Buzzworthy: Tim Ummel shares his love of Arizona with Kierland eatery

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

The Buzz Eatery & Treats is aptly named.

Customers “buzz” in and out of the new addition to Kierland Commons.

The concept serves as a “hive” where shoppers, residents, neighbors and visitors can enjoy everything from a cup of coffee in the morning to a glass of wine in the evening.

Guests will also find craft beer on tap, wine, seasonal cocktails, and homemade “buzzy” popsicles for the kids (made with real sugar) and for the adults (made with an added “boozy” kick).

“There’s never been a place to get the buzz of the local community,” co-owner Tim Ummel says. “We have Arizona honey, granola, coffee — all the things indicative of the local community. I want to see the story of why Arizona is so amazing.”

The menu is buzzworthy as well. Beverages include what Ummel calls “unparalleled drip coffee,” espresso-based options, kombucha and cold press coffee on tap, botanical teas, nitro teas, and other seasonal sips including refreshing summertime lemonade and apple cider in the fall.

“We went really extensive with the beverage program,” Ummel says.

The menu is worth a mention, to say the least. The Buzz Breakfast offers a mélange of choices, including the build-your-own avocado toast ($6) with options like hard egg, tomato, strawberries, feta, goat cheese, crushed nuts, smoked salmon, onions, capers, hemp seeds or Arizona local honey. Except for salmon ($3) and hard egg ($1), the toppings are 50 cents.

“Hot and Fast” ($6 to $11) gives those in a rush exactly what they need. The Buzz Scramble (two scrambled eggs, applewood smoked bacon and toast) comes in a variety of combinations, including The DC Rancher (eggs, artisan ham and brie); meat lovers (bacon, artisan ham, imported prosciutto and sausage); Kierland Delight (mixed peppers, onion, squash and pepper jack cheese); and The Buzz breakfast sandwich (two scrambled eggs, bacon, white American cheese and mayo on a freshly toasted focaccia roll).

Besides breakfast items, “all-day faves” feature customizable acai bowls ($9); hot and cold sandwiches such as chicken salad, grilled cheese and BLT; soups and salads; and shareable “for-the-table” items such as Abby’s grilled cheese with honey and a charcuterie board with rosemary-infused garlic oil brushed over lavash bread ($14).

Those on the go can select a wide range of conveniently pre-packaged “Side Kicks” (many of which feature The Buzz’s own honey) such as overnight oats; salads from Greek to Caesar; classic sandwiches such as egg salad and smoked turkey; and “Buzz Bites” energy balls that come in a variety of flavors, with gluten-free and vegan options.

The Buzz’s atmosphere is bright, open and airy, with counter seating and indoor dining. A dedicated takeaway area ensures grab-and-goers can “buzz in and buzz out”and get exactly what they need in a timely fashion.

“It’s a completely new concept,” Ummel says. “It’s the first of its kind in the Southwest. We believe it’s a new take on grab and go. You buzz in and buzz out.”

With 6,000 doors of vertical living with Kierland Commons and Optima, among other developments, Ummel expects Buzz to make an impression in the neighborhood. Residents can swing by, have a few drinks and walk back home.

Ummel is schooled in the food and beverage industry. He has spent 25 years working for golf resorts and private clubs.

“I fell into it, to be honest,” he says. “I hailed out of Michigan. As with any great business, the team is what makes this a success.

“The Buzz is a convenient and casual place to dine, socialize with neighbors, enjoy a sweet indulgence with the kids, or grab a nourishing meal to take home or back to the office,” Ummel says.

“We have something for everyone and multiple options so guests can feel comfortable when they walk through our doors — whether they stay a while or simply ‘buzz in and buzz out.’”  

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