City of Makers

Started in the early 2000s, the maker movement is a continuing cultural phenomenon for today’s tech enthusiasts, educators, artists, foodies, creators, innovators, hobbyists, and tinkerers.

Growing in number year after year and spiking in 2020 during the pandemic, Fremont makers are an inspiring group of individuals who’ve turned their passion projects and distinct skill sets into thriving small businesses that meet community needs and foster further local entrepreneurship. From delivering a highly-desired specialty coffee experience, allergen-free body products, and so much more, these businesses prove that while our advanced industries drive large-scale innovation and investment, our small-scale maker community punches above their weight in impact.

Many makers have established their businesses right in their homes and  Fremont has a variety of affordable industrial spaces and mixed-use projects, making it easy for small businesses and producers to scale up over time. With numerous retail and production space options, customers can both buy products and see the production happen in real time on-site. Better yet, the City values the important role these makers play in local placemaking efforts and has plenty of available programming and initiatives to help your new business gain an initial traction and following.

In addition, the City’s top-notch schools, community colleges, and regional occupation programs connect skilled labor to small and growing production businesses, and Fremont’s robust supply chain ecosystem supports the scaling of smaller manufacturing businesses. All of which makes Fremont an excellent place for makers to build a business.


Meet Fremont’s Makers

While plenty of our makers are worth highlighting, here are just a few of our flagship maker businesses that have become staples in our community.

Coffee lovers Jon Fisher and Stevie Pape started roasting and selling coffee from their garage with just a few pieces of equipment and a passion for specialty coffee. Taking a leap of faith, they opened a storefront, Devout Coffee, on Niles Boulevard. With a stout devotion to the finest quality of coffee, they pride themselves on sourcing, extracting, and roasting with precision and care. This care even extends into the buildout of the café itself, where Stevie used his carpentry skills from his previous career to physically build his business from the ground up. Devout Coffee is now a popular Niles destination where the community can gather and enjoy the fine coffee experience.


“It’s a saying we have for Devout, ‘do your passion.’ We want to encourage people to pursue their passions and do things they love. That’s how we communicate with people at our Niles store.

— Stevie Pape, Co-Founder of Devout Coffee 


Meanwhile, Props and Pop is a Fremont maker business dedicated to fun, pop culture art and collectibles. Owned by Paul and Maxine Tanompong, artists who love to sculpt digitally and with clay, their combined experience of over 30 years as self-taught 3D artists allows them to quickly prototype 3D models and make anything from a 2D concept, including Pokémon succulent planters and realistic dinosaur replicas. They’re passionate about sharing these skills with the community and offer a variety of workshops and classes for both new and experienced makers.

“Right now, the maker community is getting bigger and bigger every year and the products coming out of Fremont are truly unique. This stems from the small businesses and makers being hungry to learn how to make things.”

— Paul Tanompong, Owner of Props and Pop


For Priya Vader, she was determined to create bath and body products free of toxins, artificial preservatives, and chemicals for her children and herself, who have sensitive skin. Inspired by ancient Indian skincare secrets, she started Vie Pure, an all-natural handcrafted luxury bath and body product shop. The ingredients used in Vie Pure products are ethically sourced, leaving your skin clean, moisturized, and nourished.


“Up and coming makers should be proud of the unique ideas they can bring to the table — your unique creativity will surely be appreciated. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your family, friends, and the Fremont City officials.

— Priya Vader, Founder of Vie Pure 

Supporting the Maker Community

We believe making is a powerful form of learning. That is why The Olive Hyde Art Guild, a not-for-profit organization, supports the City-owned Olive Hyde Art Gallery through volunteer activities and funding for special exhibits and projects. The Guild sponsors art education programs in the schools and provides art scholarships and awards for local students to lay the groundwork for the Maker Movement to flourish in Fremont.

We’re also committed to supporting our local small-scale manufacturing businesses producing everything from homemade jams to handmade jewelry by creating innovative and creative spaces to inspire the community to think beyond the status quo. Our community events thrive because of the wonderful products makers bring to the table.

In fact, in partnership with the Better Block Foundation, the City organized an exciting, temporary transformationof Ellsworth Street in the historic Mission San Jose district in September 2022. This community-led vision reimagined Ellsworth Street as a lively and welcoming neighborhood space for all. The two-day community block party represented a perfect launching pad for the City’s growing efforts to support and connect makers. Community members of all ages showed up to enjoy live entertainment, a makers market, food trucks, beer & wine gardens, and more. A few of our local participating makers include Mosa More, Mango Mantras, and Majira Jams.

Ready to make your mark and be a part of Fremont’s creative community, or just curious to learn more about Fremont’s involvement in the maker movement? Get in touch with us at find out more, or visit the Fremont Toolbox.