegging process happens this week and expects the SanTanitizer to have a pleasant tropical aroma.

“With local bars and restaurants closed to dine in business, we have an abundance of keg beer that is going past the “best before” date. Under normal circumstances at Crescent Crown we would simply destroy the out of date beer. However, once Anthony from SanTan found out about this process he asked us to send his beer back to him so that he could distill it and turn it into medical grade hand sanitizer,” Said Joe Cotroneo, EVP General Manager, Crescent Crown Distributing.

Visit http://www.santanbrewing.com/ and social media to see when the SanTanitizer is available for purchase.

Fashion A’ Fare celebrate’s food, fashion and floral creativity

Scottsdale Fashion Square will be showing off all things edible, fashionable and floral over their 4-day Fashion A’ Fare weekend. Thursday March 5 – Sunday the 8th will see events throughout the mall with several in the new luxury wing. Foodies will want to attend on Saturday and Sunday for chef demos, a cooking competition, Sunday brunch and a farmer’s market.

On Saturday, well renowned chefs from the mall’s new restaurants Toco Madera, Nobu, Ocean 44 and others will demonstrate edible art in the new luxury wing. Guests can watch students from the Arizona Culinary Institute compete in a Food Network styled cooking competition and awards ceremony.

Sunday brings a pop-up farmer’s market to the new Grand North Entrance. Whether you’re looking for a yoga demonstration, to shop or Sunday brunch this will be the place to be. Brunch will feature dishes with de-constructed produce along with prie-fixe brunch and lunch menus at the new restaurants. Champagne bars, DJ spin- art and flower crown making are put of the celebration.

Scottsdale Fashion Square is at 7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. The luxury wing is on the north side off Goldwater Blvd. For more information and to stay up to date about Fashion A’ Fare head to their website.

 

Duck Donuts opening 1st Arizona location in Chandler

Donut fans back east and in southern California know about the popularity of Duck Donuts. Arizona will have “Warm, Delicious Made-to-Order” donuts starting Saturday December 21st when the first Arizona franchise opens in Chandler.

The 1,053 square foot store will welcome their first customers at 8 a.m. at Fulton Ranch Towne Center at Arizona & Ocotillo. Customers will watch as their donuts go from dough to warm, delicious donuts then topped however you like. The vanilla cake donuts can be turned into donut sandwiches and donut sundaes to go with their signature coffees.

Franchisee Daniel Bruno says “While living in Charlotte, North Carolina, we vacationed to the Outer Banks while my wife was pregnant with our first child. She was craving sweets and I suggested Duck Donuts. While waiting in line you could smell the aroma of warm donuts and from that moment I was hooked. Once we moved back to Arizona, my wife was pregnant with our second child and craved Duck Donuts again! Once I realized we did not have a nearby location, I quickly started my inquiry into bringing the Duck Donuts brand to Arizona, and now we are officially ready to provide the Chandler community, friends and family our warm, delicious and made-to-order donuts.”

Chandler franchisee Daniel Bruno

Russ DiGilio founded Duck Donuts in 2006 in Duck, North Carolina. He decided to open the first shop when he couldn’t find warm, delicious donuts on the Outer Banks while on a family vacation. There are now 87 locations in 26 states and 3 countries with more on the way. Duck Donuts Chandler will be open 7 days a week at 4040 S. Arizona Ave. Suite 8. Find more about them at their Facebook page or the company website.

Laura’s Gourmet Granola celebrates 15 years with continued growth

You’ve probably had Laura’s Gourmet Granola if you’ve been to OverEasy, Scramble or Fox Restaurant Concepts locations. They’re just a few local restaurants who serve the popular healthy mix of nuts, oats, fruits and other ingredients. As the company celebrates its 15th anniversary it expands to accommodate the growing demand. The new west Phoenix location is triple the size of its original production facility.

“Our sole focus always has been to make unparalleled, classic granola using only all natural ingredients and prove that healthy and delicious can coexist in every artisan crafted, gluten-free bite,” says Laura Briscoe, founder and executive chef of Laura’s Gourmet Granola.

The growth is not only due to local restaurants using her granola but consumers supporting it in Arizona markets including AJ’s, Tempe Public Market, Whole Foods and others. Until recently Laura’s Gourmet Granola was only found in Arizona specialty retailers, now it’s available in Texas, Chicago and Wisconsin. In 2012 Laura’s started working with hotels, restaurants and healthcare organizations around the country.

Started in 2004 with the classic Vanilla Almond Crunch, there now six flavors including AppleLicious Crunch and the newest, Sinful Cinnamon Crunch. The seasonal Pumpkin Pecan is available through the end of the year. “We are committed to creating granola flavors that will delight the palate without compromising one’s health or sending one to the dictionary to understand our ingredients. We have done this for 15 years with seven flavors and look forward to more.” says Briscoe.

The granola is low in sugar, has healthy fats and proteins with nut free, vegan, dairy free and gluten free options.

To find Laura’s Gourmet Granola near you visit her website.

 

Arizona Coyotes partners with Grand Canyon Brewing Co. for new beer

When the puck drops Saturday night at the Arizona Coyotes home opener fans will have a new beer to sip on at Gila River Arena. The team has partnered with Grand Canyon Brewing Company for Kachina Throwback Ale. The lighter styled beer is available in 12 oz. 6-pack cans at Albersons, Safeway and Total Wine for the upcoming hockey season. Restaurants serving it on tap include Brass Tap, the Ice Den and Angry Crab locations and at the brewery’s taphouse and restaurant in Williams.

“We are very excited to partner with Grand Canyon Brewing Company to introduce Kachina Throwback Ale to our fans this season,” said Coyotes President and CEO, Ahron Cohen. “Kachina Throwback Ale tastes great and we’re confident that our fans will love this beer as much as they love our Kachina jerseys.”

The beer is inspired by the team’s classic jersey of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, the team’s non-profit benefiting first responders, veterans and children’s charities.

Grand Canyon Brewing Company is the craft beer partner of the Arizona Coyotes with the team choosing them for their brand’s reputation and perfect for hockey fans.

“Here at Grand Canyon Brewing Company, we have been over the moon about our partnership with the Arizona Coyotes since it began in the 2018-2019 season,” said Alexander Phillips, Director of Sales and Marketing at Grand Canyon Brewing Company. “Their organization embodies many of the same principles as our own, with a focus on community involvement, education and the appreciation of our beautiful copper state.”

 

Hatch Chiles are here and AZ Food Crafters is preparing meals with them

With the arrival of Fall and people on the go AZ Food Crafters offers prepared meals that are fresh and delicious. With the availability of Hatch Chiles the Chandler based food kitchen is offering Green Chile Pork Stew with other meals coming soon. The seasonal pork stew is made with pork shoulder, onions, green Hatch Chiles and homemade green chile sauce. A 16 oz. container is $7.

Other meals soon to be available include…..

New Mexico Red Chile Pork aka Pork Adovada — Slow cooked pork shoulder in New Mexico red chile mixed with seasonings and love. $16 for a 24-ounce container

Red Chile Beef Hand Pies — Red chile-braised grass fed beef in a savory homemade crust. Frozen three-pack, $12

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese — Available beginning Friday, September 13, this dish features squash cheese sauce, roasted squash and sage. $10 for a 20-ounce

Shepherds’ Pie Entree – Gluten-free beef, onion, carrot, celery, butternut squash, and sage in butter sauce, topped with mashed gold potatoes. $14 for a 24-ounce container

Chicken Pot Pie – Enjoy chicken pot pie in a variety of ways! The hand pies offer a hand-held version of this comfort food favorite (frozen three-pack, $12) or enjoy a single serving pie-tin with homemade crust topping for $8.

Prepared meals are available until the end of October in limited quantities at their Chandler store or at farmers markets below.

Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market 3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.

Gilbert Farmers’ Market 222 N. Ash St., Gilbert. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11a.m. through September; 8:00 a.m.-noon beginning October.

Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market 4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix.  Sunday’s from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.

AZ Food Crafters 961 W. Ray Rd., #1, Chandler 85225. You can pre-order by calling 480-264-2532. Pick up hours are Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m.-3:00p.m.

 

 

Kaleidoscope Juice expanding to The Shops at Gainey Ranch

A food lovers life can’t always be about cheeseburgers, pizza and bacon. Healthy food helps to cleanse the body and your mind so we can continue to eat the guilty pleasures. Fortunately there is Kaleidoscope Juice which is opening their newest location at The Shops in Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. Opening in October, the 1,000 square foot store will offer an all organic menu of cold pressed juices, salads, sandwiches, protein bowl and more.

“We are delighted to open this new, beautiful location in the neighborhood where I started the company delivering juices to people’s homes,” said Alexandra Maw, founder and owner of Kaleidoscope Juice. “We believe in the vibrancy of Kaleidoscope and look forward to sharing our passion for healthy, healing foods with the Scottsdale community.

Another location will open soon after as the health and wellness company continues to expand from its current four locations.

The ingredients and recipes are scientifically proven to help with specific dietary needs and deficiencies. The menu is attractive to people with different diets including Keto and gluten-free. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible.

Brook McGregor, co-owner and COO and master’s degree candidate in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine added, “We are excited to expand our menu outside the normal fruit and vegetable combinations. Our new smoothies are intentionally crafted providing a myriad of healthy fat compositions, hormone maintenance blends and cognitive support.”

The Shops at Gainey Ranch is at 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. Kaleidoscope Juice will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information check out their website.

Gayle’s Chocolates & Carlson Creek Vineyards plan Vortex Crunch Event

Arizona isn’t just home to many great restaurants, it also is home to many small artisan food producers. One of those is the newly re-located Gayle’s Chocolates in Cottonwood. Gayle’s started in Michigan in 1979 but was recently sold to Sedona residents, Michael and Andrea Portnoy. Friday September 20th will have the Portnoy’s introducing their chocolates at one of their first events, Vortex Crunch Event.

“Six years ago, when we tried Gayle’s we knew it was love at first bite. Now we are taking her creations and bringing them to the southwest. Taking inspiration from the Sedona Vortex’s our newest treat, the Vortex Crunch is sure to be a sweet and salty spiritual experience,” said Co-owner Michael Portnoy.

Carlson Creek Vineyards is partnering with Gayle’s Chocolates for the first of what hopes to be an annual event. Vortex Crunch is the newest addition to the line of homemade chocolates. Loaded with rice krispies, Michigan cherries, almonds, cashews, toffee, glazed orange peel, toasted coconut and a layer of semisweet chocolate. All ingredients combing for a sweet and salty taste.

Carlson Creek will pair their 2014 Rule of Three red blend and 2017 Muscat with the chocolates.

The Vortex Crunch Event will from 12 – 3 p.m. at Gayle’s Chocolates Willy Wonka like factory in their flagship store at 541 N. Main St. Cottonwood 86326. For more information visit their website.