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Local First Utah Blog

A farmers market or arts & crafts market is more than just a place to find a delicious jar of jam or a handknit hat to nestle under the Christmas tree. 

Makers markets are economic engines, creating opportunities for start up businesses, artists and innovators to bring their products directly to the public. And there is no better place to shift your spending, because nearly 100% of your money will stay locally when you buy from artists and artisans at public markets. 

Here's a quick list of markets throughout Utah: 

Salt & Honey: Launching this Thursday, the Salt & Honey Market is located at the Gateway, helping to revitalize retail space abandoned by a national retailer. A mix of new, vintage and edible goods will be available from their vendors. As well, Local First Utah is a proud sponsor of the Salt & Honey Market, and special Local First Utah gift tags will be available with purchases. 

The Winter Market at Rio Grande: The Winter Market features a number of beloved food purveyors who are part of the summer Farmers Market at Pioneer Park, plus new food artisans, and a special arts & crafts market. Stuff the stocking of your favorite foodie with gifts from the Winter Marker! 

The 32nd Annual Holiday Craft Market: Brought to us by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, this market hosted at Finch Lane, is quite possibly the longest running market in the state. We're sure the high-quality artistry of market vendors is the reason why. 

The People's Holiday Market: Located at the Sorenson Unity Center, the People's Holiday market also features youth vendors, giving kids a great introduction to running their own business. 

Provo Beehive Bazaar: Touted as "not your mother's craft boutique" the Beehive Bazaar opens twice annually, and they will be launching their winter market just in time for Christmas. 

Silly Holiday Bazaar: Created by the same folks behind the Park Silly Market, the Silly Holiday Bazaar is an indoor food, craft and art market. 


This list is in no way exhaustive, as Utah's arts & crafts community is expanding day by day. If you know of a market that you'd like us to list, please e-mail

Published in Local First Utah Blog

Shift Your Spending Week will launch on Black Friday, November 27th and will run through December 5th. We have a lot in store for our 2015 Shift Your Spending Campaign! 

1) Sign up your business to be a part of the campaign.

When you enroll, you'll receive plenty of specialized marketing & promotional materials to encourage your customers to be buy locally throughout the holiday season. Sign up here to join in the campaign.

2) Be a part of Small Business Saturday!

As a business, you we encourage you to rally your neighborhood and host a Small Business Saturday event. While there are a number of possibilities for how your neighborhood can celebrate Small Business Saturday, Local First Utah will provide Small Business Saturday Passports and work along side you to help facilitate a passport event in your community. 

3) Take the Shift Your Spending Week Pledge.

As a citizen, commit to shifting at least 10% of your holiday shopping toward locals, then show off your committment to your friends online and in person. When you take the pledge, you'll receive an "I Shifted MY Spending" Facebook photo, and you can pick up a pledge button at participating Shift Your Spending Week businesses. 

Published in Local First Utah Blog

It’s true. The Great Pumpkin hasn’t even rolled through the pumpkin patch, but the holiday retail season is nearly upon us.

Before we know it, the streets will be lined with twinkling lights, stockings will be hung by the chimney with care, and each of us will be doing our best to remember the reason for the season, all while checking off our own lists of who has been naughty or nice.

Each year, during the holiday season, Local First Utah hosts the Shift Your Spending Campaign. Designed to encourage citizens to shift at least 10% of their holiday shopping towards locally owned businesses, during the Shift Your Spending Campaign, we provide specialty marketing materials to participating businesses, and shout from the rooftops about the benefits of buying locally during the holiday season.

Businesses who sign up to be a part of the Shift Your Spending Campaign will receive:

  • A Gift Tag Kit featuring 100 gift tags, a Shift Your Spending display insert, an 8.5x11” Shift Your Spending poster and a Social Media E-Kit. (Requested $15 donation.)

-- or --

  • A Gift Wrap Sticker Kit featuring 100 2x2” Local First Utah logo stickers, 2 Shift Your Spending register back displays, an 8.5x11” Shift Your Spending poster and a Social Media E-Kit. (Requested $15 donation.)

-- or --

  • Both Kits (Requested $25 donation.)

The deadline to sign up to be a part of the Shift Your Spending Campaign is Wednesday, November 20th. If your business signs up by November 1st, you will receive both kits for only a $15 donation.

To sign up, please fill out this quick form, or e-mail  for more information. 


Published in Local First Utah Blog
Thursday, 05 December 2013 16:00

The Gift of Experience

Life is all about experiences.  If you want a unique gift for those unique people in your life, consider giving them the gift of experience this holiday!  These local companies all offer something special and different that you won’t find anywhere else.  This holiday season think outside the gift box and give them an experience they won’t forget.

Repertory Dance Theater:  RDT brings the beauty, art and poetry of modern dance to Utah through their creative and insightful performances.  However RDT is more than just a performance company, they also teach dance classes for adults and youth, ranging from ballet to flamenco!  A gift certificate to RDT for a performance or a class is the perfect gift for that artsy dancer on your list!  

Prana Yoga:  At Prana Yoga you’ll find more than just a great Yoga class, you’ll also experience of peace for your body, mind and spirit!  With two locations, one in Salt Lake City, and a newly opened studio in Farmington, give the gift of health, peace and joy with a gift certificate to Prana Yoga, namaste!  

Ogden Nature Center:  For the nature lover on your list how about a gift certificate to Ogden Nature Preserve, where they can experience 152 acres of natural wilderness and wildlife! 

Pure Body Work:  How does the song go? “It’s the most stressful ... I mean wonderful time of the year!”  So help all those stress cases on your list get their zen back with a massage from Pure Body Work.  Whether it’s their back, neck, shoulders or all of the above, a gift certificate to Pure Body Work will give them the experience of relaxation.   

Dexterity Salon:  A new year begs for a new ‘do!  If there’s someone on your list who could use some pampering or needs to finally get rid of that mullet, then why not give them the experience of an fantastic hair with a gift certificate to Dexterity Salon! 

Salt Lake Culinary Center:  For the foodie on your list there’s nothing better than the experience of learning some new culinary skills and recipes!   Anyway you slice it, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to Salt Lake Culinary Center!  

These businesses and non-profits are all participating in Shift Your Spending Week. Give the gift of experience, and know that not only has your gift returned more money to our economy, but it's also built the culture of our community as well! 

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:57

Give Tastefully, Buy Locally

Food is an integral part of holiday festivities. We laud the merits of holiday foods in song, crooning about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and demanding figgy pudding while wishing a Merry Christmas. Food and the holidays go hand in hand.

Whether you’re looking to throw a memorable holiday party, you plan on stuffing stockings with tasty treats or you want to fill a gift basket to the brim with goodies for the gourmand in your life, consider buying from some of the local food and beverage artisans who are part of the Shift Your Spending campaign.

A savory party tray featuring Paige’s Salsa, Grandma’s Signature Dips, Brazilian cheese bread from Cheese Bread Mania, and gluten-free snacks from Chynna’s Kitchen is sure to be a hit. Keep your guest’s glasses full with any of a number of local beverage makers, including Squatters Beer, Ogden’s Own Distillery and IG Winery, or make your own with the supplies from The Beer Nut.

Stuff those stockings that have been hung by the chimney with care full of delectable, handcrafted chocolates. Solstice Chocolate, Condie’s Candies and the Chocolate Conspiracy are sure to satisfy even the sweetest tooth.

Fill a gift basket with Amour Spreads, Beehive Cheese, WTF Marinade, hummus or muhamara from Laziz Middle Eastern Spreads, a bag of coffee from Caffe Ibis or Rimini Coffee Roasters, and a bottle of Hive Winery’s Christmas Mead. Plus, if the weather outside truly is frightful, and you get stranded on your way to grandma’s house, you’ll have something delicious to snack on!

Remember, all of these food and beverage artisans are offering our Local First Utah gift tag or sticker – so makes sure your gift recipients know that you not only bought tastefully, but locally as well!

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Friday, 29 November 2013 13:56

Where You Spend Your Money Matters

Local First Utah's annual Shift Your Spending Week begins today. We're encouraging people to shift 10% of their holiday spending away from online and national retailers, toward local businesses in their own communities. Why? Well, first of all, spending locally keeps your money in the local Utah economy. But that's not all...

Shifting your spending is the first step toward shifting your thinking. When we realize that vibrant, living neighborhoods are incomplete without the local businesses and business owners who call those very same neighborhoods home, we must conclude that this week is about much more than money.

Indie Shopping at 15th & 15th

Big box stores advertising their increasingly early openings (many beginning on Thanksgiving day itself) might dominate billboards and TV, but the truth is, you do have a choice. That's why the 15th & 15th district created their own Black Friday alternative: 15% off at 15th & 15th.

Headed up by 15th &15th neighborhood icon, The King's English Bookshop, many 15th & 15th businesses such as 15th Street Gallery will be offering 15% off on all Friday purchases. The King's English Bookshop even announced that they would continue the 15% off sale throughout Shift Your Spending week: through Friday, December 6.

Indie Bookstores Unite!

In addition to offering special sales, The King's English Bookshop, along with Weller Book Works, will be participating in the "Indies First" movement, which brings local authors into indie bookstores for a day. If you play your cards right, you may even be able to make a holiday purchase from Josh Hanagarne, popularly known as the strongest librarian in the world.
 As well, The King’s English Bookshop, Weller Book Works and The Dog Eared Page in Holladay all are participating in Shift Your Spending Week. If you’re buying a gift for a book lover on your list, check out these bookshops, and make sure to pick a Local First Utah gift tag.

So make sure you stop by and support your local businesses this season, whether at 15th & 15th or any of the other awesome SLC neighborhood districts—because where you spend your money really does matter!

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 13:48

By the Numbers

254 million

        Number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2012.

350 million

    Number of Christmas trees growing on tree farms in 2012.

1.3 billion

    Number of dollars that would be returned to the Utah economy over the course of one year, if every household in the state shifted   just 10% of their shopping towards locally owned businesses.

Imagine that. Imagine if $1.3 billion stayed here, in our economy, as a result of a simple shift in spending habits. That’s money that creates jobs, funds our schools, paves our roads and protects our families as it provides wages for police officers and fire fighters.  

A 10% shift in spending is easy to accomplish, and the holiday season is a great time of year to start. Most Americans spend an average of $750 during the holidays. Directing 10% of that holiday spending – or just $75 – toward a locally owned independent business will make a big difference in just a short amount of time.

Use the Shift Your Spending Calculator to discover the impact that a 10% shift can have in your community. Check out our Top Ten Ideas to Shift Your Spending this Holiday Season for creative, local gift suggestions. Let your loved ones know that you bought locally by adorning your gifts with our Local First Utah gift tags and gift wrap stickers, available at nearly a hundred business from across the state.

Published in Local First Utah Blog

When you don’t wake up at three in the morning on Black Friday to fight off hoards of competitive shoppers, you have a lot more energy to do fun stuff.  Am I right?

Well, this Saturday, Salt Lake City's very own 9th & 9th district has definitely got something fun for you to enjoy with all that newfound energy. To celebrate Small Business Saturday, they’re throwing a full-on holiday-shopping-meets-rowdy-street-festival-style party! That’s right—you can shop at all your favorite local stores, chow down on local food and drinks, all while hanging out with friends and neighbors! Sure beats marathon-walking the mall or sitting in front of the computer shopping.

But this party’s more than just local flavors… Remember these 9th & 9th neighborhood maps? On Saturday, you can pick one up at any participating 9th & 9th business and collect stamps for each purchase you make. Then, when you’re all shopped out, just drop off your stamped map at any of those businesses to be entered into a drawing for the grand prize collection of gifts from all of the 9th & 9th local businesses! The winner will be announced on Monday.

All along 900 South, between 800 and 1100 East, there’ll be activities and hot drinks—as well as industrial heaters in case it gets cold. So whether your holiday shopping includes Hip & Humble, The Stockist by Fresh, Gypsy Moon Emporium, all of which are a part of Local First Utah’s Shift Your Spending Week, or any of the other cool shop, come join us!

Published in Local First Utah Blog
Friday, 22 November 2013 16:19

Preparing a Local Feast

Thanksgiving is one of our most treasured holidays because it’s all about family, friends and of course, the food! A great way to Shift Your Spending this holiday season is to gather the ingredients for your Thanksgiving feast from locally owned markets and grocers.  From turkeys to stuffing to pumpkin pies you can find most of your favorite items at a locally owned store or market.  Check out these great places to get your local feast on!

 Jade Market: More than just a downtown convenience store, Jade Market offers a bevy of local products, that are great accoutrements for your holiday festivities.

Local Flavors Market & Café: Located in Sandy, this shop specializes in Utah grown or Utah produced products, the name Local Flavors truly says it all!

The Downtown Winter Market: Don’t miss SLC’s Downtown Winter Market this Saturday November 23rd at the Rio Grande Depot.  Meander through the market in the historic Rio Grande Depot and be inspired by the local and seasonal goods.

Liberty Heights Fresh: Ordering a fresh, all natural, locally raised turkey is just one way to make your Thanksgiving special this year.  You’ll find what you need plus something extra special for your holiday feast at this iconic local market.

Harmons Neighborhood Grocer: With 16 locations across the state, Harmons carries hundreds of local food products.

Wasatch Front Farmers Market Store:  What a great idea, bring all the goodies from the farmers market and sell them at a store! Here you’ll find local produce, meats, eggs, cheese, milk, bread, and packaged goods.

Liberty Heights Fresh, Jade Market and Local Flavors Market & Café are participants in this year’s Shift Your Spending campaign. Pick up a gift for your Thanksgiving host at one of these stores, and adorn it with a Local First Utah gift tag to let your host know that you purchased the gift thoughtfully and locally.

Published in Local First Utah Blog