Valley Institutions in the Family
Although the building that houses Monti's La Casa Vieja restaurant in Tempe dates from the 1870s, it wasn't purchased by the Monti family until 1954. Originally the Hayden home, it has been the site of a hotel, general store and post office but has functioned over the years mainly as a restaurant and bar. The Monti family (including current proprietor Michael) has lovingly maintained the property, collected historic memorabilia related to the building and the Hayden family and succeeded in having the property listed on the National Historic Register in 1984. As you might suspect, the menu features steak, but a wide variety of more modern dishes are also available.
Hickman's Family Farms has been operating in Arizona since 1944 (the photo of Bill Hickman Sr. is from his family's operation in Kansas in 1922). From Grandma's original flock of 500 chickens in Glendale, the company has expanded to major facilities in Buckeye and Maricopa, and an uncooped operation in California. The grandkids now run the agribusiness, producing not only eggs but a very successful chicken fertilizer as well.
Shamrock Farms was founded in Tucson in 1922 by W. T. and Winifred McClelland with only 20 cows. It is now one of the largest family-run dairies in the United States. Their son, Norman, is still the CEO. The Phoenix plant was opened in 1956 and the entire herd moved to Stanfield in 2003. Organic production began in 2007. Shamrock celebrates the Centennial with a special giveaway on the January and February Stanfield farm tours.
Photos provided compliments of the families.