NewsSoutheast Valley NewsTempe News


Valley pop-up and catering business has equipment stolen

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 00:37:54-05

TEMPE, AZ — The owners of a Valley pop-up and catering company are trying to recover after someone stole their U-Haul carrying all of their equipment.

Their whole business was stolen in moments.

"We were headed on the way to serve the community; we were headed to go do something we love to do," says Tajia Diiggs and Aaron Junior, Hot Sauce and Pepper.

Husband and wife, Tajia and Aaron Junior own a vegan pop-up and catering business called, Hot Sauce and Pepper. A bulk of their income is made by attending events. Their most popular item is the deep-fried cauliflower.

"We call it cauli-fire. Everybody calls it cauli-fire," says the couple.

The couple transports their supplies to and from events in a U-Haul cargo van. This past weekend, they were getting ready for First Friday on Roosevelt Row but those plans were brought to a halt. The van was stolen from a Tempe parking lot as Aaron went inside a nearby business to pick something up.

"I have no idea where this person came from. Either they came from the bus stop, and I didn't notice them, or they came from walking through the complex - from the back - and came around the building and seen it and took their chance," says the couple.

The couple filed a police report, saying at least $5-thousand worth of items were stolen.

"Our outdoor fryers," says the couple. Their tents, tables, dishes, marketing material, produce were all stolen, and the list goes on.

They lost everything but hope, as they have been receiving an outpouring of community support.

"Any moment that we had feeling down or discouraged immediately was wiped away because it just started coming in. It's been like a flood ever since," says the couple.

Now they're looking to buy their own food truck. Thanks to people donating items and money, they're hoping to be back up and running sooner rather than later.