Mike Peel, Southern Arizona Director Local First Arizona, (520) 261-0824,
Caity Evans, Local Food Events and Outreach Coordinator for Local First Arizona, (520) 402-9642,

Local First Arizona and Tucson Originals Restaurants launch a new partnership to support and empower local restaurant owners


Tucson, Arizona (April 9, 2018) – In collaboration with Tucson Originals Restaurants (TOR), Local First Arizona (LFA) announces a new partnership between the two organizations. Together they are combining forces to build demand for locally grown foods and local restaurants, and to showcase restaurants and southern Arizona chefs and food/beverage artisans through innovative events such as SAVOR, Taste of Tucson, and the newly resurrected Oktoberfest slated for the fall of 2018.

“This collaborative partnership between Local First Arizona and Tucson Originals Restaurants is an excellent fit for growing the efforts of both organizations and strengthening the local economy in Tucson through larger local food community events and increased local restaurant members”, says Mike Peel, Southern Arizona Director of Local First Arizona.

Through this partnership, a new hybrid role to support both entities has been created. Caity Evans joins the team as the new Local Food Outreach and Events Coordinator, who will work with both food producers and restaurants to increase community engagement. Caity’s role will include connecting Arizonans with locally owned restaurants as well as the farming and food-producing community to build a more resilient food system, strengthening Arizona’s economy. The dynamic role focuses on event planning, communications and marketing, and community outreach.

“I am so excited to work with all the amazing restaurants and food purveyors in southern Arizona,” said Caity. “With the help of Tucson Originals and the Local First Arizona Team, my hope is to kick off the rest of 2018 showcasing just why Tucson is a City of Gastronomy.”

This year, Tucson can expect to see more food-centered events and a targeted digital marketing campaign to promote the Tucson Originals restaurants to locals and visitors from across the region.

As this partnership kicks off, Tucson Originals welcomes two new members, Urban Pita and Barrio Brewery.

Urban Pita is located at 345 E. Congress St, Suite 135, Tucson, AZ. Guests can enjoy Mediterranean street food right in the heart of Downtown Tucson.

Barrio Brewery has two locations in Tucson and Mesa. Guests can v their Tucson spot at 800 E 16th St, Tucson, AZ 85719 for quality craft beers and a piece of Arizona history.

For more information visit (link to blog) and follow Tucson Originals on social media at


Formed in 1999, Tucson Originals exemplifies the independent spirit and the rich culinary heritage that is Tucson. With the rapid rise of chain eateries, it is Tucson Originals mission to help locally owned restaurant and food purveyors survive and thrive.


Founded in 2003 by Executive Director Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona (LFA) is a community and economic development organization working to strengthen local economies. LFA educates consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy, trains small businesses to be more effective and more competitive, helps larger Arizona businesses and institutions tell their story as champions of Arizona, and creates programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local. Visit for more information and a directory of more than 3,000 locally owned businesses.