MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Although you have an extra month to file, Tax Day (now May 17) will be here before you know it. If you're looking to increase your charitable contributions, look no further than Local First Arizona. You can choose where your hard-earned money goes. What about ongoing support for small businesses and local entrepreneurs? You can do that by becoming a "Localist" or donating to Local First Arizona.
Dedicated to helping local business owners thrive, Local First Arizona has a unique Community Kitchen where budding entrepreneurs can get their goods off the ground. This commercial kitchen is "where food meets community," and has been a launchpad for many Valley favorites.
Let me introduce you to two of the microbusinesses LFA has supported this year.
One More Bite Bakery
Jessica and her mom, Vicki, launched One More Bite Bakery with a small stand at Vertuccio Farms in 2013. It's since grown to become a staple at the Gilbert Farmer's Market and has provided pies and sweets to the East Valley community for more than eight years. One More Bite sold a total of 1,000 pies to customers for Thanksgiving alone in 2020.
When 2021 arrived, Jessica decided to move to the East Coast with her new husband to start a farm. Kevin Schappert, her best friend and right-hand man for more than three years, bought the business. He's keeping it alive, still specializing in the "made from scratch" handmade desserts that Jessica and her mom started with.
Planning to expand the business into new markets, Kevin hopes to make those ladies proud by continuing the love and passion of baking that they instilled in him.
The power of the perfect bite relies on more than just sugar, salt, heat, or acid. The food we feel the strongest towards often has nostalgic ties -- your grandmother's famous chocolate cake, your aunt's banana bread, or your father's chocolate chip cookies. Located near downtown Mesa, Pastry Unicorn believes in cultivating that connection.
Originally from professional kitchens in Denver, Bryce Cherven moved to Arizona in 2019. After being laid off from her job due to the coronavirus, Bryce made the decision to go all-in with her dream of being an entrepreneur. Since starting at the Local First Community Kitchen, she has been able to expand both her offerings and locations throughout the Valley. In the future, Bryce hopes to purchase a trailer to use a mobile shop and eventually a storefront, as well.