Stephanie Vasquez is on a mission to empower her community through entrepreneurship.
Vasquez joined Venture Cafe Phoenix on Thursday September 22nd to discuss the success of her business, Fair Trade Cafe, and the adjacent project of hers, the AZ Mujeres Mercado.
Both projects are designed to foster a network of entrepreneurs supporting one another through their businesses.
Fair Trade Cafe, which Vasquez founded and owns, serves shade grown, organic fair trade coffee out of their Downtown Phoenix restaurant. Participating in the fair trade coffee business provides others involved in coffee production to get a more equitable share in the process – serving up “coffee with a conscience.” This is just one example of how she’s using business as a means to empower others.
Her next initiative, in junction with E.L.L.A., an Arizona based organization with a mission to help Latino women to thrive, was to create the Mujeres Mercado. Mercado stands for marketplace, and the organization has built what is now the largest outdoor Latina marketplace in Arizona!
“We have over ten businesses that have gone from pop up vendors to full throttle brick and mortar organizations,” Vasquez said. “If you’ve been to a market, and then if you’ve been to a Mercado, there’s a difference,” Vasquez chuckled.
Now, Mujeres Mercado has partnered with Local First to be a part of the 16th Annual Arizona Fall Fest. The Arizona Fall Fest is the largest certified local event that brings people and local businesses together. You can find out more about how to get involved with the collaboration here.
Follow Fair Trade Cafe on Instagram.
Follow AZ Mujeres Mercado on Instagram.
Follow AZ E.L.L.A on Instagram.
If you want to speak, or nominate a speaker, to come and share their story at Venture Cafe Phoenix please fill out this speaker application!
As always, see you next Thursday at 850 PBC. 5-7pm, free to attend, free parking, two free drinks!