Mom About Town: Summer Sanders

We’re excited to present our newest editorial series, Mom About Town. In this series, we will highlight mothers in Flagstaff that are doing amazing things! From business owners to volunteers and community ambassadors we hope these interviews are encouraging and inspirational. 

Summer Saunders

:: Meet Summer ::

Tell us a little about yourself, and your family:

I’m the founder and creative director of Local Juicery, an all organic juicery and superfood cafe. We have locations in Sedona, Flagstaff and soon in Phoenix area. My husband and I work together, I consider him the force that makes Local go, he joined the company full time in 2016 after a long career as Naval Officer. We have two kiddos, a very energetic almost 6 year old boy named Henry and a very dear little one who is just about 2 1/2 months named Willow.

My husband and I met in high school in Sedona, AZ. We both left Sedona as soon as we possibly could, he went to the East Coast for school and I fled to Los Angeles to study music and marketing. When we had our son Henry we knew that we wanted to be near family and closer to nature, it was an easy choice to come back to Arizona. The hard part was banking on my dreams to open a juice bar and leaving a stable military job behind. We’re both so glad we followed my passions. I’m forever grateful to my husband for believing in me and supporting me to open Local.

Share a little history behind your passion, and how you got started:

I was always interested in food, health, and organic living. I was raised by an organic farmer and a Waldorf educator. Both were long time vegetarians and very into wheatgrass shots and carrot juice way back in the 70’s before it was mainstream, so I was exposed to this lifestyle from a young age.

As I grew up, even though I had such non-traditional parents, I got caught in the trap of societal demands that so many young women fall pray to. I was yo-yo dieting, starving myself and unhappy with my body all through high school and beyond. Wanting to look like the cover of an airbrushed magazine, I was constantly trying to fit in and be that standard. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I was able to truly begin the healing process with food and body image. I found a book called Return to Love by Marianne Williamson and it shifted so much for me. I began to really show up for myself in new ways and one of those ways was feeding myself real food.

My healing led me to study raw food and become a personal trainer. I ended up moving to Santa Monica and working for my raw food hero Matthew Kenney. I taught raw food at his academy and helped to launch his online educational program. I learned so much with Matthew and his company. I was so inspired and knew that I needed to put my inspiration to work in my own way.

I wrote my first book Raw and Radiant shortly after leaving Matthew’s company and started Local Juicery soon after that. My little boy was about 9 months old when I started doing small pop-up shops around Sedona. I was still breastfeeding when we opened our doors to Local in 2015 and my dear mom who was caring for my son while I worked (sometimes 15+ hours a day) would bring him in to nurse 3-4 times a day. My husband was still finishing up his last stint in the military in Coronado, CA, so he would drive out to help and see us as often as he could, but for the first year I was really on my own with it all. It was a wild ride and now with a new baby again, I wonder where I got the energy to make it all happen! Passion I believe is the answer.

What’s a bit of insight you would share with yourself if you could go back in time? 

Your gut instinct is always right, follow it. It’s never let me down since the day I started to take it seriously.

What motivates and inspires you?

I feel so motived by my kiddos, they are such beams of light in my life and I want them to have a better world. I’m inspired and motivated to create a business and lifestyle that they (and all children) can benefit from.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

When someone stops me at the shops or sends me a message telling me how our food or recipes from my book have changed their life. Hearing peoples stories of healing and how we’ve fit into it warms my heart and reminds me that I’m on the right track.

What is the most challenging thing you encounter as a mother pursuing her passions? 

Finding time for everything! Prioritizing is very challenging, I have to get things done for the business and I also recognize that my children are the most precious important beings in my life, knowing this and still having deadlines is really hard.

What advice would you share with another mother starting her own journey to follow her passion?

Make sure you have a support system in place. I wouldn’t have started Local without all the amazing people who supported me. Don’t burn yourself out, without you there is no business to start or dream to make come true.

What are some of your Favorites?

1. Can I say Local Juicery? It’s true, I get my Matcha solely from Local, it’s organic, stone ground, ceremonial and awesome! We just launched our own brand of Matcha. Now I make my matcha lattes at home when I can’t make it in to one of the shops!

2. For date night It’s typically Pizzicletta or Elote, great atmosphere, fun vibes!

3. We do a lot of hiking all around Sedona (we live in Sedona), and lot of creek time. We also try to get together with friends as often as possible!

4. I love doing Barre3 when I can, I hike a lot and love to run for exercise. I also love a good massage or facial, typically from Sedona New Day Spa or the Spa at Sedona Rouge. I get Alphbiotics weekly from Alice Dell in Sedona and I do Network Chiropractic with Lori Krauss in Sedona.

5. I love @cindydiprima she’s one of the founders of CAP beauty, a brand we carry at Local… her account is gorgeous. @tobemagnetic, I adore Lacy and all she offers. @themojomecca always is inspiring.