Member Spotlight: Cave + Post

Patrick and Mary Burch pose in the music room at Americana inspired menswear boutique Cave + Post

Integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is telling the stories behind the small businesses Scouted in each Volume. The story begins in print and continues online, after all. As you peruse Volume 3, discovering or rediscovering the faces behind the places that define the Valley, we are thrilled to deepen your connection to them — and the community — through Member Spotlights.

An outpost of cool, Cave + Post Trading Co. captures the best of Americana nostalgia and marries it with Western ruggedness to offer a thoughtfully curated mercantile that, despite its aesthetic offerings, never feels unapproachable. It’s the sort of place where being offered a beer while you shop feels like a gesture of real hospitality rather than a retail gimmick. And, while the shop is intimate, you’ll find you have time to finish a drink and reach for another before you’re ready to check out. There’s simply so much to take in – from the music room lined with guitars to the one-of-a-kind vintage, stacks and stacks of books, artisan-made goods, cult-favorite and niche menswear brands, and tightly curated ladies’ section. 

Sure, Cave + Post is a menswear shop, but it also feels like an invitation. Pick up a guitar and play a few notes, flip through an indie magazine, and, please, try on a hat and get the story of the milliner who crafted it. The owners of Cave + Post, Patrick and Mary Burch, will certainly tell you if you ask. 

Speaking of stories, let’s let owners Patrick and Mary Burch tell theirs. Here, we chat with the husband-wife duo about how Cave + Post came to be and what they hope it — and their customers — will grow into.

A silver belly hat with a feather in the hat brim sits on top of Cave + Post's expertly curated selection of coffee table books about history and tattoos.
Photography by Ryan Neal Cardwell.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Your shared dream of opening a menswear boutique is common knowledge… How did that dream originate? 
Patrick Burch: Mary and I have always loved retail. When our kids were young, Mary was always asked for recommendations on what to buy – clothing, goods, toys – and we opened a children’s boutique. The children’s store was open for a few years until the great recession when we decided to shutter the concept. We never lost our love of retail and dreamed of doing another shop together. Our desire to open a menswear boutique grew out of a personal desire for great mens merchandising and what we observed was a gap in the market. We noticed there were few really great menswear stores across the country. We started seeking them out when we traveled. They were few and far between – even online they’re rare. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Can you walk us through how your shared dream came to fruition? 
Patrick Burch: With Mary’s talent for merchandising, I was confident in our ability to create the kind of shop for which we’d long searched. Mary and I were just waiting for the right time. Initially, we wanted an industrial/warehouse space. Our son is a welder, and we hoped to find a cool spot in the center of town to create a collaborative “makers space” where our friends who were artists and musicians could work. We found a property with a historic house at the front, which we thought we’d just lease out. At the last minute, we might as well just start the men’s store we’d dreamt up. And that’s exactly what we did. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Cave + Post has a very clear vision. How did you and Mary bring that to life? 
Patrick Burch: Our vision was always to create a place where men actually wanted to shop. Traditionally, men’s options are found at a mall in 20 different stores. And when I get to the mall, the first thing I do is start to yawn. Shopping, especially for men, can be exhausting. Like a chore. We wanted to create the opposite of that – a place where guys wanted to hang out, maybe do a bit of shopping, or stop in to say ‘hey.’ We knew to achieve that, we had to start with the intangibles: great customer service and great vibes. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Enter the Americana… 
Mary Burch: Exactly. We’ve tried to create an absolutely awesome space: old cowboy guns, vintage guitars, and antique Americana merchandised around fantastic goods that can’t be found elsewhere. 

Owner Patrick Burch poses in front of the register at Phoenix-based menswear boutique Cave + Post
 Photographed for The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale by Carl Schultz | Schultz Digital
Mary Burch poses in front of the ladies section at menswear boutique Cave + Post

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: We brought a few out-of-town friends into the store recently and they could not stop raving about how cool the store is… I think their exact words were, “This is the coolest store I’ve ever been in.”
Patrick Burch: It’s all Mary! Merchandising is an art and I love to brag about her talent. She’s constantly picking up odds and ends. I never quite know how she’ll use these random things until she styles it – and it’s brilliant. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Can you speak more to the art of merchandising and why it’s so important? 
Mary Burch: When a store is merchandised well, the product can really shine. That said, almost everything in our store is for sale… 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Yes, let’s get to the good stuff. What informs your curation strategy? 
Mary Burch: From clothes and accessories to housewares and personal care products, we’re obsessive about who and what we stock. The brands we work with must-have heritage, ethos, great design, and top-notch quality. Many of our brands tell great American stories – AO Eyewear founded in 1833, Schott in 1913, Filson in 1897, Dehen in 1920, Red Wing in 1905, and Hood Rubber in 1896. “American-made” really resonates with our customers, and we hope to exclusively stock American goods one day, but this is getting harder and harder. Current favorites – ones that have great design, reps, and stories – include RRL, Freenote Cloth, Red Wing, Shinola, Filson, Iron & Resin, Schott, and Howler Brothers.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: How would you describe the Cave + Post approach to style? 
Patrick Burch: Stop worrying about if you can “pull something off.” If you like it, go for it. Like the look of selvage jeans with a cuff? Do it. You want to wear a flat cap? Go for it. Own it. You think ranchers shouldn’t be the only ones who get to wear a pearl snap shirt? You’re damn right. Stop wondering if you are too old or too young or not hip enough or whatever else. Everyone should have a personal style. If you’re drawn to something, then make it yours. And when your buddies give you crap about it, know that it’s simply because they wish they had the guts to try it themselves. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: We’re beginning to understand why it’s so important to you and Mary that Cave + Post brands tell a story… 
Patrick Burch: We want to demonstrate that there’s more to life than looking good, to push ourselves and our customers to be what we like to call “hip renaissance men.” We want what we stock to be an invitation, to learn more, try new things… Pick out a hat and learn a little about millinery. Pick up a deck of cards and learn a few tricks. Outfit your place with great books or periodicals about what interests you – then actually read them. Visit the places you’ve dreamt about going to, then come back and share stories of your adventures with us. Cave + Post should be a starting place. 

Photography by Ryan Neal Cardwell.
Photography by Ryan Neal Cardwell.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What aspect of Cave + Post do you find most fulfilling? 
Mary Burch: The relationship building. Cave + Post has introduced us to so many amazing people, both customers and vendors. It’s a real honor to share stories and life experiences with them. If this aspect of retail didn’t exist, then we wouldn’t do it. That’s why the brick-and-mortar aspect is critical for our business. We will never just be an online retailer. We don’t want to miss the opportunity to meet and connect with creative and interesting people.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What’s next for Cave + Post? 
Patrick Burch: When we started Cave + Post, the back warehouse was supposed to be a bit of a “man cave” and maker’s space where people could create. The direction evolved over time, but the original inspiration remains in our name (hint: the Cave part). Now, we’re at a place where we can look at turning the space above us into a small listening room for intimate concerts and whiskey tastings. Hopefully, the Cave will be back soon! 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Your desire to curate a community is so palpable…
Patrick Burch: As a fourth-generation Arizonan, my heart is here. I love the people and landscape of Arizona. I love seeing our community grow and evolve. It’s important to both Mary and me that we nurture both the Cave + Post community and the larger Phoenix/Scottsdale community. Hopefully, at the same time. We support veteran’s charities (we are big supporters of our military and first responders), as well as local charities, like St. Mary’s Food Bank. We like to do charitable events and always offer military and first responders a discount. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: We have one last question. Cave + Post is a favorite of so many locals, so we have to know: what are your local favorites? 
Patrick Burch: There are too many to list, but I’ll try to share some of Mary and I’s favorites. For food, Pizzeria Bianco, The Macintosh, Otro Cafe, and Ajo Als. To shop, Batea for vintage or my mother’s store, Willows Fine Goods. Speaking of family, you should know that the Burch family is enormous. You will probably meet our kids at the store, hear us on the phone with family members, run into us at events, or know one of our relatives. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a customer – local or visitor – to randomly know someone from our family. Our family and our faith are deep rooted! 

Visit Cave + Post Trading Co. at their brick and mortar location 509 W McDowell Road, Suite 102, Phoenix or online 24/7. Don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!