The region that nurtured the earliest seeds of the women’s rights movement is today home to many thriving and innovative businesses owned by women. From food, to fashion, health and wellness to art and culture, there are so many different women-owned businesses in Rochester to explore. In recognition of Women’s History Month, we’ve rounded up a few (of the many!) women-owned businesses in Rochester to check out this month.

Food & Drink

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates. Located in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood, owner Jennifer Posey has been crafting creative confections since 2007.

Laughing Gull Chocolates. Laughing Gull is on a mission to “save the world with chocolate, one truffle at a time.” Owners Lindsay Tarnoff, Karla Boyle and Allison Zukoski infuse chocolate with community from their workshop and storefront on E. Main Street in the North Winton Village neighborhood.

Casa Larga Vineyards. Originally founded in 1974, today the winery – located just outside of Rochester in Fairport, NY – features a wide range of delicious varietals, including award winning ice wines. Casa Larga’s president today is Andrea Colaruotolo O’Neill, daughter of the winery’s founders, Andrea and Ann Colaruotolo.

Living Roots Wine & Co. Co-owner Colleen Hardy offers visitors to the Finger Lakes’ first urban winery flavors from both the Finger Lakes and Australia. Visit the Living Roots chic tasting room in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts.

Young Lion Brewing. Young Lion Brewing Company opened its doors in June of 2017. Founded by Jen Newman, Young Lion’s tasting room features sun-soaked views of Canandaigua Lake and award-winning local brews.

Apogee Wine Bar. Located in Rochester’s trendy Park Avenue neighborhood, Apogee is owned by sommelier Simone Boone. Taste wines by the glass or by the bottle from around the world on a highly curated menu.

Viticulture ROC. Rochester loves its wine! Enter Viticulture ROC, the area’s newest wine bar that opened just days before the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Union Tavern. Co-owner Kelly Bush and her team at the Union Tavern serve up a New England tavern style menu from inside a historic building in Sea Breeze, NY.

Salena’s Restaurant. Enjoy Mexican food and drinks inside this Village Gate Square restaurant, which has been open in Rochester for 21 years.  Co-owner Kelly Metras also owns the nearby Nox Cocktail Lounge.

Morgan’s Cereal Bar. Enjoy a bowl of cereal – hot or cold – anytime of the day at Morgan’s Cereal Bar in Rochester’s East End district. Owner Cheria Anderson was inspired to create Morgan’s Cereal Bar following a trip to London.

The Cub Room. This South Wedge restaurant known for its upscale seasonal cuisine & elevated cocktails is co-owned by Jody Johnson. Johnson, and her husband Greg, are also behind two of the different food stands at the newly-opened Mercantile on Main

Lovin' Cup. This popular bistro located near the campus of RIT is co-owned by Leslie Zinck. The menu features everything from simple favorites to gourmet goodies, and an impressive craft beer list. 

Brown Hound Downtown. Located inside the Memorial Art Gallery, the Brown Hound Downtown is owned by Trish Asher and is known for its focus on fresh, creative, seasonal menus.

Via Girasole. Wine bar offering a range of varietals in a scenic location across from the Erie Canal in Pittsford's Schoen Place. 

Effortlessly Healthy. Cafe and food truck specializing in health-minded food, with dine-in, carry out & delivery, plus weekly meal plans.

Health & Wellness

Compass Cycle & Flow. Compass Cycle & Flow is Rochester's first fitness studio dedicated to Rhythm Riding Cycling & Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Founders and sisters, Ashley Biryla and Nicole Branagan, have cultivated a passionate community within Compass Cycle’s Neighborhood of the Arts studio.

Fleet Feet Rochester. Get all your running essentials from Fleet Feet Rochester, a locally-owned retail store for runners and walkers. Owner Ellen Brenner and her team offer footwear, apparel and training programs for runners of all skills and experience.

The Groom Room. The Groom Room Men’s Spa Lounge is the first Minority/ Black owned Day Spa dedicated solely to Men’s health and wellness in the City of Rochester. Owned and operated by Monique Chatman, a native of the city who is a dual-licensed professional in Aesthetics and Nail Care Specialty, with several years of experience in the skin care industry.

Glenna's CBD Best Oil & Spa. Glenna’s CBD Owner & CEO, Glenna Colaprete-Hudson started the woman owned company in 2015, after successfully treating her own chronic and painful nerve entrapment. She is dedicated to helping all people and pets live their best life.

Just Browsing. Owner Stephanie Christensen combines eyebrow sculpting services with fashion and boutique items in this South Wedge brow boutique.

need Salon. A full service salon and spa focused on self-care and wellness in the heart of downtown Rochester.

Tru Yoga. This community-oriented yoga studio in the South Wedge is co-owned by Imani Olear. Imani is also the founder of Yoga 4 a Good Hood, a nonprofit organization “changing communities one downward dog at a time,” and focused on introducing more people of color to the practice of yoga.

Shopping & Gifts

Rochester Brainery. This community learning space created by owner Danielle Raymo also features a shop stocked with locally made art, home décor items and other goods.

Record Archive. Score some vinyl or vintage clothing at Record Archive, co-owned by Alayna Alderman, one of the largest record stores in the country and the first in the northeast to offer beer and wine to shoppers. Alayna’s accomplishments and contributions to the music store industry were further recognized when she recently received the Music Biz Independent Spirit Award from the Music Business Association.

Horse with Wings. Shop gifts and unique home décor items from this shop in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts.

Pittsford Wine & Spirits. Shop wines and spirits from around the world at this wine shop located alongside the Erie Canal in Pittsford's Schoen Place. Visit soon to experience the hospitality of owner Marie Casciani & her staff.

Peppermint Boutique. This boutique owned by Tanvi Asher is the go-to spot for shopping unique clothing and Rochester-themed gifts. The Rochester Pride in this store at the Culver Road Armory is evident.  

Scents by Design. This pour-your-own candle and custom fragrance experience in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts is woman-owned.  

Art, Culture & Recreation 

Rochester has a rich arts and cultural scene. Visit one of these women-led attractions.

Genesee Country Village & Museum. Discover the largest living history museum in New York State, Genesee Country Village & Museum, which today is led by Becky Wehle, who is the granddaughter of the museum’s founder.

Rochester Museum & Science Center. This museum fosters curiosity about science, space, and nature through hands-on experiences at the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium, and Cumming Nature Center.

National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Come and see the place Susan B. Anthony called home during the most politically active period of her life. Stand in the front parlor where she was arrested for voting in 1872. Experience her amazing story of courage and determination at this National Historic Landmark.

The Strong National Museum of Play. Home to the largest collection of toys, dolls and games in the world founded by collector Margaret Strong.

The Penthouse at One East Avenue. This event venue in Rochester provides some of the best views in all of Rochester. Owner Brittany Brandt provides the best in hospitality to everyone who visits the space. 

Agathi & Co. A full-service event planning company. Owner Agathi Georgiou-Graham plans memorable events and operates two boutique event venues in the City of Rochester. 

Colonial Belle. Charter a cruise down the historic Erie Canal, departing from Fairport, NY, on the Colonial Belle. The Belle is the only female owned tour boat on the Erie Canal. And, the Colonial Belle’s Captain Tammee is currently the only female passenger vessel Captain currently working (in that capacity regularly) on the Erie Canal. 

Her Voice Carries Public Art Project. Learn about the inspiring women depicted in “Her Voice Carries,” a public art project in Rochester, NY featuring women who are lifting up the voices of others

High Falls Women’s Film Festival. Discover the High Falls Women’s Film Festival, held annually in the fall. This Women’s Film Festival is one of very few film festivals worldwide celebrating the work of women filmmakers. 

Looking for more information on woman-owned businesses in Rochester? Check out Women Owned Rochester to support and discover women-owned businesses in Rochester, NY.