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Nothing delights us more than seeing people and places putting Northwest Arkansas on the map. The cool thing about this list is that you can actually visit each—trust us, you’ll be happy you did.
James Beard Nominated

Chef Rios, Yeyo's

The James Beard Foundation named Chef Rafael Rios, co-founder and executive chef of Yeyo’s Mexican Grill, a semifinalist in the 2020 Best Chef: South category. The James Beard Awards are one of the country’s most coveted honors for chefs and others in the food industry.

Yeyo’s has a food truck, a flagship restaurant at the 8th Street Market in Bentonville, a Mezcaleria &  Taqueria at the 1907 in downtown Rogers, and a catering business. They grow all of their produce on the Rios Family Farm and source their pigs and chickens from the Hanna Family Ranch, both a short drive from the downtown square in Bentonville.

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International Double Gold

Black Apple Hard Cider

Black Apple, Arkansas’ first cidery, recently competed in the 2020 New York International Cider Competition—and was one of only four to take home top honors out of 100+ cider submissions from 14 different countries. They received a Double Gold for their Blueberry Cider, a Gold rating for their Hibiscus Cider and a Bronze rating for their Semi-Sweet Cider.

Producing and canning its products alongside its taproom in downtown Springdale, Black Apple is on tap at more than 300 bars and restaurants around the state and will begin to distribute its canned products (blueberry, strawberry, hibiscus and semi-sweet) statewide in April 2020.

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International Double Gold

Black Apple Hard Cider

Black Apple, Arkansas’ first cidery, recently competed in the 2020 New York International Cider Competition—and was one of only four to take home top honors out of 100+ cider submissions from 14 different countries. They received a Double Gold for their Blueberry Cider, a Gold rating for their Hibiscus Cider and a Bronze rating for their Semi-Sweet Cider.

Producing and canning its products alongside its taproom in downtown Springdale, Black Apple is on tap at more than 300 bars and restaurants around the state and will begin to distribute its canned products (blueberry, strawberry, hibiscus and semi-sweet) statewide in April 2020.

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U.S. Champions

Onyx Coffee Lab

Once again, Onyx Coffee Lab showed out at the U.S. Coffee Championships, Andrea Allen took first place in the Barista Competition and Elika Liftee placed first in the Brewers Cup.

Onyx Coffee Lab, which was founded in Northwest Arkansas, ships their coffee worldwide and has physical locations in Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville. They have been recognized and featured in Gear Patrol, Sprudge, GQ and Thrillist, among others. They will compete at the World Coffee Championships in Melbourne, Australia in May—and we’ll be rooting them on, cup in hand.

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Oh, and if you haven’t heard, some people have been talking about a new contemporary arts space that just opened in Bentonville.

  • Galerie Magazine – How Arkansas Became an Unlikely Hotbed of Contemporary American Art
  • Hyperallergic – A Survey of American Art That Isn’t Just Coastal
  • Condé Nast – 9 Museum Openings Worth Planning Trips Around in 2020
  • Architectural Digest – This Former Cheese Factory Is Now a Leading Contemporary Arts Venue
  • Artsy – Crystal Bridges’s New Space the Momentary Targets Millennial Art Lovers
  • Art Net News – Crystal Bridges Made Arkansas a Hub for American Art. Can a New Offshoot Make It a Destination for Contemporary Work, Too?
  • Garden & Gun – A New Home For Art in Arkansas

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