Officially, Pride may be only one month long, but you can support these LGBTQ-owned businesses all year round.
These five spaces in Salt Lake City and around the valley were all created to be welcoming and inclusive of everyone, but especially queer folks. And they offer a diverse mix of goods and services, from vegan sweets to haircuts to boba tea.
Sweet Hazel & Co.
If you are missing candy after going vegan, Sweet Hazel & Co. in Midvale has some treats just for you.
Fee Hanson, who is the owner and chef at Sweet Hazel & Co., makes candy bars that can satisfy any sweet tooth, and they are all 100% vegan. If you can’t decide between the Galaxy bar, the jumbo peanut butter cups, the Easy Break bar or the Snix (Hanson’s take on a Snickers bar), get the Sweet Hazel Candy Sampler, which comes with nine different kinds of candy.
There are also bistro menus for “brekkie,” “brunchie” and “lunchie” as they’re called at Sweet Hazel & Co., with breakfast burritos, burgers and more.
On top of everything being vegan at Sweet Hazel & Co. — which is named for Hanson’s dearly departed feline friend, Hazel — many of the food items are safe for people with dietary restrictions. “People come here and they’re like, ‘I can have anything? That just brings me joy,” Hanson said.
Try the gluten-free vegan edible cookie dough with mini chocolate chips, or the gluten-free and nut-free vegan caramel chews.
“Laziz” is Lebanese for “tasty and lighthearted,” according to Laziz Kitchen’s website, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at this friendly and casual restaurant.
Derek Kitchen started the business in 2016 with his partner, but he’s the sole owner now, which “has created some really unique opportunities for the business to move into a second iteration of itself, so to speak,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune.
What started out as a fixture of the Central Ninth neighborhood, Laziz Kitchen has expanded to locations in Midvale and in downtown Salt Lake City, next door to Este Pizzeria.
Other changes include a new speakeasy-style bar called Back Door behind the downtown location on Edison Street. But mostly, Kitchen has been busy “tightening the bolts,” as he describes it, refining Laziz’s menu and keeping the business “functional in this time of constant change,” he said.
Through it all though, Laziz is still a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community. “That’s always a huge priority of mine is to be a place that’s inclusive and safe and welcoming,” Kitchen said.
For an entree, try the Lebanese bowl, which comes with house salad, lentil and rice pilaf, crispy onions and a yogurt cucumber sauce, and can be customized with your choice of protein.
Under the Umbrella
As if it were possible, queer bookstore Under the Umbrella in downtown Salt Lake City is now even more queer after about a year and a half in business. “It’s really meant to be a joyful, queer space, and I think we’ve just in the last year been working to make it even more inviting and more queer,” owner Kaitlyn Mahoney said. “Every day we’re adding more and more queer stuff to it.”
Some changes have come to the store in that length of time, too. Most significantly, the gender-affirming closet in the back has been removed to make way for a future small coffee shop, which Mahoney said should be open by the end of summer.
Mahoney has also added about eight more shelves of books, she said, plus the store now has an entire sticker wall.
Under the Umbrella has also been teaming up with other indie bookstores, such as the LGBTQ-owned store The Legendarium, and The King’s English, to put on more in-person events.
Mahoney emphasized that Under the Umbrella is still requiring face masks in the store, because “we have a lot of immunocompromised and high-risk people in our community that we want to make sure the space is safe and comfortable for.”
Lucero Hair and Wellness
At Lucero Hair & Wellness, there are no “men’s” haircuts or “women’s” haircuts. There are just haircuts, charged by the hour. The “hair studio” opened in February and aims to be a place where anyone can come in, ask for what they want, and walk out with the exact hairdo they envisioned, no questions asked.
At Lucero Hair & Wellness, stylists recognize how vulnerable of an experience it can be to have your hair done, especially for transgender people.
That’s where the “wellness” part of Lucero Hair & Wellness comes in. Lucero said he’s had clients instinctively flinch away from him and his scissors. But he calms them by saying, “My name is Joshua, my pronouns are he/him, this is a safe space. Tell me what you want, we can achieve anything with your hair.”
“The wellness is that security of feeling comfortable and safe,” Lucero said.
In the elegant, naturally lit space, decorated with orchids and crystals, how much you pay only depends on how long a service takes, which can vary depending on a client’s hair length or texture. Prices start at $37.50 for a half-hour and go up to $112.50 for an hour and a half. Schedule your service at LuceroHairAndWellness.com.
Lucero Hair and Wellness, 1095 S. State St., Salt Lake City, 801-875-1251, Instagram: @lucerohair_andwellness
There aren’t many spots that are open late in Salt Lake City that aren’t bars. But Space Tea is open from noon until 11 p.m., so you can satisfy your boba craving well after the sun goes down.
Space Tea opened next door to Lucero Hair and Wellness on New Year’s Day 2021. “There isn’t a ton of LGBTQ-owned businesses, and providing a space that is queer-owned provides a safe space and a welcoming environment for everyone,” said owner Don Ly via email.
If you’re new to the world of boba, Ly said the most popular drinks on the space-themed menu are the Otter Space, which is creamy soft serve ice cream with milk tea and black sugar boba, and the New Moon, which is blended strawberry green tea with strawberry heart-spaced jellies topped off with original cream.
With Space Tea’s plentiful seating, photobooth and board games, the vibe is “cozy,” Ly said. “I think it’s an environment where people can hang out.”