‘Made in Tempe’ tracks city’s entrepreneurial past, present
Story by Kris Baxter-Ging
Most think of Tempe as the home of Arizona
State University, Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue,
but it’s also a base for hundreds of manufacturing
companies, ranging from hot sauce to heart
Starting this month, Tempe History Museum
wants to honor these entrepreneurial companies’ role
in the city’s growth and progress.
Museum staff plan to launch Made in Tempe, a
new exhibition chronicling the accomplishments of
these companies, from the earliest manufacturing at
the Hayden Flour Mill to the night-vision systems at
The event opens at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8,
featuring music by Tempe-based band Bears of
Visitors will get to sample products, such as
DeCio Pasta, made by participating companies and
attend a ribbon cutting by the Tempe Chamber of
Commerce at about 6 p.m.
The exhibition features items from about 40
companies that were manufactured, constructed or
formed in Tempe, either now or historically.
Tempe was once a farm town that relied
primarily on agricultural products. Today, the city
produces a well-rounded inventory of products,
ranging from foods to high tech gear.
The approximately 1,000-square-foot exhibition
runs through next August.
“Researching and interviewing and
photographing the more than 30 modern vendors
for this exhibit has been delightful,” museum exhibit
coordinator Dan Miller said.
“From rhubarb jam to prosthetic feet, Tempe
makes a bit of everything. Comparing this to the
first manufacturers shows just how far the city has
Tempe Historic Society will provide light
refreshments to go with the product sampling at the
Exhibiting companies include:
Foods — Sun Orchard, Cortez Coffee, 4 Peaks,
Laura’s Gourmet, DeCio Pasta, Sting N Linger Salsa,
Carolyn’s Classics, Great Harvest Bread Co., Crockett
Honey, Hayden Flour Mills and United Dairymen of
High Tech — Walter’s Precision Service, Inc.,
PADT (Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies),
Nivisys (Night Vision Systems), Ability Dynamics, KC
Wirefree and Medtronic.
Arts and Design — Kore Bikes, Slater
Sculpture, The Urban Commuter, State Bicycle Co.,
Meltdown Glass Art and Design, AM&E (Arizona
Manufacturing & Embroidery), Rolling Art Custom
Paint, Eliane’s Bistro, Evolution Motorcycles,
Heather and Fred Studios, Bollinger Atelier, Gore
Design and Jewelsmith.
Tempe History Museum is at 809 E. Southern
Avenue, Tempe. Admission is free.