Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mom and Pop Stores and our community

Mom and Pop stores are businesses that are owned and operated in a single location. Rather than being part of a national chain. They offer a shopping alternative to consumers who wish to deal with businesses that are native to a given city or town, and where the owners of the business are established members of the local community.

One time honored example of a mom and pop store is the local general store. In decades past, Mesa had a business district that was anchored around the locally owned general store. They offered a selection of canned goods, dry goods, fabric, and other common household needs. The stores also functioned as one of the social hubs in town, as people would have the chance to visit with one another while they shopped.

Our corner drugstore was owned and operated by the same family for generations. The store provided not only prescription medications, but also a selection of over the counter drugs, various gifts and notions, comic books, and even a soda fountain. For those of you who had the opportunity to grow up in this era you know then sense of being a part of the community you felt simply by being in the stores.

Today, the mom and pop stores in Downtown Mesa still thrives in a number of forms. They are the locally owned
coffee houses- Inside the Bungalow,
the pizzeria Queens,
the cafes- , Mango's Cucina Di Vita,
the fine restaruants- de La Cruz, Il Vinaio.
the bookstores- History by George, Book Gallery of Mesa

The list goes on, check out our "links we like" section for details of who is selling what you want.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Access Legal Services OPEN

There is a new business in town. Access Legal Services at 137 North Country Club provides limited legal services for the community. Their grand opening was last night and tonight and they already have 30 clients booked next week. Sounds like a much needed business for our Downtown area.
EMPOWER YOURSELF is their tag line.
They provide affordable and professional legal guidance- only $90 per hour! There are NO retainer fees.
They work with clients to that need assistance with:
Family law
Restraining Order or Family Protections
Workplace issues
Business needs
Real Estate Disputes
Debt Relief/Bankruptcy
Protection from Creditors

Here's their website.
Help spread the word about about another new business in Downtown.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shop local- why in Mesa?

Have you ever walked out of a chain store frustrated by the lack of service or appreciation for having spent your time and money with them? It happens all the time these days, in fact we seem to think it is par for the course and blow it off. Small micro enterprises provide service with a personal touch. It matters to them that you are satisfied and if you will come back again or tell your friends about them. Restaurants are happy to change menu items to fit your taste, retailers know their product lines and can help with that hard to find item. Making you happy is actually one of their goals not simply selling on the premise of volume.

Downtown Mesa businesses tend to stick around when times get harder. They doesn’t easily pack up and leave town for “better” pastures. When you spend your money in our locally owned small business your money sticks around as well. It is re-circulated over and over. Downtown Mesa business owners take their profits and buy products and services from other local businesses. All of the tax revenue for each of these cycles of purchasing stays right here in Mesa. It's a personal accountability thing. If we keep our hard earned money moving around in Mesa we do our part to keep the community the kind of place we like to call home.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Froyo- Sweet Cakes Frozen Yogurt mmm mmm good

Sweet Cakes expanded and added frozen yogurt. So you've just been to the Mesa Arts Center or one of the Museums in Downtown and need a little treat before you head home. This is it! The cookies and homemade baked goodies are already well know throughout the nation- The Learning Channels "America Eats" awarded them the "National Cookie" designation. Now they are tempting us with frozen yogurt, fresh fruit add in's and little cookie bits to top it off.
This is the plan, walk from the Museum, Arts Center, Mesa Convention Center or the Sheraton. The farther away you start the more you can put on top of the yogurt - without feeling guilty. Are you in?

Be sure to check them out at their Grand Opening Party
Saturday January 23, 2010
5pm - 10pm

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simple steps to make a difference

Building a Better Mesa is a mantra that is all over this City. You see it on City construction signs and in newspaper articles. Building a Better Downtown Mesa starts with fairly simple steps from our neighbors.

Make a decision to find out what locally owned business specialize in... and patronize them, wherever possible.
Dine at a local, independent restaurants. You treat yourself to a unique dining experience which makes the whole experience worth spending your hard earned money,

Check for businesses who offer the same products that you are ordering online. Online out-of-state companies, don't contribute a dime to the local economy.

We all create our communities. Tell your family, friends business associates why shopping local is the way to go. Let's create strong and vibrant communities as a legacy for those who follow.

Let's Build a Better Mesa and revitalize our community. Make Mesa an even better place to live.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Fridays are "Motorcycles on Main"- it's official

Beginning February 5th, 2010 and every first friday night thereafter Downtown Mesa will welcome motorcyles to main street. Beer gardens ( 4 of them) will be on the north and south sides of Main street between Center and Robson with bands at each location. Special parking areas will be designated so that everyone can enjoy checking out the bikes.
Chester's Harley is the Gold level sponsor of this monthly event.

Tell all your bike friends and head on down!.

Cucina Di Vita - Italian Deli arrives!

Fresh Panini and signature Italian Deli sandwiches have arrived in Downtown Mesa. This new restaurant is a quaint place to meet a friend for lunch or breakfast. Daily specials, european style breakfasts, take out, delivery are the expansion of the already well known "Life of the Party"caterers. 142 West Main St. Between MacDonald and Robson on the north side of the street.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wrigleyville West at University and Mesa Dr?

So there was this vent in the Tribune today- "Mesa definitely needs to fix the mess it made when it bought and demolished all those homes at University and Mesa Drive. A new ballpark would do the trick. The funny thing is that Internet maps still label the area as 'Glenwood Historic District.’ ”

Is this idea such a stretch that it is out of the realm of possibilities? With the Light Rail coming down Main past Mesa Drive, it would seem that to have the stadium on the Corner at University would be sweet. The City is considering making land part of the deal because cash is not an option. They also own the land that was once the "Glenwood Historic District" and the land to the north, the old abandoned Escobedo housing complex. Escobedo has to be demolished as it is well beyond it useful life. It seems to me that Downtown Mesa has some of the infrastructure of the Wrigleyville concept in that is it already a City, there is a hotel, convention center, shopping dining and historic homes. The locations in East Mesa have to be built from barren desert.

I know there are some large number of acres that are needed for the concept and I am not sure that University and Mesa Drive has enough, but it has to be close when you include Escobedo. I remember when the area where the US Air Arena and Bank One were occupied with other structures and Colangelo thought outside the box to make it happen.

So, Downtown Mesa, where is our Colangelo ?

Second Friday place to be

Each Second Friday of the month a group of Merchants in Downtown Mesa organize a community event with different themes. The events have grown from a few hundred to over 3,000 at the January 2010 event.
August started the buzz with Dog Days of Summer (you can't imagine the number of dog friendships initiated),
September followed with Motorcycles On Main (some of the most awesome bikes customized and shinin) ,
October was the first Octoberfest (BEER, yes BEER on Main Street- one of secrets exposed, yes you can drink alcohol in Mesa),
November was themed around an Organic Harvest (organic farmers, retailers, and vendors filled Main Street)
December's Dickens on Main (with strolling Carolers, Christmas music all around and over 100 unique gifts for those hard to shop for relatives and friends)
January Cruisin and Cuisine (everyone came out to watch classic cars cruise Main street like back in the day when it was the only way to spend Friday and Saturday night)

Upcoming events
February- Sweet Heart on Main
March- Baseball and Apple Pie
April- High School Musical

Each event has plenty to keep the kids or the kid in you busy. Free games and drawings, music, artists, shopping and of course dining - all from local business owners. If you are all about that corporate, chain type business it is not the place for you.

Downtown Mesa Mechants Rock

For the past several months the merchants and supporters of Downtown Mesa have been putting their heads together to expose the hidden side of this unique main street in Mesa Arizona. Downtown Mesa hides behind it's reputation of being behind the times and a place that you would want to avoid. For some, it is one of those places that you want to keep secret because if the word gets out it could spoil the charm. That may be all well but the Merchants and Downtown community members are taking the bull by the horns and getting the word out. Main street in Mesa between Country Club and Mesa Drive and the surrounding side streets to 1st Ave and Street are a whole different world - if it's been while since you've stopped by.