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Nolan

Community Explorer

Rusted Compass began when I was at a place in my life looking for somewhere to call home. I had Greener Grass Syndrome and always felt disappointed with the disconnect I felt in my own community. I made the decision that I wanted to cultivate and improve the community that I am already living in, and as I began to find new ways to connect with those in my community it developed into a fascinating journey of learning. I hope to create a map of my discoveries to inspire others in their own local area. Ask not what your community can do for you, ask what you can do for your community!

      NMProductsFeat

      Local Flavor Gift Baskets

      Everyone loves to arrive home and see that they have a package waiting for them on their front door. I’m always amazed at the efficiency of our mail delivery networks, and how easy it is to send items across the country in a matter of days.

      Sometimes I run out of creative gift ideas. People enjoy receiving gift cards, but it’s nice to come up with something more personal. What do you give to someone in an age where online shopping is filled with things they could just purchase themselves? How do you personalize your gift and make it truly unique to the person receiving it?

      That’s where I came up with an idea for sending “local flavor packages” to friends and family that live far away. The idea is to find your absolute favorite locally-made items in your area that you can’t get just anywhere, put them together in a gift package, and mail them to loved ones.

      This can be as much fun picking out the items as it is for the person that will be receiving them. First, it makes you more aware of what your local area has to offer. You can experiment with different local food items to see which you like best. Try out some new local coffee, honey, tea blends, drinks, snacks, and more. You’ll find fantastic flavors and products made in your own region that you may have never tried or knew existed!

      Second, you’ll get a sense of pride to share with others the flavors of your own City/State when you find that unique item that outshines any other name brand.

      One of my favorite products made in New Mexico (apart from the famous Hatch green chile of course) is New Mexico Piñon Coffee. If you’ve ever been to the high-desert regions of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado, you’ll see piñon trees scattered across the landscape. These trees produce a unique variety of pine nut called Piñon Nuts. They have a unique creamy flavor and are often sold locally by individual vendors on the side of the road near Indian Reservations. They have a limited harvest season and the process to harvest them isn’t easy. New Mexico Pinon coffee combines these local high desert pine nuts with arabica bean coffee to create a smooth fusion for a great cup of coffee. I love sending a bag to friends afar, and always get great feedback from them after they try it.

      Here are some other New Mexico products that I have hand-picked for sending to friends and family for my own “Local Flavor Package.”

      NMProducts

      All made in New Mexico

      A lot of grocery stores, mostly natural and local-sourcing stores, have set up display islands and end-caps that feature highly reviewed local items. This makes it easy to find many to choose from in one place. Just remember to actually try the foods to see which is the best before sending them and keep in mind that some alcohol products may not be allowed through the mail. Marketplaces are even better sources of local products where artists and vendors sell hand-made items such as greeting cards or jewelry.

      It’s a lot of fun to put these together and to follow up after sending in the mail to see what your recipient thinks of the products you picked out. You’re also giving them a unique gift that allows them to taste a variety of the best products from a single region. Maybe you can even encourage them to send you a basket of their favorite local products as well so they can have as much fun discovering and selecting their favorite local items.


      If you try this out for yourself, please share with everyone your experience and which products you found in your local region in the comments section. I would love to learn more about what your region uniquely has to offer. Happy flavor hunting!

      CafeBellaFirstView

      Two Local Coffee Shop Stories

      In my last post I talked about the difference buying your coffee locally makes. This time I want to share two stories as personal examples. The first is my story about making the switch from big-chain coffee to a local cafe called Cafe Bella. The second is a guest post by Danielle Pajak.


      Going local for coffee at Cafe Bella Coffee

      At some point in my coffee-drinking journey I found myself unimpressed by the national chain cafes that I would always frequent. It had the comfort of consistency and the convenience of locations, but there was just something missing. The experience was very rushed and the people in line seemed to be there for their fix more than the atmosphere and people. Sure, there were couches and tables to kick back and relax on and mood-setting music, but the atmosphere didn’t really invite me to stay for a while.

      So I set off on my journey to find a local coffee shop instead. I searched in the Albuquerque Alibi and found Cafe Bella Coffee in Rio Rancho, NM.

      CafeBellaFrontFor several weeks I made a very simple change. It didn’t require dramatic overhaul, simply changing where I bought my coffee. My coffee drinking was going local.

      CafeBellaFirstViewThe first thing I noticed when I walked into Cafe Bella was the unique decor of local artist works, community bulletins, and even cool classic bicycles hanging on the walls. The couches and booths to relax on and socialize were the central part of the cafe, and I could hear the chatter of locals enjoying food and coffee.

      CafeBellaBarThe barista greeted me like an old friend and was excited to tell me about their lunch and coffee specials. This wasn’t just continental food shipped in on a truck. There were breakfast danishes and pastries made in Santa Fe. Their tea selection was from a local tea shop – New Mexico Tea Company. Best of all, their menu had REAL food prepared fresh when ordered.

      CafeBellaDisplayI decided to go with the panini of the day and an iced coffee and took a seat with a view of the cafe. Cafe Bella didn’t feel at all like the national chain I would previously frequent. Instead it was warm, friendly, and I wanted to kick back and stay for a while. The baristas behind the counter seemed passionate about their creations and were very genuine.

      CafeBellaChandelierMy food came out, and I was amazed. The panini was carefully made with fresh flavorful ingredients and hot-pressed on the grill! I immediately fell in love as I took a bite, and knew that I would have to share this discovery with my friends and family. The coffee was fantastic and much more smooth and flavorful than I was used to.

      CafeBellaPaniniThat was only the first time I visited this local coffee shop, but I have returned almost weekly ever since. My initial plan of trying to go local became preferring to go local. The difference was very apparent, and I only wish more people in Rio Rancho knew about this fantastic cafe!

      Talking to the owner, Michael Gonzales, I can tell that he is passionate about Cafe Bella’s food and coffee and serving the Rio Rancho community. He explains to me that the coffee tastes so much better because it is a lighter roast and is locally roasted. He was happy to share with me his knowledge about the importance of starting with the best quality coffee beans.

      CafeBellaRoastingGuideI’ve tasted the big-name coffees and the coffee at Cafe Bella. Cafe Bella’s coffee is much more smooth and flavorful without the charred-bitter flavor of the large chains. My stomach didn’t churn in regret, and my breath didn’t have that bitter aftertaste.

      What makes Cafe Bella great is their involvement in the community. They have a community bulletin section for locals to leave their business cards and fliers. Their artwork promotes local artists and photographers. They also have weekly events such as their Open Mic nights and poetry slams, as well as a weekend Car Show event.

      CafeBellaEventsI truly believe that local businesses have so much to offer, and have seen this reflected at Cafe Bella Coffee. I don’t think I can ever go back to my previous coffee chain, and as Cafe Bella’s t-shirts say: “Life is too short to drink bad coffee.”

      CafeBellaCoffeeTableCheck out Cafe Bella online at CafeBellaCoffee.com
      And if you’re in the Rio Rancho, NM area visit their two locations at:

      2115 Golf Course Rd. SE #102 Rio Rancho, NM 87124
      or
      9121 Eagle Ranch Rd NW Albuquerque, NM. 87120


      Danielle’s Local Coffee Shop – Cup O’Karma

      CupOKarmaDanielle is a talented freelance artist, and her work is incredible! In fact, she is the person that designed our Rusted Compass website logo. Here is her story about a local coffee shop that she frequents in the Mesa, AZ area.

      “As part-time employee at my local community college, and a full time freelance artist, I am a very busy person, and like all busy people, you always need to have your caffeine of choice, mine being tea. I am obsessed with tea and drink it routinely!

      In the not-to-exciting city of Mesa, Arizona it can be rather difficult to find some good places that offer good quality and a variety of teas. Every once in awhile, though, you’ll come on a little place tucked away in some unsuspecting corner of the city, and Cup O’Karma is such a place.

      Recommended to me by a family member, I decided to check them out one day before I went to work. (Conveniently, Cup O’Karma is located right across from where I work!) Low and behold, I discovered that they were selling Harney and Sons tea! Harney and Sons being an excellent and prestigious brand of tea based in New York (only the best!). I was very excited, to say the least, and ordered a cup!

      Apart from the tea, though, I was instantly drawn in by the pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. Locally owned and nonprofit, the employees were laid back, welcoming, and very friendly. I am a shy person by nature, but I found myself striking easy conversations with the baristas, much to my surprises, as they seemed genuinely interested in me, and didn’t see me as just another customer.

      This open and personal service is what makes this place really enjoyable to visit. They also even have some comfy couches for you to lounge on as you study or enjoy your drink! I find myself going there at least once a week now, if not more, and I especially love to bring my sketching materials and get a little art done while I am there! It is a very conducive atmosphere, and my tea is always excellent (of course).

      Cup O’Karma certainly beats Starbucks in every area, and I love that I am supporting a local business. Afterall, it is only the best of the best places that serves Harney and Sons!”

      Their website: http://www.natn-az.org/cup-okarma/

      Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CupOKarma

      Be sure to check out Danielle’s artwork on her Illustrations Blog and her SquareUp Store.


      I hope you found these stories informative, and that you’ll try out a local coffee shop in your area. If you do, share the results!

      MeSandias

      Tour Your Own Backyard

      We all love to go on vacation, explore new places and see new things; however, oddly enough we sometimes miss what our own local City or State has to explore. So for part of “thinking local,” I want to spend some time talking about being a tourist where you live.

      MadridStreet

      Madrid, NM

      When I visit friends or family in a new city, I always do some research before I go there. I look up the events that will be going on in the city, the venues, the parks, etc. If there is something exciting the week of my visit I don’t want to miss it. I also look at the surrounding areas to see if there are any attractions, historical sites, or just plain fun things to do. Most of the time when I share these places or things with the people that live there they say “I didn’t even know we had that here!”

      SantaFeRugs

      Santa Fe, NM

      I think when we live in a region long enough, we start to take for granted what it has to offer. I’ve spent years living in New Mexico before really venturing out into it and finding the true jewels scattered around the state. From the mining villages of Jemez Springs and Madrid, to the historic Santa Fe and beautiful Taos, you just have to know where to look to find the treasures.

      IMG_1459

      Gilman Tunnels, NM

      Many people miss the beauty in New Mexico if they stay on the interstates and larger cities. To appreciate it you must venture off the beaten path, onto the smaller back roads. I’m talking about the turquoise trail, the smaller highways, and the nestled villages. This is where the true beauty lies, and you won’t find it unless you’re looking for it. This is why having the mindset of a tourist in your own backyard takes you to some interesting places you may have been taking for granted. It’s not just the places, but the stories, the people, and the cultures that you find.

      IMG_1877

      Valles Caldera, NM

      It’s refreshing to see the place you call home in a new light, a tourist discovering what it has to offer. You also get a closer connection to the people, the cultures, and the attractions that make your state unique. Sometimes even the geography of the land has a story to tell.

      JemezRuins

      Historic Site – Jemez Springs, NM

      Learn about the history behind where you live. Did native tribes once live off the land? Was there a great battle fought there? Take a guided tour or visit museums to learn more about the people that once walked the land.

      FlyingStarFood

      Flying Star Cafe – Albuquerque, NM

      Taste the cities, visit local restaurants, microbreweries, and coffee shops. Taste what you can’t get just anywhere. Find some new favorite spots to take guests when you have company visiting. When you know your city, you can show them the places and tastes they won’t find anywhere else.

      JemezBench

      You can find new places and events through local publishers, newspapers, Google maps, city websites, and more. Take a weekend and drive to a nearby random town, go camping, stay at a resort and immerse yourself.

      Become proud of your region not just because you live there, but because you discover the best of what it has to offer and what makes it unique in the world.

      goats

      WWOOF – Organic Farm Volunteering

      Have you heard about WWOOF? If not, you’re missing out! WWOOF is a website dedicated to connecting volunteers to organic farms in their area. You can visit their website at www.wwoofusa.org.

      When I first heard about this quirky idea, I had to try it for myself! When you sign up, WWOOF requires a small annual fee (mine was about $50), and you are given a profile and instant access to thousands of organic farms. I immediately found several in my local area, and contacted the owners to volunteer for a day.

      chickens

      Why volunteer this way, you may ask?

      What better way to connect to the source of our food production than to gain the knowledge and experience of organic farming and help out a farmer! I love to see the many different permaculture, aquaponics, alternative energy, and other off-grid projects that people are working on their own land. It’s exciting to learn about how it all works and to be a part of it.

      Many people use WWOOF as a “voluntourism” opportunity, which it is perfect for. If you haven’t heard of voluntourism, it’s when people that want to travel and have a place to stay use volunteer opportunities to provide such. Keep in mind many WWOOF hosts are opening their home to you, and it’s important to uphold a good work ethic and mannerisms when you are a guest there. When it comes to helping, often it’s better for everyone involved if you stay for more than just a single day. Some of the hosts offer an extra bed to sleep in, or simply some land to camp on while you’re volunteering for them. If you set everything up right, you could travel the country by organizing your stays with several WWOOF hosts along your travel path.

      pigs

      What was my experience WWOOFing?

      My experience was fantastic. My host and I coordinated the weekend that I would volunteer on their ranch. The ranch was located near Santa Fe, NM. When I arrived they were still awaiting their materials to arrive, but this allowed me to get a tour of the property and learn everything about the family that owned this ranch and their goal to create a permaculture environment. They showed me the windmill, grey water system, solar panels, and soil reclamation projects. I got to see first-hand what these projects actually look like. I also learned some valuable masonry skills helping them to build the aquaponics water cistern that would one day provide a source of fresh fish and produce.

      Here are a few pictures I took of this Aquaponics system early-stages project:

      IMG_2216 IMG_2217 IMG_2218

      Apart from the common volunteering platforms, WWOOF is a fantastic way to volunteer through travel, build foundational skills, and give back to local organic farmers. I couldn’t recommend it more as a way to serve your community.

      Try it out and share your experience with us!

      beeflower

      Local Honey

      What is Local, Raw honey?

      Raw honey is honey that is unheated, unprocessed, and unfiltered. The frames of honeycomb are removed from the hive, capped with a heated knife, and spun in a centrifuge which extracts the honey. Honey that has passed through a screen to remove the large particles of honeycomb is considered “unfiltered” if the screen is large enough to allow all particles, including the pollen, through. Unfortunately many of the centrally-distributed grocer store honeys are heated and clarified, destroying the natural and beneficial properties of the honey.

      Local beekeepers can provide unheated and unfiltered honey that retains the unique pollen flavors and properties to your area. There are many more varieties to choose from as well. From mesquite, desert flower, and orange blossom in Arizona, to Chamisa Honey in New Mexico and Clover Honey in Colorado. You can become a honey connoisseur and try all of the different natural varieties. Best of all, honey stores indefinitely in your pantry.

      bees

      Beekeeper’s open hive in Albuquerque, NM

      I had a fantastic experience helping a local beekeeper in Albuquerque, NM retrieve honey from his hives. This is a great volunteer opportunity and learning experience – check with your local beekeepers to see if they need help. It’s a great opportunity. I learned how to smoke the bees to make them retreat into the hive, retrieve the frames of honey, cap the tops with a heated knife, and spin them in a centrifuge to extract the honey from the honeycomb. The beekeeper even gave me a free jar when we finished!

      Where can you find raw, local honey?

      honeypic

      Valley Honey Co bought at Schnepf Farms – Queen Creek, AZ

      Many places! In the last few years grocery stores have caught on to the local-sourced honey demands of customers. But if you can’t find raw honey in your grocery store, check your local Craigslist listings, marketplaces, health food events, and farms. You may have to travel outside of the city limits a bit.

      arizonahoney

      Arizona Desert Honey bought from Desert Sage Herbs – Chandler, AZ

       

      I have found beekeeper honey sale listing on Craigslist, signs on the side of the road, Farms such as Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, AZ, herb shops, and my local health food stores.

      Real honey should be thicker, often can be darker (depending on the type), and should containing pollen from the local flowers and plants. It should also crystalize when left over time. Eating raw honey that is local and contains the pollen of local plants provides you with the local pollen nutrients, health benefits, and is said to help people with allergies when used consistently.

      Raw honey has many natural benefits including promoting good digestion, antiviral/antibacterial properties, antibiotic properties, antioxidants, skin treatment, immune system, and allergies!

      Keep plenty of jars in your kitchen to substitute sugar in your baking and drink mixes. Since it never goes bad, you can stock up and store it indefinitely.

      The history of honey can be traced back to at least 8,000 years ago, through rock paintings found in caves! In Ancient Egypt, honey was used not only for sweetening dishes, but as an embalming for the dead. It was a prized ingredient in ancient Rome, China, and Mesoamerica. The Bible refers to honey in many passages throughout Genesis, Exodus, Samuel, and Matthew. Proverbs 16:24 compares pleasant words with honey: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

      So now you know the difference when you purchase honey locally. Honey is truly a substance of value, especially when we can find it right from the source. Find the beekeepers in your own community and let us know what kinds of honey they offer!

      coffeebeans

      The Local Coffee Difference

      We’re talking here about shifting buying habits from large-chain businesses to those that are more locally owned. So in making these consumer changes, what better daily habit to focus on than your coffee consumption? In fact this is the easiest simple change to make if you want to start shifting your buying habits to the local level.

      I love coffee. The aroma, the flavors, the different ways you can to drink it.. Appreciating good coffee is more than just the pep of energy it gives you. And if you’ve found yourself graduating from the big name brands that disappoint and leave much to be desired, read on.

      Spilling the Beans

      Large coffee chains and distributors can be focused on profit margins and numbers. This can lead to cutting corners in the quality of their product when they decide whether to meticulously select the best coffee beans, or beans that are good enough. Over-roasting is also a common technique for covering up the lack of quality and sacrificing freshness for shelf life. There is a learned culture of “darker is better” despite many coffee experts disagreeing.

      Coffee of different sources and qualities are sometimes blended together, and a use-by date is often printed on grocery-store coffee bags but not the date it was roasted.

      Locally-roasted coffee means you can better know the source and quality controls where it’s harvested, as they are often more transparent about where they source. The coffee can be roasted to the local cafe’s particular standards which allows for choosing beans that have integrity, quality, and haven’t been over-roasted to cover up lacking substance. If you haven’t tried a light roast, you might be missing out on the smooth richness of the coffee taste without the charred bitterness of dark or french roasts.

      Arabica and Robusta

      coffeepressArabica coffee is a type of higher-quality coffee grown in high altitudes. Much like the altitude and growing region matters for wine grapes, it also matters for coffee. Arabica coffee tastes better, and is the choice type for great coffee.

      Robusta coffee is grown in lower altitudes. It often has more caffeine but is a lower quality and flavor. Robusta coffee is the alternative choice for lower-end coffee that focuses on delivering caffeine more than coffee flavor, and they can have a more bitter taste and pungent odor.

      One problem is that many large coffee manufacturers blend arabica and robusta coffee to cut down on costs, or aren’t clear about the type of beans. Once again, the response of profits are placed ahead of quality. I’m not saying it’s mutually exclusive, but the more you’re informed the more you’ll know about what you’re buying. If quality matters to you, awareness and being selective about where you buy your coffee is a great first step to choosing quality over quantity.

      A few reasons to buy coffee locally.

      • Quality Coffee Beans

      From the harvesting source and local roasting, to the unique artisan crafting of your barista, quality is often the focus of your local coffee shop that wants to build a customer base and set themselves apart from the competition. With locally-roasted beans, the shop can choose their source of coffee from harvest and can have it roasted to their specifications. Lighter roasts retain the natural properties of coffee.

      • Inviting Atmosphere

      Smaller shops often have less of a disconnect between the owners and workers, and makes for happier employees. The care and friendliness is often truly genuine rather than policy. If spending time in a shop where you feel welcomed is important, this may be a crucial reason to buy local.

      • Helping the Local Economy

      A dollar is like a voting ballot. You have a choice where to spend it, and who you are supporting when you spend it. By supporting a local business you help to make your community grow economically instead of making the big companies even bigger. You also support companies that have a closer relationship directly with their customers, instead of the top-down decision making structure of franchises.

      • A Chain of Support

      When you buy that locally-roasted cup, you’re also supporting the roasters and the meticulous coffee growers that harvest using high standards. And you’re supporting local entrepreneurs that work hard to make their business grow. Many local shops are engaged with the community in a variety of ways. I’ll give some specific examples of this from my own experience at Cafe Bella Coffee.

      mesamain

      Marketplaces

      In recent years I have noticed more and more marketplaces gaining popularity in the United States. As travelers know, marketplaces around the world are nothing new. In countries such as Turkey, China, Singapore, and Argentina they are everywhere. In contrast to retail store outlets and chains, marketplaces provide a platform for local entrepreneurs whether they are just starting out to test out their business or seasoned marketers. They are a place where people in the community shop face-to-face with personal interaction and support the local economy.

       

      IdaliaSign

      boothnolanDuring the summer of 2014, my wife and I started an information booth for essential oils at a local marketplace in Rio Rancho, NM. It was the first time renting a booth, and we learned so much from our experience, met wonderful and interesting people, and truly had a sense of connection with the community. Not only did we meet the locals that came out to shop and enjoy the food, music, and shopping experience, we also networked and met all of the other wonderful vendors as well. The owners Marc and Phyllis create this wonderful atmosphere at Idalia Road Marketplace. It’s a marketplace with character and personality!

      idalia2

       

       

       

       

      You can find their website at www.idaliaroadmarketplace.com or check them out in Rio Rancho, NM!

      idalia3Idalia Road has vendors that offer foods, produce, clothing, services, artist creations, hand-made items, personal products, and more! There is live music, special event weekends, and local fundraising charity and non-profit fundraising campaigns. It’s truly one of the most unique marketplaces.

       

      durango marketplace

      Durango, CO marketplace.

      No two marketplaces are alike. Some are growers’ markets with fresh local produce, many call themselves “swap meets,” others are art shows for local artists’ works. No matter what the specific purpose, they all bring people out of their homes and congregate together to buy and trade, away from the retail outlet store environments. With the rise of more marketplaces across the U.S., it’s exciting to see a place where the economy is so directly engaged at the local level, and an opportunity for individuals to seek out their own business when the job market is shaky at best.

       

       

      MesaMrktSign With all of the strip malls and retail outlets, I thought the Phoenix area surely didn’t have a marketplace of its own. But I was wrong when I visited the area in April. I found this Marketplace in Mesa, AZ and let me tell you it is HUGE.

       I spent a good hour walking along the endless stretch of booths as far as the eye can see. There were so many unique items to see and purchase here. There was also a snack bar and live music when I visited.

      MesaMarketplaceDo you visit a local marketplace where you live? What do they offer, and how have they added value to your community. Share you thoughts with us! Also, I will be doing an interview with Marc and Phyllis of Idalia Road Marketplace for our upcoming RustedCompass Podcast. So please check that out in the near future.

      quelabhackerpaces

      Hackerspaces

      What is a Hackerspace?

      I recently toured a few hackerspaces and co-working spaces in the Southwest area to find out what they offer.

      A hackerspace, also known as a makerspace, is a place where people can come together to make things, work on projects, get inspired, get help, and help others. There are tools, workbenches, people, and resources available. Most hackerspaces rely on donations. Some are 100% free. Others have a monthly membership fee but offer nights and events that are open to the community.

      You’ll find a community of people passionate about DIY, tinkering, inventing, entrepreneurship, and more. Everyone can collaborate and share, making it a rich environment for creativity. As I toured these hackerspaces I found personal inspiration as I surveyed the displays, people overcoming challenges together, and people in the community working together in a unique way that I’ve never previously witnessed.

      Find a Hackerspace
      Chances are there is a hackerspace near you. The Hackerspaces.org wiki is a great resource to locate the hackerspace closest to you.

      Unique Environments

      There are some highly technical electronic and innovative projects happening, from soldering circuit boards to testing Linux and motion-control software. It’s a great place to learn some very impressive skills. Not only can you learn as you observe and work together with others, but they offer classes that you can join in for in-depth learning.

      Heatsync Labs

      As you stroll along downtown Mesa, you’ll find Heatsync nestled in with restaurants and stores. They’ve put together a brilliant display of projects in the front window to show the creative talents of their members.

      www.heatsynclabs.org
      140 W Main Street
      Mesa, AZ

      Many nights throughout the week, there are designated hours during which the facilities are open to non-members. For all other hours, members can access Heatsync with their member key.After grabbing a slice of pizza across the street at Queens Pizza in downtown Mesa, I visited their hackerspace during their open hours to take a quick tour. I took a video tour of the facilities to give you a feel for what it’s like walking through.

      Heatsync Video Tour

      GangPlank Collaboration Space

      Gangplank is at the heart of downtown Chandler, and stands as a hub for community growth and innovation.

      www.gangplankhq.com
      260 S Arizona Ave
      Chandler, AZ 85225Gangplank’s history is very interesting, and has moved forward rapidly from where they started just over the last several years.They were founded on the purpose of reaching out to the community outside of their walls and within to breed innovation, ideas, and businesses. They aim to foster an entrepreneur spirit, and it shows! Everyone is welcome, and you’ll quickly discover yourself making friends to work with and bounce ideas off of. Part of Gangplank’s manifesto is “friendship over formality.” Gangplank is 100% free, and its forward motion is hinged upon the initiative by volunteers eagerly helping each other to learn and grow. It’s amazing to see that when you give people an environment with this belief and attitude, it will drive itself forward to accomplishment. Reminds me of a movie quote that said “If you build it, they will come.”

      Gangplank Video Tour

      The coworking space in Chandler, AZ known as GangPlank offers similar resources but a different environment. The rooms and facilities here are much larger with the seating workspaces in the main room, conference rooms in the back, and wide openareas that promote more free discussion and is less sectioned off. Gangplank has more of a vast community with no membership, yet it breeds a welcoming environment for everyone that walks in. Entrepreneurs and innovators from all sectors can walk through this open-door environment and collaborate together. The projects in this space consist of more startups, non-profit organizations, and web pioneers. Gangplank’s history has defined their mission and their manifesto which you can read about on their website.

      Quelab Hackerspace

      Quelab

      Quelab is Albuquerque’s Makerspace and Hackerspace. They just celebrated their grand opening in Spring 2014, for their new 7,000 square foot facility! Quelab is a place for projects and community collaboration. There are classes, events, and equipment available to use. Members can access Quelab at anytime. If you’re new and want to check it out, they have hacknights on Sundays and Tuesdays for $5 (see their website for accurate & updated details). Newcomers are welcome on hacknight. Quelab’s equipment includes 3-d printing, laser cutter, lathe, milling, serger, milling, sewing, electronics, woodworking, metalworking, and much more!


      So what are you waiting for? Gather up your project and head on over to your local hackerspace to find out how a community working on their projects together can create amazing things!

      Posts on this page
      • Local Flavor Gift Baskets
      • Two Local Coffee Shop Stories
      • Tour Your Own Backyard
      • WWOOF - Organic Farm Volunteering
      • Local Honey
      • The Local Coffee Difference
      • Marketplaces
      • Hackerspaces
      Posts on this page
      • Local Flavor Gift Baskets
      • Two Local Coffee Shop Stories
      • Tour Your Own Backyard
      • WWOOF - Organic Farm Volunteering
      • Local Honey
      • The Local Coffee Difference
      • Marketplaces
      • Hackerspaces