Jasper Ludwig and Brian Haskins met working at an after-school program in the Pacific Northwest, where they developed their passion for living small and growing their own food. Today, they own and operate the highly successful 5 Points Market and Restaurant, which emphasizes seasonal, locally-grown produce and makes huevos rancheros that have been called the best in Tucson by more than just a few people.
Ramona Button has been growing native Akimel O’odham crops since 1974, when family members and elders in the community came to her family and requested that they bring back native crops such as tepary beans, white Sonoran wheat, and 60-day corn, which were quickly disappearing from their diets. Today, Ramona Farms is a successful family business whose products are found in Whole Foods, Native Seeds/SEARCH, restaurants, and foodservice companies across the country.
Jeff Zimmerman was a manager at an insurance company with a family history of farming. After developing a passion for bread baking and failing at his attempts to find locally grown and milled grain, he was inspired to reopen Hayden Flour Mills and bring White Sonora Wheat back to the Sonoran Desert. Since its reopening in 2011, Hayden Flour Mills has gained over 200 wholesale customers, won Martha Stewart’s American Made contest, and gotten their products into Whole Foods, Native Seeds /SEARCH, Time Market, Zona 78, Gallery of Food, Canyon Ranch, Agustín Kitchen, and Pizzeria Bianco.
Before opening his bakery in November 2016, Don Guerra of Barrio Bread worked alone in his bakery-turned-garage and spent 70 hours producing 750 loaves of artisan bread each week. He and his bread have developed a dedicated community following, which have been reflected in the success of his brick-and-mortar bakery. As Edible Baja Arizona’s Managing Editor Megan Kimble says, “he’s become an integral part of a collaboration between farmers, millers, bakers, and seed savers working to bring native and heritage grains back to southern Arizona farms and tables.”
Jo Schneider‘s employees at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea and La Cocina say, “She’s like your boss, your mom, and a superhero wrapped into one.” The creative, hardworking business owner is more than just an employer; she’s a mentor, inspiration, and success story.
Doug Levy, chef and owner of Feast, has been changing the restaurant’s menu monthly for 14 years, keeping the offerings fresh and seasonal and giving diners a great reason to visit often.
Through the Best Day Ever Kids Gardening Project, Taylor Moore (a retired lawyer) teaches kids how to grow and sell produce. Moore says that the project, which gives kids hands-on, fulfilling experiences, “… can change the value system of capitalism. If you had a zillion dollars, you cannot buy that feeling. You have to earn it.”
The Hultquist family has maintained Lerua’s Fine Mexican Foods’ popularity, quality, and delicious tamales since the 1920’s. Now that’s a feat!
Dirck Schou, president and CEO of HF Coors, started Catalina China, the business that would eventually become HF Coors, with David Sounart in 1990. Today, the colorful Tucson-made dinnerware is used in many U.S. restaurants, at several Ritz Carlton Hotels, and by guests on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
At Café Poca Cosa, chef and owner Suzana Davila creates the kind of food and atmosphere that welcomes travelers, special occasions, and devout regulars. She does this with her dedication to quality and her commitment to giving back.