Guest post by Erica Pederson of Local First Arizona.
Before we wrote this post, we put the question out to our fans to see what their favorite Arizona-made products were, and received nearly 100 responses! We also discovered that locals love their Arizona-made food products and beverages (they love their beer and brownies!). It was difficult to pick just 10 of the best things made in Arizona, but our fans helped to narrow this list down. Here is what we can’t live without.
Stuff We Love, Made in Arizona
Practical Art Practical Art is a small craft retail and gallery space featuring the works of over 70 Arizona artists. In this space, you can find up-cycled wine bottles turned into drinking glasses from Refresh Glass, handmade jewelry, ceramic wares, and other lovely functional art pieces. Practical Art prides themselves on the fact that all of their products are locally made, and can be used and admired.
Beer Everywhere you look across Arizona, it seems that a new brewpub has popped up. And it’s not amateur stuff, folks. Fan favorite Four Peaks Brewing Company, based in Tempe, offers a wide variety of brews, including their award-winning flagship beer Kilt Lifter, a Scottish style ale. Other great breweries include SanTan Brewing in Chandler, Prescott Brewing Company, and Nimbus Brewing Company in Tucson.
Fairytale Brownies In the brownie business for over 20 years, Fairytale Brownies has become a favorite sweet spot for Arizonans. No two brownies look exactly alike, because each topping is carefully sprinkled or swirled by hand. They also sell cookies and “Fairytale Truffles,” fudgy brownies gently enrobed in rich, 60% Callebaut dark chocolate.
Beef Agriculture is one of Arizona’s biggest economic sectors, and beef production comprises a large portion of that. Many local ranches dot the rural areas of Arizona, and are responsible for bringing great tasting beef products to local farmers markets and kitchen tables. Favorites include Double Check Ranch and GB7 Cattle Ranch.
Strawberry Hedgehog Locals love Strawberry Hedgehog’s homemade and vegan bath and body products. Her soaps are handcrafted from natural and plant based products, and are made in small batches to ensure high quality. In addition to soaps, Strawberry Hedgehog offers oils, scrubs, moisturizers, and facial care products.
Wine Arizona may not seem like your typical winery haven, but our state is home to dozens of small vineyards in the higher mountain areas. And Arizona is becoming increasingly recognized as a great producer of fine wine! Fans enjoy Arizona Stronghold, Dos Cabezas, Pillsbury, and many others.
Mi Casa Tortilla Factory Arizona is home to great Mexican food, including the tortillas and other goods made at Mi Casa Tortilla Factory in Safford. A family-owned and operated business for over 25 years, Mi Casa Tortilla Factory offers preservative-free tortilla products of the highest quality. Arizonans regularly drive from Phoenix and Tucson to purchase Mi Casa’s flour, corn, and whole wheat tortillas.
Arroyo Vodka is the first Phoenix, Arizona, based vodka distillery. After going through an intensive filtering process and distilled twice, Arroyo is impeccably smooth and easy to drink. In addition to using regional ingredients to create flavored vodkas, Arroyo also distills BB’s Apple Pye, an apple pie flavored liqueur.
Sweet Republic If you mention Sweet Republic to an Arizonian, he will likely start to drool thinking about this artisanal ice cream maker. Starting with milk and cream from independent Arizona dairy farms, Sweet Republic only uses the best ingredients to create their tasty treats. They also take from other local Arizona ingredients to produce creative flavors, such as real mint chip, honey blue cheese, and basil lime sorbet.
Erica Pederson writes for Local First Arizona, an organization that works to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona.
Cover photo courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce