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Empower Coffee Roasters Starts Off Strong in Mesa, Arizona

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Inside the new Empower Coffee roasters coffee shop and roastery in Mesa. All images courtesy of Empower.

At its first brick-and-mortar retail location in Mesa, Arizona, Empower Coffee Roasters is balancing a business model that offers high-quality coffee while also supporting and inspiring girls and women. 

The cozy 700-square-foot shop houses the roastery, a small kitchen and a front-of-house seating area, where cheerful geometric shapes and potted plants reinforce Empower’s packaging on the retail shelves. Across the wood-surfaced bar, guests can grab espresso-based drinks, hot and cold brews, and pastries. 

Empower Coffee – Additional Products-42

“Our cafe is 100% vegan,” Empower Coffee Co-Founder and Roaster Zach Gamza recently told Daily Coffee News. “We’re also compostable, so we’re trying to create a vibe of nature.”

Since its inception, Empower has directed 5% of its sales to nonprofits supporting women and girls through education, career development or other ways. The brand has prioritized women-led and community-oriented suppliers, while also seeking to do business with women-run companies in Arizona.

Green coffees primarily come through Cafe Femenino and Cafe Imports before heading to a new Roest sample roaster and a 5-pound production roaster made by Arizona company Buckeye Coffee Roasters.

BC Roaster

Zach Gamza said his primary goal is simply not to destroy any of the desirable characteristics or flavors that might be inherent to each of the green coffees.

“All I can really do is make the coffee worse. I can only screw it up,” Gamza said. “My first goal is to do no harm, and really make sure the bean is what’s being highlighted, because that’s where all the real work went in, to farm those beans.”

Married business partners Zach and Denise Gamza founded Empower Coffee in 2020. The two previously lived in New York, where Zach Gamza worked for the state legislature, before relocating to Arizona so Denise Gamza could pursue her Ph.D in analytical chemistry at Arizona State University, where she also later earned an MBA. 

Today, the couple’s work in the coffee industry involves a compelling combination of science, business and social causes.


Empower Coffee Roasters Founders Zach and Denise Gamza.

In Arizona, Empower has partnered with an organization called Live and Learn, which helps young women overcome generational poverty through education and career opportunities. Empower has also collaborated in numerous capacities Arizona’s Go With The Flow, which provides sanitary products for girls in school.

The original vision for the coffee brand — including lots of in-person community-building and education events — was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet now with their very own space, the Empower owners are maintaining an open-door philosophy. 


“The focus right now is getting the cafe to expand awareness of our brand,” said Gamza. “During COVID, our whole plan for doing a lot of classes and things like that really went out the window because we just didn’t have the capabilities of having everyone gather. The good thing about having this facility that we just opened up now, is that we’re finally ready to get people in.”

Empower Coffee Roasters is located at 1337 S Gilbert Road, Suite 120, in Mesa. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here

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