9.3.12

Local Fridays!

Pizzaria Bianco. Joe's Real BBQ. Bashas. Changing Hands. Just Sports. These are all names you've probably heard of a thousand times before, but Arizona has many local treasures that aren't as well known. Unfortunately, you're unlikely to discover them unless you spend your Saturday mornings scouting the various farmer's markets that are scattered across the Valley... But that's where we come in! Being a former downtown Phoenix urbanite myself, I have spent a ton of time exploring everything from the vintage shops on 7th Ave to the weekly farmer's market on Central and have uncovered some great finds along the way. Adding a little bit of local fare to your wedding is an easy way to help the economy, go green and find great products that don't exist anywhere else! So to kick off this new weekly tradition, I'm going to open with every girl's favorite comfort food and the Arizona chocolatiers from Wei of Chocolate.

It has become common knowledge that some dark chocolate is good for your health, but the ladies at Chocolate of Wei have taken it to another level. Lisa Reinhardt and Katie Hess have combined their confectionary skills and blended it with the enlightenment Lisa gained in Nepal, Tibet and India to create a product that not only tastes delicious, but also helps you center your being. Yes, really. But does it work? Each kind of chocolate is infused with a flower essence that aims to help you achieve a different mindset - anything from relaxation and gratitude to focus and love.
In all honesty it sounded a little hokey to me, but I thought I would give it a shot and sampled my first piece at Scottdale's Art Walk. The gentle, citrusy flavor of their "Wei Joyful" chocolate tasted fantastic although I wasn't convinced it would "inspire me to action" as the girl helping me claimed. But to my surprise, an hour later I was "in the zone" and designing like a fiend without even remembering the little dessert's mystical properties! Was it just the power of suggestion or did the flower essence really balance my chi or something? I guess I'll never know for sure, but regardless, the rich, smooth flavor of this organic, gluten free, vegan AND fair trade product definitely deserves a place in your guests' goodie basket. Who knows, if you include the "love" variety you might just help start a few more happy endings...

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