Portland is quite literally a city proudly run by women who 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 and 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
Broken Arrow (Restaurant) – Co-owned by husband and wife due Lyle and Holly Aker, Broken Arrow is downtown Portland’s rustic restaurant and bar. They incorporate the freshest ingredients sourced in Maine in each plate. Holly additionally owns and operates Local Goods Gathered which offers small-batch, artisanal cheese and local goods from all corners of Maine, shipped directly to your door.
Location: 545 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
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.
Location: 23 Monument Sq, Portland, ME 04101
Burundi Star Coffee (Coffee Shop) – Born the daughter of a coffee farmer in the Ngozi province of Burundi, owner Jocelyne Kamikazi’s cafe and coffee shop features fine blends sustainably sourced directly from farmers in Burundi. Stop in for high quality ingredients and top-notch service at their Portland location. Burundi Star Coffee is additionally a Black-owned business.
Location: 261 St. John St, Portland, ME 04102
CHART Metalworks (Jewelry and Accessories) – Selling beautiful women and men’s jewelry and accessories, barware, and home goods inspired by the rocky coast of Maine, CHART Metalworks is owned by Janice Sears. All of their products are customizable with maps/charts, graphics and photographs. They are also able to customize further with engraving.
Location: 1 Pleasant Street – 3rd Floor, 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. As of February 2023, Chef Ilma Jeil Lopez and Chef Damian Sansonetti additionally opened The Ugly Ducking in the West End. The Ugly Ducking is a bakeshop and luncheonette.
Location: 58 Pine Street, Portland, ME 04101 (Chaval), 246 Danforth Street (The Ugly Duckling)
Curbside Queens (Traveling Drag Show) – Born in the midst of the pandemic as a way to boost morale and bring enjoyment, Maine’s #1 Traveling Drag Show is owned and operated by GiGi Gabor, a Trans femme drag performer who is described as an “unapologetic go-getter.” Alongside Gigi Gabor stands founding member Cherry Lemonade, a performance powerhouse. 2022 saw the biggest growth to date for Curbside Queens, with a new bus, Peg Too, and a rotating cast of 8 of Maine’s best Drag performers.
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
Eunoia (Hair Salon) – Eunoia is where good hair days and confidence are born. Owned and operated by Maggie Sabine, this welcoming and relaxed hair salon inspires a genuine connection with their clientele by taking a mindful approach to beauty. Eunoia’s professional stylists focus on nourishing your mind and body through hair care services such as Brazilian blowouts, color and corrective color sessions, consultations, hair cuts, event hair and more.
Location: 4 1/2 Milk St, Portland, ME 04101
Eighty 8 Donuts (Donut Shop) – Specializing in made-to-order bite-sized donuts, Eighty 8 Donuts is co-owned by Ellen O’Keefe and Garrett Champlin. All designed to make you smile, Eighty 8 Donuts offers an array of creative and addictive flavors such as the Bam Bam with Fruity Pebbles, Maine Maple, Boston Cream and more. With locations in both the Old Port and Sugarloaf Mountain, Eighty 8 Donuts initially began as a food truck (Ms. Rosie), which you can still find roaming around greater Portland/ Eastern Promenade during the food truck season.
Location: 202 Federal St, Portland, Maine 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 and cats, and their humans, through healthy, natural pet nutrition and well-designed, high quality apparel and gear. In late 2022, The Fish and Bone expanded to a new store location in Portland on India Street.
Location: 5 India Street, 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
Hattie Mae Photography (Photography) – Small wedding, couples and elopement photographer Hattie Mae is in the business of making your memories permanent. Helping you soak up every magic moment of your special day, Hattie Mae Photography offers a true-to-color, tweaks, not changes process, showcasing your natural beauty and the beauty of the natural surroundings.
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.
Health Resonates (Boutique Wellness Spa) – Providing wildly effective and relaxing massage therapy, skincare, beauty, and business/ wellness services to help you live your best, blissed-out life, Health Resonates is co-owned by Tara Evelyn a Licensed Massage Therapist, Energy Healer, Aesthetician and Founder of Health Resonates, and Anna Flaherty, Experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and Aesthetician.
Location: 773 Congress St, Portland, Maine 04102
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
Lady Shuckers (Mobile Raw-Bar & Catering) – Owned by Libby Davis, Lady Shuckers delivers the best raw-bar experience possible while increasing visibility for underrepresented groups on the working waterfront. Lady Shuckers sources world-class, Maine oysters directly from a network of women-owned sea farms and partner with aligned businesses, organizations and clients.
Little Easy Snoballs (Food Truck) – A taste of the Big Easy in a cup, Little Easy Snoballs’ owner Lauren Gauthier has been bringing the finely shaved ice dessert to Portland since 2019. Not your average snow cone, snoballs are a soft and light summertime treat. Little Easy Snoballs is proudly queer-owned and Black-owned.
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.
Maine Day Ventures (Tours Operator) – Offering highly interactive, educational, and entertaining adventures for locals and visitors alike in Portland, Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor. Maine Day Ventures invites guests to experience the creative culinary scene and the rich history, architecture, and culture amongst our streets with highly trained local guides. Established as Maine Foodie Tours in 2009, Pamela Laskey is the recipient of the SBA Women-owned business of the year award, the Maine Office of Tourism, Governor’s award for Innovation and Creativity, and the TripAdvisor “Hall of Fame” for excellence.
Location: 95 India Street, Portland, ME 04101
Maine Needs (Non Profit) – Founded by Angela Stone in 2018, Maine Needs is a grassroots community donation organization powered by a growing collective of volunteers. Striving to help Mainers meet their basic needs, Maine Needs collects donated clothing, hygiene products, household items, cleaning kits, mini warmth kits and art kits. Current Board of Directors at Maine Needs is all-female lead – Kaleigh Anderson, Bonnie Harlow, Sanaa Abduljabbar, Kathryn Sargent, Dani Laliberte, Laurie Jevons, and Carrie Hemmelgarn – with Tara Balch as Communications Director.
Location: 332 Forest Ave, Portland, ME
The Muthah Truckah (Food Truck) – Offering delicious, golden griddled sandwiches sourced with the freshest of ingredients, The Muthah Truckah has been an O.G. on the Portland food truck scene since 2014. Owned and operated by Erica Dionne, catch The Muthah Truckah throughout Portland and local breweries during the warmer months. Frequently at Austin Street Brewery at 115 Fox Street.
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
Old Port Candy Co. – (Candy Store) a family-business owned by Anna Largay and her husband, Old Port Candy Co. is a candy shop in the heart of the Old Port. With doors first opening in January of 2002, Old Port Candy Co. keeps Portland sweet with old favorites and new novelties such as fudge, nostalgia candies, gourmet chocolates, licorice, gummies, Maine sweets, and chocolate-covered-treats.
Location: 422 Fore St, 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
Savior Claire – (Wedding Officiant) – A Maine Wedding Officiant, Claire Winston-Wade provides couples with customized ceremonies and vows. Choose from the collection of vows or write vows from scratch. Savior Claire is a Black-owned business/service.
Sur Lie (Restaurant) – Serving as the sole owner, Krista Cole has built Sur Lie, a tapas restaurant serving American contemporary in Portland since 2014, from the ground up. Striving to breakdown barriers for females in the hospitality industry, Krista’s executive leadership team is all female. In January of 2022, she bought community-loved Gather in Yarmouth, Maine and Krista has her own semi-finalist nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur for both restaurants. Sur Lie is a semi-finalist for Outstanding Hospitality.
Location: 11 Free St, Portland, Maine 04101
TACHEE (Design Company) – Owned by local artist Rachel Gloria Adams, TACHEE design company offers small batch printed goods and design collaborations. An extension of Rachel Gloria Adams’ studio, TACHEE is textile based that celebrates printed surfaces. TACHEE is a Black-owned business. Rachel Gloria Adams is widely-known across Maine for her eye-catching and vibrant murals found at L.L.Bean in Freeport, One Longfellow Square, Thompson’s Point, Back Cove Books, Children’s Museum, Indigo Arts Alliance and more.
Terrarium (Plant Shop) – Co-owned by Anna and Rob Sinnott, Terrarium is a jungle oasis/indoor plant shop and cafe set in the Old Port that specializes in common and rare house plants. Opening in 2022 after years of dreaming, Terrarium also offers terrarium building workshops, classes, and happy hour snacks and bevvies.
Location: 98 Cross St N Suite A, 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
Toni’s Touch (Hair Salon) – A full-service salon specializing in braiding, braid extensions, weave wig application, dreadlocks, and barbering, Toni’s Touch is owned by Antoinette Smothers. Toni’s Touch also sell quality wigs, hair pieces, brushes, du rags, flatirons, clothing, jewelry, mix cds, beauty products and more. Toni’s Touch is additionally Black-owned.
Locations: 26 Forest Avenue, 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
Veeva Banga (Dance) – Veeva Banga is a South Sudanese dancer who has been dancing hip hop since the age of twelve. A talented dancer that has an opportunity to play with a mix of styles in Afro Beat that can offer a different approach to dance in Maine, you can find her classes at local studios local studios like Hustle and Flow Studio, Bright Star World Dance Studio, Living Room Dance Collective, Portland Youth Dance, and Mayo Street Arts. Additionally a Black-owned business.
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.
Yardie Ting (Restaurant) – Creating authentic Jamaican dishes with a modern twist, Yardi Ting uses fresh, local ingredients and homemade rubs and spices. Owned by Shanna-Kay Wright, Yardie Ting brings authentic flavor to each meal. Additionally a Black-owned business.
Locations: Public Market House, 28 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101