Tonya Thompson, Providing the Cool in Business Leadership

by John Stapleton, Contributing Editor

It is known as “the coolest place in town,” not just for the Thrifty’s ice-cream and the blocks of ice in the back of the store, but because there is so much cool all in one spot — not to mention, ownership and staff set a positive vibe as you enter.

If you are into nostalgia, Water and Ice Maricopa has old-school candy from your childhood, and quite often there is novelty candy and treats you can’t buy elsewhere.


Owner Tonya Thompson opened the store in her hometown in August 2004.

Centrally located on John Wayne Parkway in Maricopa, the shop operates at a highly successful level. Also at another level is Thompson’s giving and relentless energy — an energy that is felt by the community through her daily social media posts as she is seen pushing herself at the gym or just appreciating life as it comes.

“Health is a big part of my life. I think it’s important in helping to maintain a positive mindset as well helps with stamina in the long hours I work each day,” Thompson says.

In 2020, like many other businesses, Thompson had to modify operations for COVID-19. Like a grocery store, Thompson had to deal with the panic buying. In her case, it was for water. Once, everything “settled down a bit,” Thompson herself became ill from the virus, saying, “it was the sickest” she has been in her life. She had to receive treatment in emergency care and she is still dealing with health-related issues.

“It’s been challenging and scary at times,” she says.

Whether local leader, working mom, homeschooling father, fellow business owner, or teen, Thompson welcomes all equally.

“My staff and I always strived to treat everybody with respect and to welcome all into my store,” she says.

In addition to business and health goals, Thompson’s main focus has always been on her daughter, Emilee. She also stays involved in local charities and donates water to the local athletic teams.

“There are so many keys to success that play a role, including hard work, never giving up, always evolving,” says Thompson. “Most importantly I am blessed by being surrounded by an amazing support system that includes family, friends, an incredible staff, and my wonderfully loyal customers I love like family.”

Water and Ice Maricopa
20928 N. John Wayne Parkway Suite C7,
Maricopa, AZ 85139