Rocket Fizz
Gone are the days when kids would pop by the local candy shop for penny candies and licorice whips on their way home from school. Now, they're more likely to be purchasing iPhone apps than Hershey bars. But we still can get our nostalgia fix at Rocket Fizz, where owners Brad and Kim Fry and their kids offer up Gobstoppers, saltwater taffy, and Twix bars with as much zeal as Sammy Davis Jr.'s Candy Man. The Frys stock more than 600 varieties of pop (we don't dare use the modern vernacular of "soda" here), including Brain Wash cola, Flathead Lake huckleberry, and the many crazy flavors of Jones Soda Co. You'll also find a ton of old-school and rare candies such as Bueno bars and Twin Bing. One look at the wall of saltwater taffy and the coolers of ice-cold birch beer and cola and it's hard not to squeal like, well, a kid in a candy store.
Have you noticed how all the cool parties have those DIY candy buffets, where you can fill cute bags and cups with brightly colored confections? Feeling as if you may not have the skills to pull it all together? That is where Chandler-based Couture Candy Co. comes in. They have it down and will do all the work for you. Think tables full of glass jars loaded with candy and colorful lollipops scattered about. If it involves candy and you want it looking cool, the best place in town to tap is Couture Candy Co.
Cupcake stands, you say? How very 2010 of you! The "it" way to serve up cupcakes is on floating, light-up, or suspended towers. Cake Hole Project is the combined brainchild of an architect and a surveyor. These funky contemporary designs come in all shapes and sizes, from tabletop models to twirling, ceiling-mounted numbers. Throwing a small tea for four? No problem, because Cake Hole Project has displays for eight cupcakes. For bigger bashes, the company makes crazy towers for up to 40 cupcakes. Have something else in mind? Reach out to these creatives, because they offer custom designs too. Cupcake lovers, unite!
ABC Cake Decorating Supplies
If you like to decorate cakes and cupcakes or make homemade candy — or you've seen Ace of Cakes and you're curious — then ABC Cake Decorating is the place in town to stock up on the goods you'll need. If you are in the advanced category, you can buy your gel colors and frosting tips here, and if you are a total novice you can stock up on cheater supplies, such as plastic toppers to just shove into the icing and be done with it. Either way, or somewhere in between, this is a fun place to browse for confection ideas.

Best Place to Sell Your Cake (Plate) and Buy One, Too

Kitchen Switchin'

Kitchen Switchin'
Kitchenware stores are toy stores in the eyes of any grownup who cooks or entertains. And just like toys — best loved when new and novel — appliances, gadgets and tabletop decor often end up collecting dust in our cupboards, hoarding premium storage and counter space. Say hello to Kitchen Switchin', a specialty kitchen consignment boutique. This is the place to unload your former kitchen treasure. Owner Christa Kent will buy your goods for cash or accept them on consignment. You can even track your sales online. Don't forget — you can buy, as well. The boutique is filled with small appliances, high-end cookware, kitchen tools, china and glassware. Housed in a Seventh Street bungalow, the goods, many still in original packaging, are neatly categorized and nicely displayed totally irresistible. That Christine Kent is one smart cookie.
Tuesday Morning
Every month, on a date sneaked to shoppers who've registered on Tuesday Morning's website, lines begin to form in the wee hours outside this cool clearance house. On these special days (and, yes, often they're Tuesdays), the store opens two whole hours early so that addicted shoppers can peruse the latest batch of discounted, high-end housewares and gift items. Cool chairs, swell bath towels and thousand-thread-count sheets, lovely oil paintings, and stacks of other another-man's-treasures make this a shopping staple among fans of a good deal. We hear that really familiar faces who don't have e-mail can leave their name and number with one of the friendly staff members, who will telephone to remind them when the next special sale is about to commence. Another reason to get up early, at least once a month!
Phoenix Knife House
Phoenix Knife House is a knife connoisseur's dream. This cutlery company specializes in Japanese knives and carries many blades that the layman probably can't even pronounce. PKH carries a variety of knives from Masahiro, the foremost manufacturer of primo kitchen knives in Japan, along with Fujiwara kanefusa (namesake kitchen knives made by a family known for sword-making for the past 500 years), and Kikuichi knives (made by another family known for sword-making — specifically, samurai swords). Phoenix Knife House also carries "Western-style" Japanese kitchen knives from Misono (many made of silver and nickel, with beautiful wooden handles) and Sugimoto knives, high-quality carbon steel and chromium pieces used by discerning chefs. If you're looking for something cheap, this isn't the place to go (knives run anywhere from $75 to several hundred dollars each), but if you're looking for kitchen knives that will impress your guests at dinner parties, Phoenix Knife House has what you need.
Brewers Connection
Operating since 1993, Brewers Connection has been the leader in home-brewing advocacy since before it was cool to brew your own brew. The knowledgeable staff makes the complex nuances of home fermentation easily digestible for even the novice brewmeister or wine maker. On top of that, Brewers Connection is the largest warehouse supplier of home fermentable ingredients in the state, so you are guaranteed to find whatever you are looking for. Be on the lookout for owner Jeffery. He's always down to help and he has a pretty sweet 'stache, to boot.
You've probably seen the boxy, clear-glass bottles of Sonoran 200 sitting on the shelves of your local place's beer section before, and maybe you even thought about buying one. Then you saw the price tag. "$25 for a beer?" you thought. "Preposterous!" Which it may well be — for a beer. But Sonoran 200 — made with pure agave nectar and aged on oak for six months — is 40-proof and tastes like butterscotch tequila maple donuts. What it does not taste like is beer. Pour it into a snifter, drop in an ice cube or two and sip, cordially.
Whole Foods Market
We'll say it: Phoenix has beer culture on tap. While there is no shortage of places to buy brew, one place has a selection that can't be beat: Whole Foods in Chandler. Whether you're looking for a Session six-pack or a 750-milliliter bottle of Dogfish Head Sah'tea, you'll find it fresh and reasonably chilled for instant imbibing. And if you like a nosh with your beer, you could do a lot worse than grabbing a BBQ sandwich or some sushi from Whole Foods. One wonders why you would ever need to leave.

Best Of Phoenix®

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