I moved across the country the summer before my junior year of high school. As an emotional 16-year-old girl, being transplanted from the East Coast to the Wild West was devastating. I was heartbroken and homesick and I can honestly say that I never thought I would permanently stay in Arizona.
Fast forward 22 years and I can’t imagine living anywhere but Chandler. It’s the place where my family and close friends reside. It’s where my husband and I met and it’s where I became a mom. It’s also where my kids learned to cross the monkey bars at the park across the street and where we celebrated countless birthdays and anniversaries at our favorite neighborhood restaurant. All of these things have helped us plant roots in the community that we love. This is home.
Our home grown issue is one of my favorites because it features hardworking individuals and local businesses that chose Chandler because they felt they could thrive in our community. We learn about businesses like Bashas’, a family owned and operated grocery store, started 84 years ago in Chandler by two brothers. Today, Arizona’s hometown grocer has grown to more than 130 stores across the state and generously gives back to the neighborhoods it serves.
Our feature story this month uncovers a secret gem. Tucked away in a warehouse behind Merchant Square, Highland Yard Vintage Market showcases dozens of local designers and vendors who have the opportunity to sell their incredible home and garden décor. Offered only four days each month, Highland Yard Vintage Market encompasses and celebrates the beauty of shopping local and supporting small businesses.
We also get to meet Chandler native and Kneaders owner Kellan Sears who is thrilled to be offering delicious baked goods, sandwiches, soups and salads at his restaurant in his hometown. Stop by Kneaders and you’ll most likely run into Kellan, and if you’re lucky his wife Sara and adorable baby girl Brynnan, who will give you a big smile and a warm welcome.
Finally, we go on the journey of one East Valley special education teacher as she prepares to create a community garden for her students. Her motivation behind developing this garden is truly inspiring.
I encourage you to take a moment to stop and appreciate your surroundings. After all, this is your home, too.
Until next time,
Meghann Finn Sepulveda