Women Owned Restaurants & Food Businesses in Erie
That's my mom on the left! She was strong feminist and all about women supporting women.
In case you missed it, International Women's Day was on Monday, March 8. It is a day to celebrate social, political, economic, and cultural achievements by women of the past and present and to rally for gender parity for the women of the future. AKA it is a day to celebrate and recognize the badass women throughout history and in our lives, and to give a global platform to the fights that still need fighting so the current little ladies of our world can have a future of equality and surpass our achievements.
I love me some girl power so to celebrate International Women's Day, albeit a couple days late, I put together a list of some of the women owned and run vegan friendly restaurants and other food businesses in the Erie area! I know there are many more, but this is a one (wo)man show and I can't possibly capture all the greatness out there. You're totally welcome to send me a message or comment your favorite woman owned food businesses in the area. I would love to hear your thoughts! You can never show too much love to female led businesses...especially when they're the ones keeping us so wonderfully fed! ;) So without further ado, in no particular order are some of the many talented, brave, and tough ladies in Erie that are serving up vegan favorites.
Buona Cucina is an infused olive oil and vinegar store located in Greengarden Plaza on the west side of Erie. It is owned and run by the larger than life and knowledgeable Dorothy Benson who opened her own store after 30 years of retail management. With carefully curated oils, vinegars, salts, and herbs, Dorothy personally fills her shelves with unique and delicious flavor combinations of oils and vinegars like roasted walnut oil, wild mushroom and sage oil, blackberry-ginger balsamic, and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.
Accompanying each product is a recipe card that uses that product, several of which are outright vegan recipes or can be with simple substitutions! You can get your own copy of the recipe cards at checkout and on her website.
PopLuck Gourmet Popcorn
Greengarden Plaza is in good company with another female owned and led business, Popluck Gourmet Popcorn! Jennifer Minski keeps her shop and social presence poppin' (sorry!) with the rotation of fun themed popcorn flavors like Lunchbox Hero and PS. It's Spicy that are posted daily. Out of the eight daily flavors, there is always at least one vegan flavor, Generic Jenny, and often three or four other vegan flavors on the menu too! Jennifer has gone the extra mile for her vegan customers by clearly labeling the vegan flavors on the menu and I love her for it! She also admirably continues to go the extra mile for our community with things like fundraisers for schools and organizations, offering military discounts, and giving free popcorn to those who's name is on the Roll Call for the day!
Orders can be placed over the phone or at the store. Vegan flavors are labeled with a green dot on the menu.
Tipsy Bean keeps Erie caffeinated with various coffee drinks and tea under the leadership of owner Gisele Littrell! You may have recently seen her on the show Undercover Billionaire where she proved that she has what it takes to overcome and succeed as a woman led businesses in the area. Located in the hip Hill District of Erie, Tipsy Bean's local art covered walls, Instagram worthy mural on their building, and inviting garden and outdoor space all make you want to come back time and time again.
Tipsy Bean offers dairy alternative creamers and milks and sometimes has vegan daily food specials.
Give a Crepe La CrepErie
We can't mention Tipsy Bean and not mention it's superstar next door neighbor, Give a Crepe! Owner Stephani Klassen has created a slice of French cuisine here in little ol' Erie in the form of crepes! Whether you love sweet or savory, Stephani has you covered with her impeccable intuition of filling flavors and mixes for her made to order crepes. Pro-tip: If you can't decide what to order and you're an adventurous eater, she will often whip you up a filling combo not on the menu based on your preferences!
Gluten free and vegan batter can be used for any crepe upon request. There are vegan cheese, butter, and other alternatives available as well.
Herb and Honey Bakery
Tucked into the corner of the local time warp that is The New Central Market/Urbaniak Brother's Meat Market is a true hidden gem of Erie, Herb and Honey Bakery! Erie area native and bakery owner, Jessica Shultz, has been baking since she was a little girl and has since turned her years of experience into her own successful business. Give her a follow on social to see what each week's specials are and for some behind the scenes views of what it's like to bake for the masses!
All orders are pre-ordered for the week on her website which has a specifically labeled vegan section on the menu that lists her vegan options. She also makes vegan pop-tarts!
310 East 24th St., Erie, PA 16503 | firstname.lastname@example.org | https://www.herbandhoneybakery.com
Sundae Vegan Desserts
Sundae Vegan Dessert owner, Samantha Randall, not only has my dream clothing wardrobe, she also has my attention! Sundae makes a variety of all vegan sweets including cupcakes, cookies, chocolate bark, and stuffed cookies. A portion of profits is donated to organizations that help animals and/or the environment. Sam is seemingly everywhere lately at pop-ups, farmers markets, and other events to sell her vegan sweets. Pro-tip: get there quick, because non-vegans are snagging up her desserts too making her sell out often in the first hour!
To order or see a menu, send Sam an email at the address below. Follow her on social for up to date offerings on things like special occasion dessert boxes, flash sales, and events where you can find her and her vegan goodies.
The Juice Jar
It's no secret that I love The Juice Jar, however, something that makes me love it even more is that the brain behind it all is a woman. Curren owner, Holly McMaster, has held the Juice Jar reins for about a year now and has crafted out a healthy, inviting, and plant forward gem in the area. Under her leadership and brilliance, the Juice Jar is quickly becoming one of Erie's most vegan friendly places to eat and I am totally here for it!
The Juice Jar's vegan (and GF) menu items are clearly labeled. Menu items include smoothies with vegan protein, juices, breakfast and lunch items, and baked goods.
Real talk: I have spent an embarrassing amount of time on Pearl Delights' IG watching owner, Kristina Burfield, work her magic with icing and decorating cakes and cupcakes. The time lapse videos of her decorating from start to finish are oddly satisfying and the final products are mind-blowing. Besides making gorgeous made to order all vegan cakes and cupcakes, Kristina makes the extra effort to ensure her footprint and impact is minimal by using packaging that is compostable, recyclable, and doesn't include any stickers or plastic.
Kristina accepts a limited amount of orders per month so orders must be placed in advance. To place an order, you can send her a message on Instagram.
The Original Popcorn House
The Original Popcorn House has only been around for a couple of years now, but it has quickly become a go-to in the community for all things popcorn! Dozens of flavors of popcorn are popped fresh daily under the watchful eye of owner Heidi Bemiss, who ensures there is nothing but popcorn perfection from each batch. Flavors rotate and new flavors pop up regularly, but there are always vegan options available like cotton candy, garden vegetable, and butternut. Pro-tip: If you're looking for a gift, give Heidi a call and they can put together the perfect gift in an adorable tin filled with popcorn flavors of your choice!
Vegan flavors are clearly labeled on the menu in the store and online. You can order online or visit the friendly staff in person at the store in The Shops at the Colony.
Thank you to all the ladies out there that are proving that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to and being leaders in our community.