Local First: Stories from Arizona’s Small Business Community
David DeLorenzo, Bar and Restaurant Insurance

David DeLorenzo, Bar and Restaurant Insurance

August 19, 2019

Meet David DeLorenzo, owner of Bar and Restaurant Insurance, and known to friends and clients as simply, "the DeLo". As a second generation insurance owner, DeLo admits, "You talk to anyone about insurance and their eyes glaze over, they get bored," which is why his approach to business is anything but usual. 

DeLo doesn't fit the stereotype insurance salesman. First, he runs... like a lot, second he makes his job fun and has filled his office with Star Wars memorabilia, third, DeLo puts his staff, himself, and his clients front-and-center because to him, it's about helping people. Jokingly, he says he's retired at 45, "This is my passion... I love what I do... hospitality is my passion." 

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, Elev8ed Cre8ion

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, Elev8ed Cre8ion

August 12, 2019

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, owner and creator of Elev8ed Cre8ion. She's turning the world of parenting on its head with a modern bag to suite any parental need, "Our products are there to elevate parenting." As travelers of the world, Deleita and her husband found themselves carting three or more bags - laptop, purse, diaper bag, "It was exhausting." So they decided to create a new bag that would take the place of three for the parent on the go. Now they're looking to expand their line, but still with the same vision of creating better products to help people live better lives.

 

Meet Angela & Jon, Geekitek

Meet Angela & Jon, Geekitek

August 5, 2019

Meet Angela Solorio, CEO & Jon Fernandez, Head Technician of Geekitek. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Geekitek was born out of a desire to do more for community. Seeing a gap in technology resources in the Hispanic community, they knew that's where Geekitek needed to be. "There were people getting charged $50 to start a gmail account... $100 to set up their phone. How was this being allowed?"

After six years of training large computer and cellphone companies on how to fix and sell their products, Jon and Angela had a realization, "Why don't we start our own?" 

Meet Tracy Perkins, Strawberry Hedgehog

Meet Tracy Perkins, Strawberry Hedgehog

July 29, 2019

Meet Tracy Perkins, Founder of Strawberry Hedgehog, a vegan bath and body product store located in Phoenix, Arizona. Tracy's personal experience with severe health issues set her on a journey to educate herself and others about the harmful chemicals and ingredients in the beauty products we use everyday. Her passion to make natural and vegan products from real ingredients has cultivated a community of fans (called "soapies") across the region and is disrupting the beauty industry, one soap bar at a time.

Meet Cierra Bennett, Vintage Oats

Meet Cierra Bennett, Vintage Oats

July 22, 2019

Meet Cierra Bennett, Owner of Vintage Oats. After a career in the corporate world, Cierra was looking for a bigger purpose in her life and her family. After putting it out to the universe to give her a vision, it answered with granola. Had she eaten it before? No. Did she know the first thing to do? No. But as a destined entrepreneur, that didn't stop her.

In this episode, hear from Cierra about being "destined for it" as a small business owner, the community that rallied around her at Archwood Exchange, and how she beat the self-doubt that always tries to creep in.... "Don't ask anyone for validation. If you've put the hard work in, it'll work."

Meet Mike Spangenberg, State Forty Eight

Meet Mike Spangenberg, State Forty Eight

July 15, 2019

Meet Mike Spangenberg, Co-founder of State Forty Eight. Born and raised in Arizona, Mike remembers being that one kid in class raising his hand when the teacher asked, "Who is from Arizona?". This episode, we hear the story about how Mike and his friends got started, Mike's favorite AZ sports moment, and the craziest places people have worn State Forty Eight tees repping hometown pride all around the world.

Meet Abel Arriaga, Mezcal Carreño

Meet Abel Arriaga, Mezcal Carreño

July 8, 2019

Meet Abel Arriaga, a third generation Arizona native and co-owner of Mezcal Carreño. Journey to Oaxaca, Mexico where we hear how his family distills the smoky spirit from agave, and why Abel is bringing his heritage, history, and the Mezcal culture to Arizona.

Meet Jeff and Denise Malkoon, PB Americano

Meet Jeff and Denise Malkoon, PB Americano

July 1, 2019

Meet Jeff and Denise Malkoon, the brother and sister duo behind PB Americano. Like most entrepreneurs, Jeff wanted to make a positive change in the world and while traveling in Uraguay, his business idea was sparked. After noticing kids heading to school with a sweet and not very nutritious breakfast, Jeff had a very important thought, "We can do better." Fast-forward to today, Jeff and Denise have been on Shark Tank, still sell their in-demand peanut butter at farmers markets, and are in over 400 retail locations, including Sprouts. Hear how they got their start, a bit about going into business with family and making a product you care about.

Meet Randle House, Metier Pharmacy

Meet Randle House, Metier Pharmacy

June 24, 2019

Meet Randle House owner of Metier Pharmacy and second-generation pharmacist bringing a personalized touch to each customer. This episode we hear about Randle's family story and the passion that he has to help create a healthier, more connected community - with a little bit of that iconic Southern charm. 

Meet Erick Cedeño, Bicycle Nomad

Meet Erick Cedeño, Bicycle Nomad

June 17, 2019

Meet Erick Cedeño, owner of Bicycle Nomad Cafe. There aren't many of us that have traveled the Pacific Coast, and far fewer that have done it by bike. Erick's travels over the past 11 years have been filled with stories about dining with monks, pedaling cross-country retracing the Underground Railroad, and the kindness of strangers along the way.

If you ask Erick why he started Bicycle Nomad he'll tell you it's to "inspire and motivate people to travel by bicycle - what I've seen can never transfer to instagram or social media... you have to live it."