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7 essential Greater Phoenix farmers markets to visit
Where to shop for local produce and more this season.
November 27, 2023
Grocery shopping is a hassle. A solution to big-box grocery stores is your local farmers market, where you can avoid long lines, high prices, and bright overhead lighting and find fresh, locally made goods. These open-air weekend markets bring out local vendors from the Phoenix Metro region who dish fresh produce, in-season items, baked bread, and other local snacky goods. There’s music, community, art, artisan-made crafts, food trucks, and vendors. What are you waiting for? Jot down that grocery list, grab your reusable totes, and plot your next market run to these local Phoenix farmers markets.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mexican fusion barbecue, seasonal honey, and organic coffee are just a few things you can check off your grocery list at the Uptown Farmers Market. The year-round market draws out crowds for its community-focused atmosphere, kid-friendly activities (pet kids, too), and unmatched roster of Arizona growers and producers. And you don’t have to wait until the weekend to restock your pantry with sourdough bagels and prickly pear teas since the Uptown Farmers Market is recurring every morning on Saturday and Wednesday.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Downtown PHX Farmers Market is widely considered the best farmers market in town. It’s certainly one of the biggest around, boasting close to 100 Arizona-based vendors for every Saturday market. In addition to the fresh produce, and lots of it, the Downtown PHX Farmers Market platforms local Phoenix artisans and makers. So, you can shop for fresh-pressed juice and jewelry on your next market run.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This popular East Valley market is known for its lineup of food trucks and for being very dog-friendly. The local artisan bread booths, iced coffee pop-ups, and organic produce are also big draws, of course. Come out early to beat the crowds and find your place in line for some breakfast, like strawberry and whipped cream-covered waffles, while you watch the adorable pups go by on their morning walks.
Old Town Scottsdale
Every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Built on local connection, the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market boasts a local lineup of farmers, vendors, and growers every weekend. The food- and farming-only market is stocked with stuff you won’t find on any ordinary grocery store shelf, like spicy vegan toffee, hand-rolled pasta, bottled cashew oat milk, and free-range organic blue eggs. A word to the wise: Don’t forget to pick up a pack of tamales for lunch while you’re there.
Tempe Farmers Market begs the question: Why wait until the weekend? Here, you can shop for your favorite local goods every day. The Tempe Farmers Market, also known as TFM, is a permanent brick-and-mortar space that specializes in local specialty products, fair trade teas and espresso drinks, made-to-order paninis and smoothies, and takeaway vegan deli-style eats. We can’t forget to mention the selection of basic produce items like locally grown fruit and vegetables. At night, the space transforms into a sort of speakeasy-style lounge where you can catch live performances and music while you sip on TFM’s tasty chilled drinks.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
While the Downtown Mesa Farmers Market is a newcomer to the local farmers market scene, it has amassed a large following for its curated selection of unique vendors and its offering of handcrafted goods. And, thanks to a series of local partnerships, the market is able to bring live music to its outdoor venue. The Downtown Mesa Farmers Market features a different local musician or band each week. So, you can expect to hear a range of tunes, from jazz to upbeat ukulele melodies, while browsing the soy candles and gourmet butter.
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These are the far-reaching effects when you shop locally
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we explore how local communities thrive when shoppers support area entrepreneurs.
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 will celebrate its 13th year, benefiting both shops and shoppers. But “buy local” is more than a nice slogan — and is important for the local economy throughout the year whenever you support local businesses.
This is especially true in DFW, which leads the nation for both small business employment growth and wage earnings growth among U.S. metro areas, according to the Small Business Employment Watch report from Paychex and HIS Markit.
If you need to check people off your holiday shopping list, read on to learn how shopping at small businesses in Dallas can make a big difference for all.
Building vibrant economies
Small businesses play a crucial role in the nation’s economic landscape, making up nearly half of the American workforce.
Texas small business employment grew by 47.7% between 1995 and 2019. This surpassed the national small business employment growth rate, according to a recent study by the Small Business Administration. And minority-owned businesses accounted for 20.4% of all businesses in the state in 2021, helping to create a more robust economic engine for all.
Dallas alone is home to 59,000 of the state’s small businesses. Supporting them has far-reaching positive effects. Local businesses are also more inclined to reinvest their earnings within the community, fostering economic growth and stability throughout neighborhoods.
One example of this phenomenon happens at Kettle Art in Deep Ellum, owned by Frank Campagna since 2005. The area will have two events on Small Business Saturday, the Sugarplum Stroll during the day and the Dallas Mimosa Walk in the evening. “These events directly benefit the gallery and other neighborhood businesses,” Campagna said.
“When we have an opening or wine walk, people will wander off the street,” he said. “Because of the nature of my business, we’ve got stuff from $5 to $4,000 — all you have to do is break out your wallet and people do.”
By patronizing small businesses, shoppers help build a more vibrant and sustainable local economy at a neighborhood level as well as citywide.
Small Business Saturday and, more generally, the holiday season is essential for a healthy year for many shops. The extra hours can help employees, too.
“It’s huge for us — it’s our busiest time of the year for sure, and we’re putting out things we’ve been buying all year, like vintage holiday-related merchandise,” said Jason Cohen, owner of Curiosities Antiques in East Dallas. He added that they increase the number of part-time employees to meet seasonal demand.
Creating a distinctive vibe
Shopping locally helps build a unique culture both in neighborhoods and cities. Small businesses are often the ones that organize community events and support local charities. They are also the ones that build a neighborhood’s character.
“Customers choose to shop at Curiosities Antiques because what they offer is anything but ordinary,” said Cohen.
“We embrace being a store that focuses on unique merchandise and offers interesting finds, things they won’t find in other places,” he said. “We are 100% independent and have always strived to be different from big-box stores.”
Campagna reflected on shopping small and his hopes.
“I really wish people would do more [with small businesses]. I tend to think they spend more money at NorthPark than Deep Ellum,” he said. “To support local here means you’re getting stuff you won’t find anywhere else. And not just in my gallery – it’s happening in all of the shops around here. It supports them all.”
Tips for shopping locally on Small Business Saturday:
- Make a plan for the places you want to visit. Find a local gem right by you to shop on Small Business Saturday or any time of the year.
- Make a list. Do you need holiday gifts for the upcoming season? Think about everyone on your shopping list and note the kinds of places that can offer them something unique this year.
- Leave a review. If you found something you wanted or received great service, a good review can help raise interest and trust in local businesses.
- Share your experience on social media. Let your friends and followers know about the great places you’re supporting on Small Business Saturday.
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See how small businesses are a big win for Atlanta — and for shoppers
Small businesses are an economic powerhouse for communities, but they’re also the best way to shop.
On Nov. 25, Small Business Saturday will mark its 13th year, encouraging consumers to support independent retailers and “shop small” for products and services during holidays and throughout the year. In 2022, the event contributed $17.9 billion to local shops, restaurants, boutiques, and businesses throughout the U.S.
The ripple effects of shopping locally can be tremendous for area small business owners, which are a growing and vital part of the Georgia economy. When it comes to entrepreneurship, the state continues to smash records. In 2022, there were approximately 274,000 new business formations, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Among these enterprises, many are small business owners, which employ 1.7 employees in the state. In fact, 99.6% of the businesses in Georgia are small, according to the University of Georgia.
While thinking through your holiday shopping needs, read on to learn how shopping small can make a big difference for entire communities in Atlanta.
Supporting local businesses helps communities, creators, and shoppers
“Supporting a small business keeps money in the local economy, lowers your carbon footprint, and allows for a much more customer-focused buying experience,” says Lynne Tanzer, small business owner and current interim executive director at the Atlanta Contemporary. “Shopping small, local, or handmade sparks our imagination and creativity. People don’t buy things; they buy stories and experiences.”
Tanzer has been a gift shop curator at the museum for over two years after gaining valuable experience and building relationships in the local arts community. During her tenure, she has prioritized showcasing pieces from local artists in the museum’s collection, allowing visitors to connect with the gift shop items on a more personal level.
”If you purchase a mug at a big-box store, you’re buying a vessel for a beverage. If you buy a hand-thrown mug at the shop, made by a girl named Britni, decorated in a glaze that she developed at her art practice, you have an experience every time you use it,” she says.
With a steady influx of new residents and visitors, Atlanta has seen unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs to deliver their products to new audiences. Local business owners are capitalizing on the opportunity with a style that’s all ATL — and leads with the customer in mind.
“The entrepreneurs in Atlanta are unique because they aren’t afraid to take risks, are generous with their time, and genuinely care about their customers,” says Tanzer.
How to support small businesses now and throughout the year
For those who want to contribute to the thriving small-business scene, there are plenty of ways to offer your support.
- Find places near your home to frequent for gifts and everyday needs. Visit the directory of small businesses around you and find shops that you may frequent time and time again. While visiting a local bakery or record store is important, you may also find an automotive repair shop or family-owned restaurant that you may come to depend on.
- Leave a good review. Small businesses rely on their good reputations to help earn trust and gain visibility in the area. If you visit a local small business, leave a great review and be explicit about what you enjoyed — from stellar customer service to a favorite new product.
- Engage online. Social media is another critical marketplace for business owners. Likes, shares, and comments will elevate their digital profile and even introduce new customers.
- Refer your friends. Even today, word-of-mouth references are one of the most effective ways to help small businesses. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about a good experience when you have one. That kind of personal touch greatly influences where others decide to shop.
Tazner agrees that every little bit counts.
“No one does a community like Atlanta. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming,” says Tanzer. “When I started my PR company, 3 Magpies Creative, I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough work. My clients told their networks about my services, and my business flourished because of the direct marketing to the people who were my ideal clients.”
“Most everyone I’ve encountered in Atlanta is making the things they wish existed in the world and finding like-minded people to share in their excitement,” says Tanzer.
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