Wonder Women! 13 Woman-Owned Businesses in Rhode Island That We Admire.
March is Women’s History Month. It is the perfect time to reflect on our successes and rally for progression. Rhode Island is ranked third best state for gender-equality in the United States. There is still a glass ceiling to break, but the women of Rhode Island are strong and ready to rise to the occasion!
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite woman-owned businesses in Rhode Island. Not included in the list is us – Rhode Island Red Food Tours! We are a woman-owned business and the majority of our employees are women. There’s a lot of women power over here!
Experience Newport and Providence like never before! Rhode Island Red Food Tours provides guests with authentic dining experiences at the best local restaurants. We believe in fresh and local food, as do our restaurant partners. Along the way, guests learn the local history and appreciate the historic architecture. Experience both the Newport Neighborhood or Downcity Providence Food Tours starting April 21, 2017!
Sierra Barter – Co-Founder, CEO, City Manager, and Board of Directors President
PVD Lady Project connects and inspires women with events, membership and community engagement. Essentially, they get all the cool ladies all in one place! PVD women work together to build a better future, rather than competing. PVD Lady Project has a large, active online community and holds monthly gatherings. They offer workshops, networking opportunities, book clubs and member presentations. Their Lady Project Summit is coming up on March 24-26.
Ellen Slattery – Owner
Gracie’s is one of Providence’s top fine dining restaurants. Gracie’s is a 4 Diamond Restaurant and highly awarded. They change their menu seasonally, sourcing fresh and local ingredients. They even have their own rooftop garden in downtown Providence! If you want to learn from the best, Gracie’s offers cooking classes.
Ellie’s Bakery is Gracie’s little sister. Ellie’s Bakery offers delicious Parisian-inspired food and pastries. Like their big sister, Ellie’s sources their ingredients seasonally and locally. Even their macarons are inspired by the seasons. If you’re interested in mastering the art of French cuisine, Ellie’s offers frequent classes to the public.
Maria Tocco – Founder
The Providence Flea has grown exponentially since it started in June 2013. Maria Tocco, the brains behind the Flea, was inspired by the eclectic and popular flea markets of New York. During the summer, the Flea’s home is on the Providence River Greenway. In 2017, they expanded to winter and spring markets at Hope High School in Providence. The Providence Flea has two more spring markets, April 9 and 23 before they return full force in June. The Flea heads outdoors every Sunday in June – October from 10 am – 4 pm.
Cheryl W. Snead– President and CEO
Banneker Industries offers premier supply chain management solutions, specializing in Third Party Logistics services. Essentially, they do all of the consulting and organizing for customers looking to ship their goods. Banneker works most frequently with aerospace and defense, retail, consumer goods and technology manufacturers. Cheryl W. Snead is their fearless leader. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a mechanical engineering degree. As a young girl, Snead was pressured to pursue to more “traditional careers.” Nevertheless, she persisted! After graduating from UMASS Amherst, Snead worked for General Electric. She went on to build Banneker Industries from the ground up. She was inspired by Benjamin Banneker, a revolutionary black scientist, mathematician, and inventor.
STOCK CULINARY GOODS
Jane Faust Dane – Owner
Stock Culinary Goods is Rhode Island’s first full-service kitchen store. They offer everything food-related. Occasionally, you’ll find them stocked up on PVD Donuts or Rebelle Artisan Bagels. Stock offers The Nitro Cart cold brew coffee and Luluna Kombucha on tap. Stock proudly supports Rhode Island artisans and showcases their many talents. Stock Culinary Goods is a convenient and fun one-stop-shop, supplying all of your food-related needs.
BLOUNT SMALL SHIP ADVENTURES
Nancy Blount – President
Blount Small Ship Adventures was founded in 1966 by Luther Blount, Nancy’s late father. Since his passing, Nancy has elevated her family’s business and continued its history of innovation. Blount Small Ship Adventures is located in Warren and offers nine different cruising adventures, from the Islands of New England to Cuba. They pride themselves on great service and making everyone feel right at home. It’s just like cruising on your friend’s yacht!
RHODE RACES & EVENTS
Karen Zyons and Susan Grenke Rancourt –
Co-Founders and Organizers
Rhode Races & Events offers races in Newport, Providence, Bristol, Jamestown and Narragansett. They also organize themed runs (like the Wine Run!) and charitable races. Rhode Races is focused on improving Rhode Islanders’ health and wellness. It’s not just about running, it’s about the big picture. They partner with Girls on the Run RI and DreamFar HS Marathon Team to show that running isn’t just physically beneficial, it’s mentally beneficial. Rhode Races’ runs are through some of the most scenic areas of Rhode Island. Run for a good cause, better yourself mentally (and physically), and enjoy the beauty of Rhode Island!
Celebrate you and the women you love with a Rhode Island Red Food Tours. Sit back, relax and enjoy a day all about you. Enjoy some of the best food Rhode Island has to offer. Along the way, learn the local history and appreciate the historic architecture. Experience both the Newport Neighborhood or Downcity Providence Food Tours starting April 21, 2017. Just in time for Mother’s Day, a girls’ getaway, afternoon date or just-because!
Drake Patten – Owner
Cluck! is an urban farm and garden supply. The team at Cluck offers support to Providence’s gardeners and small farmers. They’re familiar with the trials and tribulations of urban farming, gardening, and the unpredictable New England weather. They have everything you need to start your own garden, raise some chickens, get into beekeeping, and more. Cluck! offers year-round classes to educate and inform. Programs include a book club, introduction to beekeeping, garden planning, and home composting how-to’s.
Sara Volino & Keri Cronin – Owners
DISH Boutique is a women’s clothing store in the East Bay that has been serving it’s fashion forward and decidedly unfussy clothing lines to women “in the know” for 13 years. With carefully curated fashion lines focused on sustainability, you will find the cutest pieces from dresses, to jeans and shoes to jewelry with just the right edge for work and play. This mother daughter team is committed to being environmentally friendly and to their community, Sara has been serving on Warren’s Economic Development Board for approx. 8 yrs. and Keri was just elected as the first woman to serve on the Warren Town Council. DISH is off-the-beaten-path which makes it all the more fun to seek it out!
GRANNY SQUIBB’S ICED TEA
Robin Squibb – Founder
Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea was founded by Robin Squibb, the granddaughter of Sally Squibb, who started it all. In the 1930s, during a blistering hot summer, Granny Squibb introduced her family to “cold tea,” a luxury at the time. It was a simple concoction – black tea, fresh mint, fresh lemon juice and sugar. Granny Squibb shared her recipe with friends and family. It quickly spread across Rhode Island. Decades later, Robin Squibb founded Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea in her grandmother’s honor. Look out for Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea across Rhode Island and the United States!
Lori Kettelle – Owner and Head Baker
PVD Donuts has taken Rhode Island by storm. Their giant brioche donuts delight every tummy they touch. They also offer old fashion donuts and vegan options on Wednesdays and Sundays. All of their donuts are made, rolled, cut, dipped, and topped by hand. PVD was Providence’s first specialty donut shop and the city was definitely ready for their arrival. They sell out nearly every day! PVD’s menu changes monthly. March’s menu is 90’s inspired and features Dunkaroo, Pop Rock, Moon Pie, and Cosmic Brownie donuts.
ALEX AND ANI
Carolyn Rafaelian – Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer
Alex and Ani is a huge Rhode Island success story, as is its founder, Carolyn Rafaelian. For anyone unfamiliar, Alex and Ani sells eco-conscious and meaningful jewelry and accessories in the United States. Growing up, Rafaelian’s father owned a jewelry factory. As she got older, Rafaelian helped design and curate the jewelry. Her designs became best sellers and helped keep the company afloat. In 2004, she founded Alex and Ani, named after her two daughters. The business began as a way to create a legacy for her daughters. After Alex and Ani’s mass success, Rafaelian purchased Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard (formerly Sakonnet Vineyards) and began a cafe franchise, Teas and Javas. We look forward to Carolyn’s next adventure! Stay tuned!
Celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting one (or all!) of these amazing woman-owned businesses in Rhode Island. Better yet, start your own business and add to the growing list of women entrepreneurs!
Enjoy eating (without the cooking!) with a Rhode Island Red Food Tours. Celebrate yourself, the women in your life and the men who support you. Take your daughters for a fun mother-daughter outing. Treat your friends to a girls’ afternoon of fun. Celebrate your wedding with a food tour around Providence or Newport. If you own a business, take your employees on a team building adventure filled with food and fun. Women are superheroes. Celebrate all of the hard work you do with a day of being pampered by some of Rhode Island’s best chefs. Enjoy eating, being waited on, learning, and having fun!
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