Support Women-Owned Businesses on International Women’s Day

Here’s a reminder of some women-owned businesses that you can help support today and every day.

Tiffany Ting and Rebecca Brady of Hometown Poke.

It’s International Women’s Day! This year’s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. The campaign says, “A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”

Here at Rhode Island Monthly, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day by supporting local women-owned businesses and celebrating their achievements. Many of these businesses have been acknowledged in the past by winning Best of Rhode Island Awards. Here’s a reminder of some women-owned businesses that you can help support today and every day. This is not a complete list of women’s owned businesses in the state, just a shout out to support some that we love that recently earned Best of RI Editors’ Picks!

Blackie’s Bull Dog Tavern
181 George Washington Hwy., Smithfield, 231-4777,
Welcome to the age of gluttony. Chef Angie Armenise treats every brunch as if it was your last meal: breakfast pigs in a blanket; bacon, egg and cheese calzone; burgers served between two buttermilk pancakes; Paleo huevos rancheros; or bacon-fat brisket and spuds poutine with cheddar sauce. Who honestly cares if you make it to Monday when Sunday tastes like this.

Cerulean photo provided by Cerulean.



54 State St., Warren, 694-0727,
Sure, you could peruse the menu on social media before you go, but you might fare better by choosing your fish dish at the table. Bywater changes its dishes on the daily, cooking with the seasons and using what’s available from farms and fishermen. There’s always local oysters (hit up Mondays for $1 deals), smoked trout pate and local steamed littlenecks on the lineup (save some of the excellent housemade brown bread for extra dipping). For entrees, the steady summer star is striped bass prepared in myriad ways (as long as they can get it). A small patio has a distant view of Warren’s waterfront, where there’s a park fit for a sunset stroll.

30 Child St., Warren, 508-274-7189,
When artisans come together good things happen, and you don’t have to look further than Cerulean to see why. The love child of jewelry designer Kate Simpson and furniture restorer Althea Tower, the store is chock-full of local and handmade goods, everything from decor to signage to soaps (many with a subtle nod to the ocean) that are sure to make a friend’s day, whether it’s her birthday or just because.

Chi Kitchen
Minnie Luong took a family recipe and turned it into a full-fledged business. Her umami-packed fermented cabbage is brined with kosher salt and combined with julienned ginger, chopped garlic and onions, Korean red pepper and first press fish sauce from wild caught black anchovies. “It’s the Champagne of fish sauces,” says Luong. There’s also a vegan variety made with non-GMO miso. Not only does this kimchi taste delicious crammed in a sandwich, as a topping for meat or straight out of the jar, but it also contains gut-busting probiotics that help ward off sickness.

Easy Entertaining
Rising Sun Mills, 166 Valley St., Building 10, Providence, 437-6090,
Easy Entertaining was founded in 2006 by chef Kaitlyn Roberts with a focus on seasonal, local and gourmet cuisine. Since then, it has been supporting local growers and producers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts at its cafe and by catering events around the state, including weddings. Easy Entertaining works closely with regional farmers and local artisans and purveyors, and sources more than 70 percent of products from a 250-mile radius year-round.

Farmacy Herbs
28 Cemetery St., Providence, 270-5223,
This urban farmer hotspot is a herbal resource center with community classes and training, herbal consultations and much more. Plus, many of the herbs found here can be consumed in a cup of tea, each package blended in small batches and made for immune support, digestion, detoxification and more. You name it, this little shop has it.

144 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 619-4199,
At Farmaesthetics’ tiny flagship, you can book sixty or eighty-minute facials with all the herbal, organic, pore-shrinking stops as its sister retreat at tony Castle Hill Inn. (On a recent visit, our esthetician scurried from a service at the inn to our appointment on Bellevue.) The best part? The same stellar treatment — albeit without ocean views; your eyes are closed anyway — will set you back a fraction of the price.

Feast and Fettle
Slaving away in the kitchen is the last thing busy families, seniors and working professionals want to do on a hectic weeknight. Feast and Fettle delivers fresh chef-prepared meals right to your door. Place an order on the website and select your meal plan options for delivery on Mondays or Wednesdays and soon you’ll be spending your valuable time doing things other than cooking.

Jo-Anna Cassino of Flipp Apothecary and Salon.

Flipp Salon and Apothecary
38 Transit St., Providence, 274-1981,
The retro six-chair salon on Providence’s East Side specializes in cut and dries and color correction, but also features an apothecary stocked with a variety of organic herbs, essential oils, carrier oils and butters. The offerings range from therapeutic to cosmetic, with custom-blended teas to skincare products to all-natural perfumes. Consult the herbal specialists to find the perfect item for your body from the plant-based line.

2258 Post Rd., Warwick, 921-5100,
If you’re in need of some real peace and quiet, Float therapy might be just what the doctor ordered. Immerse yourself in a private pod filled with ten inches of water combined with 800 pounds of epsom salt that makes you buoyant on the surface of the water. It’s essentially sensory deprivation in a relaxing environment — no phones allowed! — and the experience can help reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.

Fountain and Co.
Here’s the scoop: Taste small-batch gourmet ice cream as Fountain and Co. pops up at different locations throughout the state. The craft ice cream comes in unusual, seasonal flavors that change frequently, including cinnamon streusel coffee cake, matcha, strawberry apple sorbet and many more. Ice cream fanatics can try this sweet treat this summer at a window installed at Stock in Providence.

The Golden Sparrow
33 Kent St., Suite F, Barrington, 289-3676,
The Golden Sparrow’s Carolyn Gloster breathes new life into well-loved, vintage treasures as well as freshly minted finds. Treat yourself to a plaid pillow, newly upholstered antique side chair or Le Creuset griddle or shower a friend with a slice of creativity from a featured artist, hip felted tote or delicate hand-poured candle.

Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery
Gracie’s, 194 Washington St., Providence, 272-7811,; Ellie’s Bakery, 61 Washington St., Providence, 401-228-8118,
Ellen Slattery opened Gracie’s on New Year’s Eve 1998, ushering in a new era of fine dining in downtown Providence. Chef Matthew Varga’s locally driven menu (including seasonal produce from the restaurant’s nearby rooftop garden), combined with consistent award winning service and a generous wine selection, has garnered Gracie’s five consecutive four-diamond awards from AAA. The menu changes seasonally, but a diner can never go wrong ordering Rhode Island and New England sourced delights, like lamb leg from Hopkins Southdowns Farm in North Scituate or Nantucket Bay scallop crudo. In 2012, Slattery expanded Gracie’s reach with Ellie’s Bakery in the Biltmore Garage, under the direction of executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark, featuring sandwiches, pastries, signature French macarons and other desserts.


The Happy Snail. Photo by Angel Tucker.

The Happy Snail Tea House
398 Main St., Warren, 245-5555,
Blink and you might miss this tiny teahouse tucked back from Warren’s busy Main Street. But once inside, you’ll find a selection of dozens of teas of the world — both hot and iced — and a knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for something energizing or aromatic. Pair a cup or pot with a few bite-sized snacks, including finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and lemon curd and Greek shortbread cookies, and the chaos of life seems to magically slip away.

Hometown Poke
185 Camp St., Providence, 401-868-1247,
It was love at first bowl when we tried Hawaiian-style raw fish from this food cart parked in Providence and at events around the state. The surfer-style trailer serves up raw salmon and tuna and cooked chicken, shrimp and tofu on a bed of white or brown rice with a choice of toppings, ranging from edamame and cucumbers to seaweed salad and avocado. And now it opened the brick and mortar healthy, fast-casual restaurant Hometown Cafe and Poke Bar on Camp Street in Providence where we can always get our poke fix.

Luca Boutique
193 Water St., Warren, 289-2251,
Designer togs for little ones might seem unattainable, unless you shop here. The children’s couture consignment shop procures gently used luxe labels and sells them for a fraction of the original cost. Check out the new Luca First Look Facebook page to stake your claim on items before they even make it to the racks.

Luluna Kombucha
Various locations in Rhode Island,
The naturally effervescent probiotic tea, made in Rhode Island, is garnished with fresh seasonal fruit and herbs from around New England. Served in sixteen-or thirty-two-ounce glass reusable bottles, the eco-friendly drink can be found on tap and in fill stations at eleven retailers around the state. Start sippin’!

The Nitro Bar
228 Broadway, Providence,
Rich, smooth and creamy with a frothy top: Believe it or not, we’re writing about coffee, not beer. The Nitro Bar’s (and Nitro Cart’s) cold brew coffee is stored in a keg, infused with nitrogen — which gives it a creamy, stout-like head — and served on tap at businesses across the state, at coffee carts and, this year, at its permanent coffee shop inside Dash Bicycle that boasts comfy couches, espresso drinks and snacks.

The Nook Coffee House
307 Main St., East Greenwich, 402-0029,
Settle into the comfy chairs inside the back nook at the aptly named Nook Coffee House where you can savor a frothy latte or iced coffee, pour kombucha on tap or sip the aromatic Dirty Chai made with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger ground with black tea and espresso. Syrups are house made with vanilla beans, lavender and other herbs and spices. There’s no need to rush when service is this friendly and the surroundings beg you to sit for a spell.

Like No Udder Shop
You won’t miss the dairy in Karen Krinsky’s icy, creamy creations made with soy-based soft-serve, or hard ice cream blended with cashew, coconut or peanut bases produced right in the shop. There are up to twelve flavors available in the retail store and some favorites include Thai iced tea, mint chip and coconut lace. Even vegan shakes sub in coconut, almond or soy milk for udder-free drinks. Catch the food truck for vegan soft-serve and other treats. 170 Ives St., Providence, 419-8869,

The Peyton Company
7 Child St., Warren, 216-8700,
What you put on your body is as critical as what you put in your body. The Peyton Company, which opened its flagship store this summer, creates products using locally sourced, organic and fair-trade ingredients. The shop highlights a seasonal raw beauty bar with immediate-use, take-and-go products. The current line features lip scrub, lip balm, body butter, mermaid hair spray for that beachy-hair-don’t-care look that will leave your locks wavy all summer long and more.

Pompelmo Gelateria in Westerly. Photo by Angel Tucker.

Pompelmo Gelateria
31 High St., Westerly, 348-8586; Gramma’s Gelato Cafe, 12 Fort Rd., Watch Hill, 315-0446,
If someone blindfolded you and plopped you down in front of the colorful gelato case filled with eighteen-plus icy, creamy creations at Pompelmo, you’d never guess you were in Westerly. The shop uses traditional Italian methods for making gelato in flavors from classic pistachio and strawberry to coconut key lime cheesecake and Cake by the Ocean (birthday cake). Elaborate gelato cakes are often bedecked with ice cream cones, making for very happy birthdays indeed.

Lori Kettelle of PVDonuts. Photo by Alex Gagne.

79 Ives St., Providence,
PVD is the rebellious teenager of the fried dough world: Flavors are audacious, coffee is dark and customers think nothing of waiting an hour for their fix. There’s a different menu every month and it covers far-reaching ground, from towering moon pie doughnuts, to maple glazed bacon bombs and doughnut holes that come with their own dropper filled with syrup shots.

Rebelle Artisan Bagels
110 Doyle Ave., Providence, 349-1263,
Aficionados will wrap themselves around the block for one of Rebelle’s hand-rolled and boiled bagels, but the cream cheese is the cherry on top. Try the ever-changing bright pink beet or tahini versions, the honey gorgonzola or — our favorite — the caramelized banana on a Sunday cinnamon raisin bagel.

The Savory Grape
1000 Division St., East Greenwich, 886-9463,
Eagle-eyed browsers like us have been known to meander down the well-stocked aisles at Savory Grape on the lookout for a robust Italian vino or cool craft beer. Now our chances of finding a new favorite have increased roughly five times, thanks to SG’s expansion into the long-closed Walgreen’s next door, where we’ll have even more tasty potables to discover.

1413 Westminster St., Providence, 369-8427,
Sin moved to a sleek retail space on the West Side to display its indulgent creations. Favorites (like chocolate cupcakes with tiny red devil horns in the frosting) are listed as Vices while the weekly specials are deemed occasional Virtues. There are plenty of over-the-top creations — including occasion cakes made to order — but passing up the divine brioche roll is a sin against culinary judgment. It’s the best in town.

Stock Culinary Goods
756 Hope  St., Providence, 521-0101,
For the passionate culinarian, not just any kitchen tool will do. Owner Jan Faust Dane curates chef-worthy goods that can’t be found in most retail shops. Need a Baking Steel for the perfect pizza crust? Or how about fancy French pastry bakeware? Stock procures it all, alongside professional knives, cutting boards and Le Creuset pots. Dane often holds oyster-shucking and cooking demos at the shop for those who want to learn a little something while they shop.

StyleWeek Northeast
Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin St., Providence,
Last fall, StyleWeek got a makeover and it looks better than ever. The new venue at the Rhode Island Convention Center leaves room for a super sleek, super long runway for local emerging designers to debut their latest creations. And with just two lengthy rows for attendees on each side of the runway, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Namaste for the big day! Before you say “I do,” calm your nerves and restore your body with a little Zen and spa-based savasana. You bring the bubbles and Zen Mafia will bring the bliss. The session will make your big day as special (and as calming) as possible. Take a deep breath and #NamaSlay it down the aisle. Bachelorette, bachelor and pre-wedding sessions are also available.


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