Sweet Kicks coffee, boba and streetwear boutique in Tempe is a part of the cultural renaissance occurring in the state of Arizona. The unique store was founded by Jimmy Song earlier in 2018 after him and his wife merged their mutual passions for hype culture and coffee shops.
“My wife and I owned a boba shop in the west side of Phoenix for a couple of years inside a mall. We just did drinks,” Song said. “We eventually sold the boba shop. My wife came up with the idea to just go all in and set up our own shop. We were actually just going to do a coffee and boba, but my garage got full of all my shoes and streetwear so my wife said, ‘throw it in there. Let’s see what happens.’”
Since then, Sweet Kicks has established itself as one of the most versatile businesses in Tempe as it caters to a variety of customers. Specifically, Arizona State University students.
Irvin Robles, a civil engineer major at ASU, mentions the atmosphere that a place like Sweet Kicks brings, especially with him being a hype and sneaker fanatic.
“It’s a whole different experience,” Robles said. “It’s nice having a place like this that’s unique to us younger sneakerheads and resellers who just want to be a part of the culture.”
Song also talked about how the demographic of his clientele keeps him on his toes.
“At first I thought half of my customers would be international students and the other half would be American students. One week, I’ll have nothing but international students. Next week, it’s nothing but Americans,” Song said.
In addition to that, Song mentions how Sweet Kicks is more than just selling the hottest sneaker or that latest pieces from the recent Supreme collection. It’s about the experience. That very philosophy even trickles down to some of his employees who might not be too familiar with the culture but appreciate it just the same.
Daisy Morales, who worked for Song back in the old coffee shop, talked about insight as someone that is still learning about streetwear, hype and the people that make it all happen.
“Before here, I never really paid attention to all the kinds of shoes. It’s cool to see and work around it, Morales said. “It’s a completely different language. I’m learning about it every day.”
At the end of the day, whether you’re a passionate sneakerhead, a lover of boba and traditional Asian drinks or a fan of the multifaceted lifestyle that dominates the streets, Song wants to ensure his costumers feel at home in his shop.
“I want people to come here and have them know that they don’t have to buy to experience the culture,” he said. “Come with your friends, have a dessert, chill, look at some stuff and just vibe out.”
Sweet Kicks is located in Tempe, AZ. at 937 E. Broadway Rd. and can be reached at via Instagram here.