Girl Power, Good Vibes and Natural Wine in Phoenix
Koral Casillas and Michela Ricci, owners of Monsoon Market, strive to bring a carefully-curated selection of the best natural wine, gifts and snacks to the Valley.
Tucked into the corner of an unassuming cluster of shops on Seventh Street and Osborn Road in Phoenix is Monsoon Market — a colorful, vibey, bodega-meets-boutique run by close friends Koral Casillas and Michela Ricci.
The market opened in November 2021, when the friends decided to leave their careers and make their shared dream of opening up a shop in Phoenix that offers local goods, natural wine and snacks a reality. The duo, who first met when working in coffee, spent time in other major cities around the country and became inspired by small boutiques that sold products that were nowhere to be found in the Valley. In addition to unique, hard-to-find products, it was important to them to also stock local favorites like Noble Bread, Wild Rye and Shift Caffeine.
"We wanted to focus on food and beverage because we felt that in the sea of amazing Phoenix boutiques, most of them were focused on clothing and beauty at the time," Casillas and Ricci said. "We ultimately decided to turn our love language into a shop — stocked with natural wine and other fun beverages, local bread, charcuterie essentials, olive oils, fresh flowers, fun gifts, cheeky greeting cards, smoke wear, candles and incense, the list goes on!"
Over a year since they first opened their doors, the market has been named one of the best non-alcoholic bottle shops in America by Wine Enthusiast and has quickly become not only an essential stop for finding the perfect gift, but a welcoming community hub.
Community, connection and good vibes guaranteed
For Ricci, who was born and raised in Phoenix, and Casillas, who has lived in Phoenix for over a decade, putting the community at the heart of the business was a no-brainer.
"We’re staying hyper-focused on the Phoenix customer and community," they said. "We have created a business that operates in a very intimate way business-to-business and with every person who walks into the market. In our opinion, how to live your values is the biggest lesson for any business owner to learn and to pay attention to that more than the illusion of success."
With this approach, the pair has found that they have been able to foster relationships with people throughout Phoenix, including artists and entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
"It’s a two-way conversation with our city, through its people, who inspire and motivate us everyday," they added.
As a women-owned, self-funded independent shop, Ricci and Casillas say they're all about empowering other women-owned businesses in the area and welcoming collaboration over competition.
"Our advice for female business owners is to brace yourself for impact, as the landing isn’t always smooth into a male dominated industry. Even when it’s difficult, we stick to the golden rule of treating others how you would like to be treated. It’s important to us to collaborate with and to champion women in the community who are doing good and leading by example."
Breaking out beyond the bodega
Aside from the awesome selection of products that Monsoon Market sells, the shop has expanded their offerings to include a monthly wine club subscription and more. Subscribers of their wine club, Natty & Nice, receive three of Ricci and Casilla's favorite natural wines and free snacks monthly. They also rent out their colorful space for private video and photoshoots, and offer services to assist with bulk wine purchasing and corporate gifting within any budget.
Koral and Michela's Top 5 Things to Do in Phoenix
- Desert Botanical Garden "Being such an outdoor girlie, the DBG is an amazing place to walk around or bring friends and family who are visiting," Michela said.
- Ollie Vaughn's and Tratto (from James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco) are two of the duo's favorite local restaurants to grab a bite.
- If they aren't at the market, Koral and Michela like to shop at Local Nomad and Frances or hit up vintage shops and markets like Wang's Vintage, Sunny Day and Picker’s Playground.
- Koral and Michela recommend grabbing a fun cocktail at Quartz or stopping by Valentine for half off bottles of wine before 5 p.m.
- Stay in style at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa or check out boutique hotel Found:re downtown.