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  • Penny Hieb

Shop Talk at The Henry's Coffee Bar (XV) with Realtor Kimberly Salazar

The outside world may have been edgy with thoughts of the coronavirus, but there was no sign of that slowing business at The Henry's Coffee Bar (XV) when I arrived to meet Valley Realtor Kimberly Salazar Saturday morning at the establishment's Arcadia location. Baristas and staff were in dynamic motion: crafting coffee drinks, delivering orders to tables, and diligently sanitizing surfaces, all while greeting patrons with welcoming words and warm smiles. You'd hardly know there was a pandemic amidst, save for the large dispensers of hand sanitizer stationed at the coffee bar, increased disinfection of public spaces at The Henry, and the murmuring of patrons discussing the latest round of implausibly sold out items at the local Costco.

I arrived to find that business was as brisk as usual inside The Henry's light filled and tastefully decorated interior. Immediately in front of XV's doorway is their elegantly appointed coffee bar with a gleaming La Marzocco Strada espresso machine proudly perched on the pristine white countertop, signaling The Henry's serious commitment to craft coffee. The La Marzocco Strada is a sleek, low profile Italian designed appliance engineered with the input of thirty of the world's finest coffee professionals. It not only looks beautiful sitting atop The Henry's coffee bar, it also equips the baristas with the necessary technology to create incredibly delicious and precise espresso based beverages. Across from the coffee bar is a designated station for coffee accompaniments such as almond milk, half & half, and dairy. There is also nutmeg and cocoa available for sprinkling, in addition to packaged sweeteners for added flavoring options. The cafe sells one pound bags of its exclusive Forster & Burnett microlot coffee available in espresso and Columbia blends for $13.50 each in neat bins above the condiment station. The Henry's coffee is roasted in Scottsdale by Passport Coffee & Tea under the Forster & Burnett label. https://www.passportcoffee.com/# These special microlots feature barrel conditioned, direct trade coffee carefully selected to achieve a creamy, smooth flavor profile. I contacted Passport Coffee to investigate the secret behind barrel conditioned coffee. A sales representative explained that the coffee is placed in oak wine barrels for 48 hours prior to roasting, helping the beans absorb the flavors and moisture within the aged barrels.

I ordered an oat milk latte and sat in the elegantly appointed dining area directly behind the coffee bar, as I waited on Realtor Kimberly Salazar's arrival. The barista presented me with a gorgeously creamy beverage topped with what she described as "abstract art," to which I exclaimed, "isn't it just wonderful!" once I had a close inspection. My impressions of the taste and presentation? One word: delightful. It had an inherent sweetness despite the lack of added sweetener. It had a rich and velvety texture; I was in heaven cradling the ceramic mug and sipping the delicious beverage while ensconced in the charming setting of The Henry. Above me hung a trio of large chandeliers encased in weathered metals and antiqued glass. Against the interior wall were small tufted sofas and black metal chairs situated around circular marble tables. Vintage styled wallpaper adorned the adjacent wall with original art prints by John Randall Nelson ornately framed and hung in a carefully placed salon wall grouping. Nelson's art only appears naive and childlike, but it is, in fact, uniquely symbolic and layered. The art features multiple layers and obsessively edited components that dazzle the observer. Additional works by the Arizona artist are available on the 1stdibs website. https://www.1stdibs.com/creators/john-randall-nelson/art/paintings/

I was sitting across from Nelson's artwork at a large dark wood table that would not have been out of place in an Ivy League academic library. With classic tabletop lamps illuminating the surface and convenient plug ins for laptops, it was the perfect workspace for Realtor Kimberly Salazar to join me with her cappuccino. In person, Salazar is professional, impressive, and efficient, exuding the air of a successful and driven real estate professional. At the same time, she is pleasant and warm with a kind and approachable demeanor. She sat down and wasted no time accessing her beverage. Her immediate impressions of the foamy almond milk infused espresso drink in her hands were those of momentary sweetness, satisfying textures, and chocolatey notes. "I really like this. It is delicious," she offered with genuineness. So delicious, in fact, that Salazar would go out of her way in the future to get it again. With her evaluation complete, we turned our attention to her services as a Realtor.

First of all, it must be noted that Salazar is a Realtor and not simply a real estate agent. The term Realtor is a designation ascribed to real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Members must agree to comply with the seventeen different articles which encompass the Realtor Code of Ethics. The most important of these articles relates to the Realtor's strict obligation to be honest, first and foremost. It is paramount that an agent who holds the designation of Realtor put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own interests. Salazar proudly upholds this high level of integrity and provides clients with "attention to detail, a listening ear, professionalism, and market expertise." As an experienced Realtor she knows that "timing is everything," and captures all the new listings which come onto the market "as soon as they become active and present them quickly so my clients can make a decision on wanting to see it or not," she says. Salazar knows buyers are faced with a low inventory in the current market and advises potential buyers to be prepared with a pre-approval letter so they can submit a solid offer on a property.

Salazar shared with me that she loves helping people. "I really enjoy taking them through the entire sale or purchase process, answering their questions, and celebrating the end result," she says. Salazar specializes in mid market homes which range in price from $300,00 to $650,000 and works across the Valley. Most recently she has helped clients in Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley. She is keenly equipped to help sellers with expert market analysis and access to Professional Equity Assessment Reports. "Home prices in Arizona have increased year-over-year at nearly 6.5%, almost double the national average," she explains. Currently, it is considered a "seller's market" and Salazar says she "welcomes all clients who have the desire to price their home appropriately and who actually want their home to sell. Those that say they want to just throw it out there at a high list price to 'see what happens' are not the clients for me. I take pride in achieving the end result in as short of a time as possible. Overpricing is not ideal for anyone," she says.

Salazar has many strategies in place for her seller and buyer clients, strategies which have proven successful in today's competitive market. For sellers, she holds open houses until the property sells (at the client's convenience). She has an experienced team of licensed agents who work with her to market properties. For buyers, she makes certain they are properly prepared to make a purchase and walks them through the necessary steps of pre-approval and lender selection. She has additional tools at her disposal, but these are strategies she shares exclusively with her clients at Prime Market AZ. www.PrimeMarketAZ.com Salazar can be reached at KSalazarRealtor@gmail.com or at 602 531-7500. Salazar is committed to helping clients make the huge decision to buy or sell a home, and can expertly guide them through either process. I thanked Salazar for her thoughtful perspectives and detailed answers and wished her luck on the open house she was headed to. "Its a three bedroom, 1600 square foot house off Dunlap and Central," she shared. Apparently, the house is a new construction in an established area Salazar finds highly desirable to many buyers. With Salazar's representation, it is as good as sold.

I bid Salazar adieu and peppered the coffee bar's manager with a couple of quick questions. First of all, I wanted to know how to refer to the coffee bar. "We call it XV, and consider it a separate entity, but of course, part of The Henry, which is a Fox Restaurant Concept," XV manager Kyle Anthon shared with me. I asked him what drink he would recommend above all others at the cafe. "The most unique drink is the Go North. It is a double shot of espresso, with cocoa and cream, shaken and served neat and cold," he carefully described. Sounds wonderful, so I suppose I'll just have to return and try it for myself. To sample the Go North and the other delicious Forster & Burnett coffee selections available at XV, head to The Henry at 4455 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. For their hours, visit

https://www.thehenryrestaurant.com/

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