Image via Shutterstock
Image via Shutterstock

Need a last-minute Father’s Day gift? Check out one of these 10 independently owned stores in Arizona.

If you really want to make the dad in your life feel good this Father’s Day, consider helping to support some of Arizona’s independently owned businesses. 

The past year has been particularly rough on them: According to the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse survey, 65% of small businesses in Arizona reported experiencing at least a moderate negative effect due to the pandemic, with nearly 23% feeling a large negative impact. 

Check out these local spots to show Dad you really do listen to him—and care about more than whether the Suns make it to the Finals.

Help Him Beat the Heat With These Hot Sauces?

For many husbands and fathers, cooking is their way of relaxing on the weekend and sharing their passions with the rest of the family. So why not help out with a few local hot sauces to add to Sunday’s barbecue? 

If you’re out in the West Valley, stop by the Ass Kickin’ Gift Shop in Goodyear: The name attests to both the strength of the sauces and the donkeys cared for at the plant. 

Their top flavors include chile lime, ghost pepper, carolina reaper and their original flavor with habanero and serrano peppers. There are also a number of other giftable snacks, such as spicy popcorn, spicy peanuts and spicy jelly beans if sauce alone isn’t enough. 

Another local company, Big Red’s, is a Black-owned hot sauce company based out of Phoenix. Founded in 2011 by Paul and Tasia Ford, some of their top sauces have names like “God’s Wrath” and “3 King’s” that will make any meal heavenly (or hellish). You can find their sauces at numerous local farmers markets around the Valley if you want to continue restocking past Father’s Day.

Drinks On You

Dad may prefer to kick back and relax after work with a drink in his hand. Show him you get it by introducing him to a new beer made right here in Arizona at a number of local breweries.
One such place is the SanTan Brewery in Chandler, one of the largest breweries in the state, which offers a number of year-round and seasonal options. Some of their brews include an Arizona-style Lager, an Arizona wheat ale named HefeWeizen and a summer pineapple ale. SanTan drinks can be found at your local supermarket or on their website. 

If you think Pops would appreciate a chill Saturday afternoon out in downtown Phoenix or Gilbert, head to one of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company’s beer gardens. It was named the top new brewery in the world by Ratebeer.com in 2013, so it’s definitely worth a visit. 

The Gift of Nostalgia Goes a Long Way With Vinyl

You know how dads are when it comes to music: Help him enjoy all of his favorite tunes with gifts from local, independent record shops. Whether he is already a vinyl fan or just getting into it, a gift from one of these shops can get him hooked or even further his interest. 

Grand Avenue Records, unsurprisingly located on Grand Avenue, opened in 2016 under DJ Konstadinos “Cocoe” Tsimahidis and has a wide selection of hip-hop, jazz, electronic, soul, and more. 

If you want to support both a local business and local artists, you can find both at Stinkweeds in central Phoenix. The shop has been around since 1987 when Kimber Lanning—then 19—opened the shop. Now on Central and Camelback, the store offers all sorts of genres and highlights musicians from here in Arizona.

Give Him Permission to Nerd Out

If Dad is a bit of a geek, help him embrace that. There are plenty of locally owned places around the Valley where you can get comics, video games, movies, or anything in between. 

Samurai Comics has four locations—Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Glendale— where you can find a range of comic book genres and comic memorabilia for Dad. 

If you’re looking for more than just comics, check out Zia Records, where you can get any number of new, used and rare pieces of nerd culture or even trade in some of Dad’s old things while you’re there. There are six locations throughout Arizona, five around Phoenix and one in Tucson. 

Book Him Some Alone Time

If your dad is more introverted, head to an independent bookstore to get him a thoughtful page turner.

One of our favorites is Lawn Gnome Publishing, right on Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix. The shop has a large collection of books, new and used, as well as works published by Lawn Gnome itself. And if Dad has a creative side, there are frequent poetry slams held with open submissions. 

Another option is The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, which has been around for 31 years. Sign him up for one of their subscription book clubs for a gift that keeps on giving.