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.
Carmen's Cooking. Delicious, authentic Puerto Rican style foods including hot-pressed sandwiches, meals and empanadillas, along with Vegetarian options, occasional specials and daily desserts.
Peppa Pot. Delicious Jamaican restaurant with dine in or takeout options for lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch offerings and catering are also available.
Smokin' Hot Chicks. Mouthwatering slow-cooked BBQ meats and meatless options, delicious homemade sides, fresh salads and sweets, a full Tequila bar, live music, private party room, outdoor dining space, and more.
Tu Amor Cakery. Tu Amor's specialty is producing baked goods that won’t raise blood sugar using the highest quality ingredients, including almond flour and coconut flour.
Neutral Grounds Coffeehouse. Neutral Ground Coffeehouse is right on the canal in Pittsford featuring locally sourced ice cream, full coffee bar, pastries, breakfast and lunch.
Brown Hound Downtown. Brown Hound Downtown is a bistro, bakery, bar, and caterer that prepares inventive menus using the highest quality, locally-sourced ingredients and features locally-crafted beer, wine, distilled spirits and soft drinks.
Marshall Street. Marshall Street Bar and Grill is committed to becoming a positive community partner that features a friendly neighborhood atmosphere with great drink specials and a full menu of delicious food!
Acorn Exchange. The Acorn Exchange is a hidden gem found within the beautiful marble lobby of the downtown Clinton Square Building. The Acorn Exchange is a grab and go cafe that specializes in made-to-order custom built sandwiches on its famous scratch-baked focaccia bread.
BITE Rochester. Bite Rochester has an eclectic location in the heart of center city. Constructed mostly of glass and steel, Bite Rochester offers an expansive view of Rochester. A multi-leveled building offering unique space for meetings and events and a high quality, quick serve menu that highlights local vendor foods and beverages.
Gourmet Goodies. A cafe/bakery located in Victor, NY that offers personalized wedding cakes and desserts, as well as custom cakes, cupcakes, pastries and cookies for any special event as well as gluten-free offerings.
Julia K Caters. A family-owned and operated, full-service catering company, located in Downtown Rochester that creates memorable culinary experiences for your social and corporate events through creative customized menus and exceptional service.
Health & Wellness
Aerial Arts of Rochester. Aerial Arts of Rochester is a Circus Arts Training and Wellness Center offering courses for youth and adults. Aerial yoga, bungee fitness and silk ribbons will have you soaring!
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.
Roc City Circus. Roc City Circus is Rochester, NY's newest circus arts training facility that offers aerial classes for beginners and advanced students.
RocVentures. If you are looking for fitness, fun team building or just a way to get in from the cold weather – you will find it all at RocVentures. Climbers of all skill levels welcome.
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, & Services
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.
Imaginé Photography. Bring your family, business, or occasion to life with fun, casual, and relaxed photo shoots. Immaginé specializes in Executive and Senior Portraits, Commercial Photography, Children, Families, and Special Events.
Nina Piccini. Helping small businesses understand how to expand their digital presence with 1-1 digital coaching and social media management services.
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.
Cleo + Kin. A boutique lifestyle shop in the heart of Pittsford. The shop offers a wide selection of goods from women's clothing to home decor and baby gifts.
Fabulous Flowers and Gifts. Since 1958, Fabulous Flowers has been Rochester, NY's leading flower and gift shop for occasions throughout Monroe County. Family owned and operated by the Dougherty's, the shop boasts a talented staff of award-winning designers.
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. museumofplay.org
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. Plus, the Colonial Belle’s Captain Tammee is one of the only female passenger vessel captains working 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 and beyond, featuring women who are lifting up the voices of others
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.
Lodging & Hospitality
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.
Bella Events Group. Bella Events Group is a full service event planning and venue management firm. BEG is owned and operated by Jenna Manetta-Knauf, owner of Roc Holiday Village and The Wilder Room in Downtown Rochester.
B&B at the Ellwanger Estate. From the moment you walk in to the Ellwanger Estate, you'll know you're not in any ordinary bed and breakfast. The Ellwanger Estate is an oasis where you'll actually enjoy spending time in your room as well as discovering the magnificent grounds.
Legacy Drama House. The Legacy Drama House is the "Venue With Variety"! The facility offers a wide array of hosting services ranging from private events such as baby/bridal showers, retirement parties, Sweet 16's, weddings/receptions, and funeral repasts and more.
Marge's Lakeside. Ever wanted to pack it in and head south like the lyrics of a Jimmy Buffet tune? Just visit Marge’s Lakeside near Seabreeze. Open all year long, Marge’s is more than just a beloved dive bar on Lake Ontario, but a piece of Rochester’s history whose walls show a visual timeline of the patrons and parties that have made it a destination since the 1960’s.