March 29th is National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day. Considering the year many small business owners have had, Spectrio wanted to celebrate them by asking our team members about their favorite homegrown shops, restaurants, and salons. If one of these businesses is in your backyard, we highly recommend dropping by!
Jupe’s Bar, Mesa, Arizona
“Steve and Renae English have owned this place for 38 years…it looks like your grandfather’s basement from 1972–literally, the carpet has not been changed since that date and it shows. Cheap drinks, friendly clientele, easy-going Vikings bar with a storied history…best of all, if you stop in on any Saturday from 1030 to 6pm, I am tending bar! I am good friends with the English family, especially Steve and daughter-in-law, Cindy, and her husband, Chris, who is also a bartender there. Steve and Renae have held fundraisers for the local veterans, golf tournaments to benefit the family of a deceased former regular client, and events to help raise money for my son’s high school baseball team. They have really had it rough since the pandemic but the community has kept them afloat. They don’t accept credit cards and are so low key they don’t even have a website!”
Venus Nail Lounge, Clearwater, Florida
“I used to go to the owner when she had the nail salon in the Walmart near me in Land O Lakes. She then purchased a store in Palm Harbor which I followed her to. Then she moved to the location in Clearwater now where I have been going for about a year. Val has been in the industry for 20 years now. She has a lot of knowledge in the industry and cares about people. She is always willing to help anyone and puts her customers first. Her employees are always so friendly and know their craft too. It is important to me that I go somewhere that doesn’t make me feel or just trying to get my money. Their business must be friendly, clean, inviting and pleasant to be in since you may be there for several hours depending on the services you are getting. Val & her team does all that and more. They will always go the extra mile to make sure you look pretty when leaving there.”
Metropolitan Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
“Metro is an art, movement, and dance community space run by women for everyone. It was born by identifying the importance of artistic self-expression, the representation of marginalized communities, and the need for an inclusive and safe space. It is open for classes, rehearsals, markets, meetings, and private, public, and corporate events. The studio houses two other businesses: The Candybox Revue: an ensemble troupe that redefines Burlesque entertainment by challenging society’s perspective on what is worthy of being represented in performing arts. CBR showcases individual diversity, supports heartfelt causes, consistently raises the bar and showcases performers of all body types, abilities, ethnicities, and experiences as proud individuals and entertainers. The Atlanta School of Burlesque teaches that Burlesque is accessible to everyone.”
The Batchmaker, Charlotte, North Carolina
“This bakery is a favorite among so many in Charlotte and was taken over by horrible flooding in November and they had to shut down. They have been unable to find a new space until now and will be able to re-open in August! It is run by a local woman and mother originally from Honduras. She is amazing and has such a heart for her customers and her yummy treats. So glad she is able to re-open after such a disaster.”
Waffle That!, Tulsa, Oklahoma
“A black-owned breakfast and brunch restaurant. The founder of this small business, Roy, capitalized on a growing trend, the natural pairing of fried chicken and waffles. Starting off as a food truck, the young entrepreneur now has two brick and mortar restaurants. I consider myself a chicken and waffle connoisseur. Wherever I eat, if it’s on the menu I’ll probably order it. For a while I began to think the dish had plateaued – that I could no longer be excited for it – until I tried theirs at Waffle That! They truly elevated the combo to new heights. Their wings also SLAP!”
Enchiladas Y Mas, Austin, Texas
“They are famous for their delicious food and extremely strong margaritas! Seriously, they limit you to 3. A family run business that treats regulars like family. They affectionately call my husband Rich “güero” whenever he visits. It closed during Covid-19 and the brothers that owned it decided it was time for them to retire anyway. Luckily, their daughters were able to buy the business and recently reopened–thank you Carmen and Eva! They did a few upgrades before re-opening, but assured their regulars that their margarita recipe wouldn’t change!”
No matter where you call home, we hope you’ll consider visiting a local business and supporting them in some small way today. Cheers to all the Mom & Pop shops!