Aroma Café focuses on Philippines 2009 Project

By Curtis Riggs | April 22, 2009

Helping to start school libraries
CAREFREE – Although the Aroma Café will be closed this summer, it does not mean café proprietor Tina Davis and her daughter Sophia will be taking a luxurious and relaxing vacation.

Aroma cafeIn fact it will be just the opposite. Davis, a team leader for the Developing Nations Library Project at Scottsdale First Assembly Church, and Sophia will be traveling to Tables, an island in the Romblon area of the Philippines. Their mission will be to see that six palettes of old high school textbooks arrive safely at a high school, which has virtually no books for its 1,500 students.

This is the Davis’ and the church group’s third trip to the Philippines to render aid to the needy nation. They began on a trip to build a church there three years ago. Last year they took over textbooks for another high school and met the principal of the high school they will be delivering to this year.

“We recognized the extreme need in the national high schools,” Tina said. Bare library shelves are common in the nation where the average daily wage is $2 a day. “The need is so great used paperback textbooks can be very effective.”

Tina sees undertaking such a large project as important because, “There are answers to social problems inside each of us. Usually the problem is much larger than any one of us,” she said. “The solution requires community – people gathering together to help people while loving each other and our neighbors in the process.”

According to Tina, the best way for people to help the Philippines 2009 Project are to give money, which can be used for shipping, library supplies and the few computers the church team intends to take to the high school this year. Schools, churches and other organizations can do a book drive to collect books to be delivered. Books can also be dropped off at the Aroma Café Library in the lower level of Los Portales Mall in downtown Carefree.

People wanting to help with the Philippines project can e-mail Davis at aromacafe@ They can also access the church website, www., and click on the SFA Library project icon.

“Because our culture is changing in the way it gets its information, we feel the project is green in its orientation and very helpful to a place, which has no phones or electricity,” Tina said.

Sophia calls the trips to the Philippines “eye opening,” but not only because they afford chances to do things such as ride on the roof of a Jeepney down a rugged jungle road or interact with the natives in the sweltering heat and humidity of an island nation.
“Here, books are in abundance and they are taken for granted,” said Sophia, a student at Arizona State University. “There, to see such a lack of resources makes you thankful and appreciate what you have here.”

Tina, Sophia and the rest of their 11-member church team will leave for the Philippines in early July.

Photo: Aroma Café owner Tina Davis, right, and her daughter Sophia will be delivering six palettes of high school textbooks to a high school in the Philippines this summer.
Photo by Curtis Riggs

"Perfectly uncivilized" Thieves Market experience debuts

April 22, 2009

In downtown Cave Creek on May 2
CAVE CREEK – Compulsive collectors and savvy shoppers are invited to experience the Thieves Market, a first-ever outdoor shopping experience taking place in the heart of downtown Cave Creek, on Saturday, May 2 from 7 a.m. – noon.

Whether you're looking for something retro, indie, western or mid-century modern, the street fair taking place along Cave Creek's main thoroughfare offers something for everyone.

The public is invited to come for the great deals and near-steals on everything from psychic readings to antique, unique one-of-a-kind finds. Shoppers are encouraged to park their cars and stroll Cave Creek Road, west of School House Road, where sellers will meet buyers with wares that can't be found elsewhere in the Valley.

"This is not your granny's flea market," said spokesman Kim Brennan. "Thieves Market is an experience that only a place as funky as downtown Cave Creek can offer. Vendors are ready to part with their collections, antiques and hidden treasures. Our emphasis is on the hand crafted and the unique, not the mass produced."

Organizers wanted an alternative to the cookie-cutter arts and crafts fairs being produced around the Valley.

"Cave Creek offers the perfect blend of shopping, scenery and originality. It's just a short drive from north from Phoenix or Scottsdale, yet it's like stepping away from civilization. We like to refer to it as perfectly uncivilized. Thieves Market is a reflection of that spirit."

Thieves Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month.

For more information, visit, contact Kim Brennan at 602-882-1662, or e-mail

Thieves Market was established in 2009, by independent Cave Creek women business owners, for the purpose of increasing the success of local retailers and supporting independent business worldwide.

For more information visit or call 602-882-1662.