‘Guests are Not Just a Number’: Bryan’s Barbecue wins awards for atmosphere and good food

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Look around the airy and bright interior of Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, and the wood walls are covered with awards from the eatery’s 11 years in Cave Creek. Owner/chef Bryan Dooley chalks it up to good food and the staff’s caring nature. “We’ve made a conscious effort in the beginning to make sure that we take people’s names,” Dooley says. “Guests are not just a number. We ...

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Creations brings local makers together for a bohemian vibe

By Annika Tomlin "Shop Local” means something special to Tucson-based Creations Boutique. Olivia Verma Smith’s family features its Angie Brand throughout the store, the latest of which opened at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Dubbed the “boutique in the desert,” Creations is peppered with locally made candles, artists and creators. “Many things that are developed by local makers, like our main candles, are produ ...

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Golf meets cigars at Carefree’s new Sticks lounge

By Connor Dziawura Larry Foppe commonly heard in Carefree that a laidback gathering place was missing—the key word now being “was.” So, he took his local cigar shop, moved it and rebranded it as Sticks Golf & Cigar Lounge. Located off Cave Creek Road and Tom Darlington Drive, the new venue is like Topgolf mixed with a cigar lounge, but with a country club feel. “The one thing I commonly hear from the lo ...

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Kerrie Droban finds writing and law fulfilling

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Whether it was through her work as an attorney or as a true crime author, Kerrie Droban has made her mark. As a former Maricopa County attorney, Droban has been a criminal defense attorney for 27 years, litigating major felonies, complex white-collar fraud cases and death penalty matters. Her capital appeal, State v. Timothy Ring, was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. The de ...

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Putting Clients First: Kristi Morrow navigates the financial waters

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Kristi Morrow likens her job as a financial adviser to a puzzle. She and her partner in InReach Wealth Advisors, Jason Ayala, help clients make sense of their financial situation using pieces of their lives. “I like to do puzzles and play games in my free time,” Morrow says. “I take a million little pieces and see how they fit together. A lot of creativity goes into being a fin ...

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Fictional Crimes, Real Places

Author James L. Thane’s books are a study in the North Valley By Madeleine Williamson North Scottsdale crime novelist James L. Thane brings fiction and reality together into his books by creating settings using Valley landmarks. Eddie V’s, Mastro’s and Pinnacle Peak all make cameos in his three books, “No Place to Die,” “Until Death” and his recent offering, “Fatal Blow.” “I just simply enjoy the area so mu ...

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Inside Out

Spartan Home Services offers interior and exterior cleaning By Eric Newman When David Hartman moved to Anthem from northern Michigan with his fiancée Carmen Jordan, they had one goal: Keep the north Phoenix area beautiful. They aim to do it one property at a time. With children already living in the area, and wishing to find warmer weather, the pair settled in the Valley in July and opened Spartan Home Serv ...

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On the Rise

A-Authentic Garage Doors builds solid reputation and plans expansion By Lauren Wise A garage door is one of those things that tends to reveal its true necessity only when it’s not working properly. Whether broken, damaged by a wayward emergency break – or the illusion that the garage is already open, as has happened to this writer – or squeaks so loudly you put mousetraps in the garage corners, you’re in a ...

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Hair Play

Owner of KW Styling Studio finds fulfillment in helping clients look their best By Alison Stanton Kristy Wallace knew from a very early age that she wanted to go to cosmetology school and get into the beauty industry. “Growing up, I was always into makeup and hair,” Wallace says. “Between painting my dog’s nails and always being the friend who styled everyone’s hair and did their makeup, I knew it was my ca ...

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Clinic Coming Soon

HonorHealth begins building process for new hospital By Eric Newman A group of healthcare executives and local politicians broke ground to symbolize the start of construction on the North Valley’s newest hospital on December 5. The HonorHealth Sonoran Medical Center, HonorHealth’s sixth area hospital, will be built at Interstate 17 and Dove Valley Road. The facility, on the campus that currently houses the ...

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Got Java?

What’s brewing at Scottsdale coffee shops By Olivia Munson Every day, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee. For some, the day does not truly begin without a signature cup of Joe. Over the past years, coffee drinkers shifted from drinking in fast chains to enjoying the quiet atmosphere of a coffee shop. In Scottsdale, there are plenty of shops to help fit your coffee fix. Echo Coffee 2902 N. 68th Str ...

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Cool and Clean

West Coast Plumbing & Air owners provide customers with life essentials By Alison Stanton As co-owners of West Coast Plumbing & Air, Michelle Ricart and her husband John Ricart IV offer plumbing and HVAC services to residential and commercial customers. “We provide all plumbing and HVAC services from garbage disposals and toilet repairs to barbecue gas lines,” Michelle says, adding they al ...

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Auto Tune

New Look Collision expands with new facility in Scottsdale By Eric Newman When Michael Whittemore began fixing an old Camaro and Pontiac Firebird at age 17, he knew he had a passion for cars. He parlayed that passion into an 18-year career as an auto technician, but never imagined he’d be the owner of his own automobile service center with multiple locations. His first New Look Collision shop opened in Hend ...

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Fine Farriers

Pieh Tool Company carries on a family legacy in horseshoeing and blacksmithing By Eric Newman When Bill Pieh, founder of Centaur Forge Farrier and Blacksmith Supply, passed away in 2000, his youngest daughter, Amy, took it upon herself to continue the family legacy. Though the family sold Burlington, Wisconsin-based Centaur in 2002 – 42 years after its founding in 1960 – she is still a mainstay in the indus ...

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Home Sweat Home

Josh Rogers’ Anthem gym burns calories and inhibitions By Madison Rutherford   Josh Rogers has never had a “real job.” He played arena football for five years in Canada, started coaching and rolled right into opening his own fitness facility in Anthem with his wife, Laura, in 2005. “Once my career was done, I was like, ‘I’m going to open a gym,’” he says with a shrug. The rest is history. The first spa ...

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