Meet the people behind Sedona’s ‘Shop Local’ message



November 4, 2022


There’s no place like home for the holidays. That is true in so many ways in Sedona, where we can add unique shopping to our list of holiday delights.

We encourage you to shop local each year to support Sedona businesses and keep your sales tax dollars in town. Balancing the economy with our environment, lifestyle and visitor experience — the heart of sustainable tourism — is crucial to sustaining the 10,000 local jobs that provide for thousands of area households. Shopping locally helps keeps businesses going and people employed.

But the human story is behind the storefronts, where our friends and neighbors work hard every day to make Sedona’s economy hum. At our October Annual Meeting, we saluted dozens of businesses that have been Chamber partners for decades, many family owned. Today, I’ll share a few stories of people you may know, or are possibly meeting here for the first time.

The Sedona roots of Uptown’s Oaxaca Restaurant and Rooftop Cantina date to the 70s, around the time they became Chamber partners. Today, workers thrive in the family atmosphere created by owners Carla and Mark Butler. Hours are always flexible, so staff happily cover for anyone who has an emergency. Many workers have been there for decades; you will even find parent/child combinations. Mark and Carla are sustainability certified, using energy-efficient kitchen appliances, conserving water in everything from dishwashing to irrigation and insisting on green cleaning products.

At Sedona Eye Care on Soldiers Pass Road, Dr. Serge Wright is a Sedona fixture. President of the Sedona 30 and a longtime pillar of the Lions Club, he was a crucial asset to the formation of the Sedona Oak Creek School District and the founding of Red Rock High School. Serge and his wife Kathy, a registered nurse, and former Mingus Union High School district board member, can recall the early days when their home fax machine — rare then — served as the district’s official fax number. Their daughter, Optometrist Kendra Ivy, was part of Red Rock High School’s first graduating class and works with her dad at the clinic today.

You’ve seen The Humiovi in Uptown for decades, and you may know Bob and Ann Robinson, who have owned the store since 1994. Named for the Hopi word meaning ‘little seed that sprouts,’ the Robinsons have longstanding ties with the outstanding artists from whom they buy direct. Licensed by the tribe, their inventory includes unique kachinas and Hopi jewelry, as well as Navajo goods. Today’s Humiovi staff is four generations deep, with Bob and Ann’s daughters, granddaughter and even a young great-granddaughter working at the store.

Joel Oestmann opened Bark n’ Purr Pet Care Center northwest of the airport in 1976. When he and business partner Jana married in 1979, Jana took over the grooming end of the business, and the rest is history. These animal lovers care for cats and dogs, handling grooming and boarding. Since working at a veterinary clinic in high school, Joel’s desire to care for animals has only deepened. They have been Chamber partners for 42 years.

There are dozens of Sedona stories like these — but remember that by shopping local this holiday season, you’re connecting with deeply rooted neighbors who define who we are, and those who have earned — and continue to earn — your patronage. We made it easy to find local businesses. Check out our Business Directory at, conveniently organized by category.

Happy holidays, and happy (local) shopping!


Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau