Colby Elliott - Tucson Foodie Insider Member #1 - wearing a huge smile at a member mixer (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

The Next Evolution of Tucson Foodie: The Insiders Club

October 6, 2023
By Tucson Foodie

18 months ago, Tucson Foodie began a transformation.

In that time, we’ve done quite a bit. We built a new team. We took down the paywall and made all our content free. We stopped doing sponsored content from restaurants. We launched interactive guides. We introduced the Tucson Foodie Passport. We took over Sonoran Restaurant Week and the Tucson Craft Beer Crawl. We launched new events like the Vegan Night Market.

Our guiding star through this journey has been feedback directly from you — local foodies.

Today, we’re excited to announce the next big step toward transforming Tucson Foodie from a media company into a true community.

Introducing Tucson Foodie Insiders.

Tucson Foodie Insiders is the community our city deserves. There’s so much happening in Tucson. There are so many awesome people. And the food scene is better than ever. As Colby Elliott (Insider Member #1 and the handsome fella in the featured image of this article wearing a huge smile at one of our member mixers) puts it, “Tucson is like the Disneyland of restaurants.”

We designed Insiders based on hundreds of conversations over these past 18 months. Here’s what we heard:

  1. You want new ways to explore Tucson’s restaurant scene.
  2. You want fun, interesting, and unique experiences.
  3. You want to hang out with other foodies, perhaps making a few friends along the way.
  4. For those of you who just moved to Tucson (from either LA, Phoenix, or NYC, we’re guessing?), you’re ready to get tied into the local scene and see what this ‘City of Gastronomy” thing is all about.

Using this feedback, here’s what we designed for you:

Member Benefit #1 – A New Chef-Led Dinner Series

Inspired by a successful model sweeping the nation called Tasting Collective, Insiders (and only Insiders) are invited to a new dinner series where local chefs test new dishes for future menus and engage in conversation with guests via feedback cards and fireside chats. Upcoming dinners include Chef Mat Cable of Fresco Pizzeria & Pastaria, Chef Devon Sanner of Zio Peppe, Chef Gary Hickey of Charro Steak, Chef Paul Reyes of Ciao Down Pizza Studio, and Chef Obie Hindman.

Member Benefit #2 – Member Mixers & Experiences

Every month we get together as a community over food and drink at a variety of venues around Tucson. Our Director of Community, Addie Ibarra, is also planning additional unique experiences for us, including classes, tours, and memorable, out-of-the-box culinary adventures.

Member Benefit #3 – Discounts and Perks to Local Festivals and Events

Insiders enjoy a windfall (or should we say a monsoon) of early-access invitations, discounts, and exclusive perks to a wide range of food and food-adjacent events around Tucson all year long. And not just events produced by Tucson Foodie, but also our partners including SAACA, Local First Arizona, Tucson City of Gastronomy, GUT, Visit Tucson, and more. Great events like GUT dinners, SAVOR Food & Wine Festival, Agave Heritage Festival, Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge, The Pizza Throwdown, Tucson International Mariachi Conference’s Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food, Film Fest Tucson, Tucson Craft Beer Crawl, and much more.

Member Benefit #4 – Merch

We just launched the Tucson Foodie merch store. Insiders get 30% off everything. Ayyyyyyy.

Member Benefit #5 – Keep Tucson Foodie going!

We’re betting big on community. As an Insider, you’ll be directly responsible for sustaining all that our team does. It’s been quite a lift to grow Tucson Foodie to where it’s at today. The success of Insiders will pave the path to profitability and continued growth, while at the same time keeping our content free, unbiased, and consistent — and in a time where a majority of media companies, including some local to Tucson, are struggling and shrinking.

An Insiders membership is $20/month. You can pause or cancel your membership at any time in the member portal. All your invitations, discounts, and goodies are delivered in the handy Tucson Foodie member app. We even have a sweet referral program that lets you earn a free month for every friend you refer.

So — let this be your invitation to join us!

We launched Insiders quietly a few months ago and are already over 200 members. If we get to 2,000 members by Christmas, our new owner and CEO Shane Reiser promises our annual Jack Frost Lounge Holiday Party (with our friends at The Jackrabbit Lounge) will be “off the chain.” His words…

Tucson Foodie is a locally owned and operated community. Thanks to our partners and members, we are able to offer paywall-free guides and articles. We value your support and invite you to become a Tucson Foodie Insider today.

Upcoming Events

View all events
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.

Related Stories