Northside's Tantrum targets urban families

Northside born-and-raised Kate Riddle finally has a room of her own. Actually, she has a whole building full of rooms. The owner/operator of the newly launched Tantrum on Hamilton Avenue didn’t just open her first business late last year, she bought the building to house it. Buying the whole building, the savvy seller noted, seemed the best path to sustainability in “retail tetris” of her home hood.

“I am buying myself a career,” says Riddle, 31. Located next door to Sidewinder, Tantrum occupies the space that had a brief life as Vick’s Flea Mart. Before that, it was Bughouse Video, and prior to that, Ali’s Boutique. Riddle, who worked at Ali’s, wanted to create a space where neighborhood residents could shop, whether they needed a quick cool gift or a treat for themselves.

“We’re a little bit punk rock; we are a little bit country granola,” Riddle says. She sells patchwork hand-made Fair Trade children’s clothing and vegan body care alongside eco-friendly Engage Green bags made from recycled plastic. Since her focus is on families, she stocks a few toys, too—German Haba toys, both because of their quality and because she could tie it back to her own family and donate five percent of their sales to the Fairview German Language School, where her daughter attends.

The shop’s name, though, had another inspiration: her 3-year-old son with business and life partner Joe Wenker. Both the toddler and Riddle’s daughter can often be found in the store’s main room or in a not-so-secret playroom in the back. Riddle, who is also a body artist, plans to offer henna body painting in the space when the weather warms. She’ll also start stocking kilts soon, and encourages shoppers to check back regularly for new gift ideas and products in a range of prices.

“We are going to be here for a while,” she says. “I have a lot more fun and funky stuff planned.”

Tantrum is located at 4183 Hamilton Ave. Hours are Sun-Mon noon-5 p.m., Tues-Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, email

By Elissa Yancey
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