We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Ivey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, why did you pursue a creative career?
I began a career in big business – engineering. I had gone to culinary school right out of high school, but had not even considered it a career until years later.
I always enjoyed food and wine. After years of being a private wine collector I becoming frustrated with my purchases I was looking for more information – more education. I started working in a friends wine shop and discovered I really enjoyed helping people to understand wine and food and how they can change your entire perspective. I eventually found the Court of Masters of Sommeliers and it was like a godsend of all the information I was missing to put wine in perspective. That lead to me work in retail & high end restaurant overseeing wine programs and consulting for other restaurants. That has now lead me to co-founding both Craft 64 locations and running the beverage programs there.
What should our readers know about your business?
As the name implies Craft 64 is about passion at all levels of products and service (Your Craft). It is a local & organic food driven concept that has given us a platform to use local ingredient, purchase only Arizona beers. We have developed support from our customer because we support local. It’s important for people to know that sourcing locally can cost more, however we are passionate about supporting local farmers and sourcing locally to help support the economy, and the more our community supports that, the better unified and sustainable the entire community becomes. We work to consistently educate the customer about what we are doing to try to help raise expectations and excitement. I do hope other restaurants will continue to do the same, which contributes the community & local vibe.
One of the biggest challenges was teaching our community what scratch-made pizza means, and costs, especially when sourcing locally. The community wasn’t used to our price point for pizza. When you taste a simple piece of watercress or spinach leaf you totally understand the difference in what is being provided for your dollars. Lessons learned are many: the biggest is understanding that what I like to eat and drink is not always what others do. At first, I couldn’t understand why others didn’t like certain things. I believe it is important to continue to push and create, while also developing knowledge of what people like and expect. The sweet spot is finding where those things overlap. What I would like people to know most about our brand is the principle of consistent and continually improvement. We work every day to make the best “Arizona Style” Pizzeria – period. We are known as one of the best, but I want to be the best.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m big into outdoor activities.. Start with a 4×4 Trip to Sedona and hit the Broken Arrow trail that has the best views of Sedona then Stop by Page Springs winery after for charcuterie and wine. Next day I would take them to Canyon lake kayaking with a stop at the Hitching Post for Beers, country dancing and watching those crazy people Bull riding. Could also hit Kai for one of our best restaurants. Then cocktails at bitter and twisted with a night cap at Century Grand’s train car. There are so many great destinations in this town, too. Too many to write about in this interview…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Well I suppose thanks to Doc at Pedal Haus for referring myself to you!! I have the pleasure of making some Beers using my wine barrels from the Craft 64 Label, he is a fantastic brewer!