We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Metzler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m a born-and-raised Arizonan — from the time I was born to the moment I left for college at 18, I was a Gilbert boy. My first job was as a cashier for my dad’s concession company at Freestone Ballpark…occasionally we’d work local markets and events, and from there I began to develop an affinity for the AZ business community. Beyond the products at their booths, I knew that behind each business was a family working hard to make it happen, and a community excited to rally behind them. As a high schooler, I spent Saturdays playing my guitar and singing into a microphone at the Gilbert Farmers Market, which led to many a Saturday stroll through the market…every weekend felt like a new adventure to find the newest, coolest AZ business, an energy that permeated through the market. From there, my wonder only grew. It took a 2,000-mile move to New York for me to discover just how formative my AZ upbringing was, and how truly special our local business community is. I couldn’t stay away for long, and moved back home shortly after graduating. The more I reflect on it, the more I discover a common thread that traces my AZ experience: community. And when it comes to Arizona businesses, there’s something so distinct about the sense of community that they foster, and the way that this community turns right back around and helps these businesses find their footing and thrive. It’s in this spirit that I founded my business Locavore. I’m grateful to have grown up with such a special sense of community, and am excited about the ways that Locavore has allowed me to deepen this connection and engage with the local businesses that make Arizona so incredibly special.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business Locavore sells boxes of goods sourced exclusively from AZ businesses! Whether you’re looking to sample local goods for yourself, or want to buy a unique, locally sourced gift for a loved one or client, our boxes are an affordable and eco-friendly way to do so! Locavore was created with the farmers market experience in mind — there’s a certain magic to strolling through the farmers market and finding new local businesses to support (and, in my case, obsess over)… I started Locavore as a way to provide customers with this same experience from the comfort and safety of their home. We currently offer everything from home goods & apparel, to candles, scents & skin care, to hot sauce, BBQ sauce, honey, coffee, and so much more! Locavore launched in June 2020, so we are still in our infancy…but we’ve seen incredible growth in this first year of business. It certainly has not come without its challenges. I currently juggle running Locavore and a full-time job — I’m grateful to have an amazing support system of people who I can lean on for emotional and operational support when things get crazy. I’d say biggest lessons I’ve learned, as a business-owner, are 1) the importance of leading with authenticity, 110% of the time and 2) the importance of operationalizing wherever and whenever possible…to scale a business, you’ll eventually need help. Without cleanly defined operations, it’s really hard to delegate. If there’s one thing I want to shine through about Locavore, it’s that we were founded as a community-first business. Everything about Locavore is driven by a true and deep appreciation for the Arizona business community, and my sincere hope is that we can continue to grow, provide lasting support to our local suppliers, and engage our community in meaningful ways.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I struggle with this dilemma every time somebody comes to visit…so much to do, so few hours in the day! I live in downtown Mesa, so I may be slightly biased, but a stop at Worth Takeaway is a must. Bar hopping in downtown Mesa (Oro, 12 West, Cider Corp, the list goes on…) is likely in order as well. Day 2 would be a trip to the Phoenix Zoo – family members of mine worked there growing up, so I give a damn good zoo tour (if I do say so myself). I’m a Mexican food lover, and lived in central Phoenix for some time, so we’d probably jet over to PHX Burrito House for the best burrito in the valley afterward (don’t @ me). There’s so much to see and shop for in the Melrose area, so we’d linger there for a bit before a night out in downtown PHX…maybe start at Cobra Arcade Bar (SUCH a fun, interesting spot for drinks, games, and A+ people watching) before heading to downtown proper. There would be an inevitable trip to Downtown Gilbert for coffee at Bergies, a morning at the farmers market, and brunch at Lo-Lo’s. I also love bike rides through the Riparian Preserve and along the canal in Gilbert. You’ve got to do a day at one of the many resorts in Scottsdale, the Omni is one of my favorites…and I’m a big foodie, so the rest of our time would likely be spent hitting some of the valley’s must-try food spots. A few off the top of my head: Federal Pizza, Mango’s Mexican Cafe, CIBO, the Vig, Chompie’s…hopefully my visitor eats cheese 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d be nowhere without my family! I’m lucky to have more siblings than I can count on two hands, and parents who sacrificed an enormous amount so that I could pursue my passions and find success. My parents taught me the importance of hard work and the value of a dollar earned, and were pivotal in centering the importance of community in my life. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t shoutout my partner Mitch, who is my rock and my partner-in-box-stamping.
Stills captured by Evan Rackle at Hub Media