From bakeries to breweries to clothing boutiques, the streets of Tempe are lined with successful and widely adored woman-owned businesses that contribute to the lifeblood of the bustling town. Check out 18 of Tempe’s most treasured woman-owned outposts.
A dozen years ago, Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung opened their first Sweet Republic location—and the artisan shop has been on the top of every Arizona ice cream lover’s list ever since. Though you’ll find classics like Belgian chocolate and Madagascar vanilla, Sweet Republic doesn’t shy away from more unique offerings, like honey lavender, Irish whiskey and red bean on its rotating list of flavors.
Husband-and-wife duo Jeff and Leah Huss founded Huss Brewing in 2013 and has since paved the way to become one of Arizona’s largest independent brewers. At its taproom and brewery in Tempe, beer lovers can choose from 24 brews on tap including rotating Huss favorites, like Scottsdale Blonde and Copper State IPA.
From chef and owner Yupha Dequenne, Yupha’s Thai Kitchen not only specializes in delicious, authentic cuisine but also environmental responsibility. From biodegradable to-go containers to the hiring of an independent private recycling company, Chef Yupha is continually finding new opportunities for sustainability.
The name Tracy Dempsey is synonymous with desserts in the Valley. Her lip-smacking line of packaged boutique confections is available at Sphinx Date Palm & Pantry, GenuWine, Twisted Union Wine Co. and Callaghan Vineyards, to name a few, while her desserts are on the menu at Garage-East, The Market by Jennifer’s and AZ88. TDOriginals and ODV Wines in Tempe dishes up desserts, breakfast items and weekly meal specials and wine pick-up Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (curbside and in-store shopping appointments are available).
Jason and Amy Silberschlag founded the flagship Cartel Coffee Lab in 2008—in Tempe. More than a decade later, the widely adored coffee shop has 10 locations in Arizona and beyond, including one at Maple and Ash. Cartel even has a subscription service so beans can be delivered to a caffeine fiend’s front door weekly.
A beloved dining spot for the last 30 years in the heart of Downtown Tempe, House of Tricks boasts one of the Valley’s most alluring patios. The restaurant—a charming, remodeled 1920’s cottage—is owned by Robert and Robin Trick, a married couple who met while working at Tempe-based The Bandersnatch Pub in the 80’s.
After opening two successful Daily Dose locations, Matt and JenLyn Long recently launched its third outpost, Daily Dose Rio Salado near Tempe Marketplace. Whether your a.m. meal needs over-the-top pancakes and specialty cocktails or veggie-packed, good-for-you grub, Daily Dose has a dish to dig into.
From its small-batch from-scratch kitchen, Sweetest Season dishes up breakfast, brunch, lunch and an array of—as its name suggests—tasty treats, like gorgeous cakes, pain au chocolat and cinnamon rolls, from Chef Melody Elkin. Chef Melody co-owns the Tempe restaurant and bakery alongside her husband, Todd.
Located on the northwest corner of McClintock and Warner, Donna Smith’s Red Apron Bakeshop specializes in divine desserts for all occasions, from stunning wedding cakes to Rice Krispy treats to mind-blowing brownies. The bakery’s cakes are in such high demand that a two- to three-week pre-order is required.
Instagram, meet Mango Rabbit, from owner Peggy Huang. Not only are Mango Rabbit’s selection of boba teas and bubble waffles picture perfect, but each menu item is handcrafted and made-to-order with fresh ingredients. Keep a close eye on Mango Rabbit’s social media for a look at fun seasonal releases.
Touting “inexpensive excellence,” Curry Corner—which was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”—has made a name for itself by using fresh, healthy and wholesome ingredients, whipped up and served in fast takeaway form. Farah Khalid’s menu spotlights a wide range of curry dishes made from unique family recipes.
For more than 12 years, 24 Carrots has showcased incredible botanically inspired cuisine in its wide array of homemade pastries, juices, smoothies, coffees, teas and from-scratch all-day dishes from Sasha Raj. From Raj’s seasonal tacos to creamy Mac & Trees dish, even meat eaters can’t get enough of 24 Carrots and its flavor-packed plates.
Via signature dishes like oxtails and jerk chicken, Caribbean Queen (formerly Caribbean Spice) dishes up a blend of authentic cuisines from Guyana, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica and more. Not only will taste buds be transported thanks to owner and executive chef Jade Lotty’s exquisite eats, but diners feel right at home in the modern, chic atmosphere.
There likely isn’t a single local bookworm who hasn’t spent hours flipping through pages upon pages at Changing Hands. The independent bookstore was founded by Gayle Shanks and Tom Broderson in Tempe in 1974 and is the Valley’s go-to to pick up new and used books and unique gifts and to enjoy more than 300 author events every year.
With a focus on junior and women’s bohemian-influenced apparel at an affordable price, Valley fashionistas flock to Oliva Verma Smith’s Creations Boutique at Tempe Marketplace. The boutique sells the company’s national brand, Angie, which is inspired by a global lifestyle and embodies a romantic spirit.
Family-owned, women-led Rocket a Go Go sells women’s and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories from big-name brands, as well as local art, that has been bought, sold and traded locally with customers. The shop, with owners RoseAna Dodge and Stormy Love at the helm, specializes in punk rock, retro and pin-up looks for the everyday as well as special occasions.
Give your pinkies a rest; Drink Me! Tea Room, from owner Melissa Harlan, offers a “modern twist on afternoon tea” in South Tempe. Alongside organic fragrant tea, imbibers also enjoy plant-based and gluten-free savories, scones and sweets in a whimsical setting.
A longtime Tempe treasure, Café Lalibela is a family-owned and -operated Ethiopian restaurant of nearly two decades. Owned by Atade Desta, Café Lalibela offers diners an authentic, aromatic and artful Ethiopian dining experience. The restaurant has even partnered with the likes of Whole Foods and Natural Grocers, where fans can find Café Lalibela’s products.