Portland is quite literally a city run by women – Portland to South Portland, our elected Mayors are incredible women. This is not the only arena in which women have made history and shaped Portland’s culture. From Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick, former Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Bates College President Clayton Spencer – women of greater Portland are industry leaders.
The month of March is a celebration of women’s history and our chance to showcase the hard work done by women in our city. Our list of incredible women-owned businesses rivals Santa’s naughty/nice list except ours features only the baddest bosses in the business. Pulling from a diverse array of industries, we present to you a *snapshot* of the women running our city.
A Company of Girls (Non Profit, Youth, Arts) – Woman-founded and led, A Company of Girls has been a beacon of the Portland community. Their mission is to strengthen and empower girls and their families, and foster community through the arts.
Location: 202 Woodford St, Portland, ME 04103
All Kind Bodega (Recreational Cannabis) – Founded in 2015 by owner Claire Stretch, All Kind Bodega draws on Portland, Maine’s burgeoning foodie scene, creating Cannabis confections that medicate, elevate, and alleviate a patient’s aches, pains and anxiety.
Location: 688 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
Anoche (Cider Bar) – Anoche created by longtime Novare Res manager Erika Colby, is a Basque inspired cider house & bistro, offering a vast range of local and international ciders, select spirits and innovative modern pintxos.
Location: 43 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101
Arcana (Health/Wellness) – Initially founded by Kate Hebold, and transitioned to Jennie Joan in 2016, Arcana is a women-owned, and led mystical shop in the heart of the Old Port. Arcana offers a wide selection of local art, jewelry, books, tarot cards, botanicals, elixirs, body care products, yoga props, organic CBD, and beautiful, unique gemstones and crystals.
Location: 81 Market St, Portland, ME 04101
Aristelle (Lingerie & Undergarments)– Founded in 2012, Aristelle has helped over 8,000 women find bras and lingerie to perfectly suit their size, shape and age. In 2019, native Mainer Ashey Tucci took ownership of Aristelle and continues to lead the way in empowering women to embrace their shape and feel great.
Location: 92 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101
Baristas + Bites (Bakery) – Baristas + Bites is the brainchild of owner Amy Alward. With the impact of Covid on the food scene in Portland, Amy pivoted her business model and launched Baristas + Bites into the national spotlight by partnering with Goldbelly. Now you can enjoy their tasty bites in Portland and beyond!
Location: 469 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Beth’s Riverside Street Garage (Auto-mechanic) – Beth Bernard has a created reputation for her shop as trustworthy, reliable, and fair. Since 2008, Beth has dedicated her shop to providing top notch customer service, treating customers like family.
Location: 522 Riverside St, Portland, ME 04103
Bixby & Co. (Candy/Confections) – Bixby and Co’s headquarters may be in Rockland, but their delicious confections can be found throughout Portland shops. Bixby & Co was founded by Kate McAleer as a way to share her passion for sustainability, fairness, and minimal environmental impact and has fostered change in the chocolate industry.
Location: 1 Sea St Pl, Rockland, ME 04841
Burke’s Perks (Coffee Shop) – Erica Burke, owner of Burke’s Perks in Monument Square, created her family and veteran owned coffee shop with customer service in mind. This friendly coffee and breakfast sandwich nook is a frequent location of Portland Old Port staff. Keep your eyes peeled this summer as Burke’s goes mobile.
Location: 23 Monument Sq, Portland, ME 04101
Chaval (Restaurant/ Brasserie) – Co-owned by Chef Ilma Jeil Lopez and husband Chef Damian Sansonetti, Chaval has become a neighborhood favorite in the West End with their menu of Spanish and French inspired seasonal cuisine. Chef Lopez has been recognized as a pastry powerhouse receiving two James Beard Award nominations for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2017 and 2018.
Location: 58 Pine Street, Portland, ME 04101
Coffee By Design (Coffee Roaster) – Mary Allen Lindemann first opened Coffee By Design in 1994 with partner Alan Spear. Over the past 28 years, Coffee By Design has opened locations in Portland and Freeport, and is proud to be one of 10 Certified B Corporations in Maine.
Designs by CC (Jewelry) – Founder and Owner, Cheryl Cook first launched Designs By CC 30 years ago, and has been a Portland staple in her bright pink store on Pleasant street the past 24. Designs By CC is an eclectic shop of custom made fine jewelry, gems, and fossils. Designs By CC has both a brick and mortar location and e-commerce.
Location: 7 Pleasant St, Portland, ME 04101
Find (Second Hand Apparel) – Find is a local favorite among thrift and vintage enthusiasts. Owner and Founder, Laura Ker has created an eccentric and inclusive storefront, filled to the brim with carefully selected vintage and second-hand clothes, and accessories for men and women.
Location: 16 Free St, Portland, ME 04101
The Fish & Bone (Pet Supply Store) – The Fish & Bone, originally called Fetch, was opened in 2000 by Kathy Palmer with a mission to improve the quality of life of dogs & cats, and their humans, through healthy, natural pet nutrition and well-designed, high quality apparel and gear.
Location: 195 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
The Green Hand Bookshop (Bookstore) – Michelle Souliere is not only the owner of The Green Hand Bookshop, but a published Maine author! Following her passion for reading, Michelle found her way to business ownership in 2009. The Green Hand is a unique, and inviting shop home to a vast collection of interesting reads.
Location: 661 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Harvest on the Harbor (Event/Tourism) – Co-Owners and producers Stefanie Manning & Gillian Britt are two of the industry’s greatest supporters. Harvest on the Harbor, one of Portland’s most anticipated annual events, celebrates Portland and Maine’s local- and independently-owned restaurants that attract tourists to Maine.
Hustle & Flow (Fitness) – Stephanie Harmon, founder of Hustle and Flow, has created Portland’s most eclectic movement studio. Their studio is committed to fostering a connection to the diverse people of Portland, and uses their passion for movement and wellness to create classes that are both fun and liberating.
Location: 155 Brackett St, Portland, ME 04102
LooHoo (Household Staples) – Cyndi Prince made her quest for organic cleaning products into a business. LooHoo is a Maine-based, woman run company, using 100% domestic wool to create sustainable and cute wool dryer balls. Her products have been featured in People, In Style, and The Oprah Magazine (to name a few).
Maine Life Media (Media) – Led by Erin Ovalle, Maine Life Media is a production company based right here in Portland. With a background in news, Erin created MaineLife as a way to take on personal and authentic stories. Erin also has ties to Portland’s non-profit community and demonstrates leadership through action.
Oleaga Law Firm (Legal Practice) – Oleaga Law, LLC is a boutique law firm dedicated to assisting clients with all aspects of family formation. Founder Janene Oleaga, Esq. believes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to family formation law and works tirelessly to help families fulfill their dreams.
Location: Merrill’s Wharf – 254 Commercial Street, Suite 245, Portland ME 04101
Pomegranate Inn (Accommodations) – Owner Kim Swan took over the 1884 Italianate in 2007 to create a one-of-a-kind Portland Maine boutique hotel with loads of arty panache. The funky yet fancy Pomegranate Inn is a visual treat, a soothing sanctuary, and a bold, bright pied-à-terre – better yet – it’s pup friendly!
Location: 49 Neal St, Portland, ME 04102
Portside Real Estate Group (Real Estate) – Portside Real Estate is 100% woman-owned and dedicated to both their customers and their communities. With focus areas around sustainability, inclusion, and fundraising, Portside Real Estate is an excellent resource to build your home and your community.
Location: 59 Baxter Boulevard, Portland, ME 04101
Rising Tide Brewing Company (Brewery) – Co-Owner Heather Sanborn has as many accolades as Rising Tide has beers on tap! A 2015 Woman To Watch, past president of the Mainer Brewers Guild and so much more, Heather has fused her passion for the outdoors, and her commitment to being local family owned, pushing Rising Tide to become one of Portland’s most notable breweries.
Location: 103 Fox St, Portland, ME 04101
The Thirsty Pig (Casual Eats & Craft Beer) – Allison Stevens is well known to the Portland food and beverage scene having been both a founder of Portland Beer Week, and former host of the Maine Brewers Guild. The Thirsty Pig hosts an impressive list of rotating taps with beer’s best friend, various handmade sausages and hot dogs.
Location: 37 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101
Two Fat Cats (Bakery) – Two Fat Cats serves some of the best pie in Portland – but that’s not their only contribution to the Portland community. Owner Stacy Begin invests in charitable giving with Baking That Matters. Indulge your sweet tooth guilt-free and purchase a mixed berry pie (and a specialty cake, and cookies, and well, you get the idea).
Location: 195 Lancaster Street Portland, ME 04101 & 740 Broadway South Portland, ME 04106
Wild Offering (Hair Salon) – Owner Krissy Huff had already created a name for herself as a craft hairstylist in Portland when she ventured to open her own salon, Wild Offering, in 2021. Hosting a formidable team of hyper-talented and stylish women, Wild Offering actualizes clients’ hair goals with gorgeous cuts, color services, and more.
Location: 98 Cross St N Suite B, Portland, ME 04101
Wine Wise (Wine Experiences) – Sommelier Erica Archer shares her passion for wine with the Portland community through educational experiences and events. Join her during Portland Wine Week in June or put your boat shoes on and sail the seas with her for a Wine Sail.