Whereas Denise Napolitano was finishing her Grasp of Enterprise Administration and Ph.D. in chemistry at Arizona State College, her husband, Zach Gamza, was busy roasting espresso beans at their home.
Empower Espresso Roasters, open since April in Mesa, combines these separate efforts.
“As soon as my husband bought a roaster and set it up in our storage, I began to understand espresso extra, as a result of plenty of it’s chemistry,” Napolitano says. “We’d give espresso to our household for vacation presents and everybody appeared to love it. That is why we determined to start out a espresso store.”
To make clear, their east Valley roastery is a retail store for espresso beans and chilly brew — not a restaurant that brews and serves these beans. And it is solely 5 hours per week, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to three p.m.
Initially, Napolitano and Gamza deliberate to construct a following by promoting their beans at farmers’ markets and pop-ups.
“We had been hoping to serve espresso at weekend occasions for non-profits like Costume for Success, and be part of the schooling there, along with internet hosting instructional occasions at our personal store,” Napolitano says.
When COVID-19 hit, Empower pivoted, counting on on-line gross sales and social media to get its message out.
It is grown regardless of the pandemic, partly as a consequence of its relationships with accomplice organizations like Go With The Circulate, which supplies lower-income Phoenix and Tucson colleges with menstrual hygiene merchandise. Empower donated 5 % of its gross sales to Go With The Circulate in June.
“Once we partnered with Denise, she did numerous showcasing of our group on social media and vice versa,” says Demetra Presley, Go With The Circulate’s government director. “We let folks know in the event that they wished to kill two birds with one stone, they may buy espresso from her to assist a brand new enterprise that’s women-owned whereas additionally supporting our work and our mission on the again finish.”
Presently, Empower is donating 5 % of its gross sales to Stay & Be taught AZ, a nonprofit that helps ladies break the cycle of generational poverty, via the top of October. Napolitano says they intention to empower women and girls by shopping for beans from women-owned farms, offering schooling to women in STEM fields, and supporting native nonprofits that assist ladies obtain monetary independence.
Empower sells two single-origin roasts onsite: El Tambo, a medium roast from Colombia, and Tega & Tula, a light-weight roast from Ethiopia. A 64-ounce chilly brew growler can be accessible in both selection. Free native supply is obtainable within the east Valley, however if you need chilly brew, you will want to choose it up on the store. Empower additionally presents weekly and month-to-month subscriptions with a 10 % low cost for espresso die-hards.
“My favourite half is that with all of their merchandise, you recognize you might be giving again to sources empowering ladies,” says Eshani Sharma, who grew to become a daily buyer after visiting the store final month. “The issues you might be shopping for are ethically sourced, and your cash goes to a great place, not a giant company.”
Empower Coffee Roasters
1337 South Gilbert Highway, #120, Mesa
Hours: 10 a.m. to three p.m., Tuesdays