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Want to support women in the food industry? Luckily, there are plenty of woman-founded and woman-owned businesses to choose from. Here, our editors and testers share their favorites, with offerings available online. These food and kitchen products include everything from quick-and-easy meals delivered straight to your door to kitchen cleaning products that are both eco-friendly and effective.
And if producing quality products wasn't enough, some of these woman-led brands are also focused on making amazing contributions to their local and global communities: S'well is helping to make clean water more accessible, dessert makers Partake and Eat Me Guilt Free's provide initiatives for women in the food business, and League of Kitchens offers virtual cooking classes led by immigrant women from all over the world.
Here's our list of the top woman-fronted brands to shop all year long.
The mission of L.A.-based cookware company Our Place, founded by Pakistani immigrant Shiza Shahid, is to share the connective power of a home-cooked meal through its attractive and ethically made cookware. One of its best-selling pans, the Always Pan, is one of our favorites for good reason: The multi-purpose skillet is made of eco-friendly aluminum.
“The Always Pan can work as a nonstick frying pan, sauté pan, skillet, or saucier with ease,” says Donna Currie, a product tester for The Spruce Eats.
The pan’s distinctive design, impressive performance, and ease of cleaning earned it high marks during our tests. Our Place also partners with local L.A. businesses to improve access to fresh, healthy food in the community.
"The French toast didn’t even think about sticking and scrambled eggs slid around the surface easily." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
There’s a reason Omsom kicks off The Spruce Eats’ “On the Fly” series. Founded by fiery sister duo Vanessa and Kim Pham, daughters of Vietnamese refugees, Omsom (which means “rowdy'' in Vietnamese) launched its East Asian and Southeast Asian-inspired sauce and spice pantry kits in 2020.
“They did this with grace and determination, educating everyone who would listen on the culture behind their business, as well as fighting for social justice in their communities and others,” says freelance editor Lauryn Bodden.
Each kit is crafted by well-known NYC-based chefs (hailing from the likes of Jeepney and Fish Cheeks) and includes high-quality ingredients imported from Asia. “It’s more than just experiencing flavor bombs of new spices in an approachable way—it’s a learning experience in so many ways,” Bodden adds.
Best known for bedding and bath essentials, Parachute has lovely linens for outfitting tabletops, too. Founder and CEO Ariel Kaye set out to create a brand that offered comfort and quality at an affordable price.
"I love everything about my Parachute purchases,” says Taysha Murtaugh, Editorial Director of Dotdash Meredith’s Commerce Food Group. “The colors and the texture feel like home, and the craftsmanship holds up to everyday use.” Parachute’s linen tabletop collection includes a waffle set woven with 100 percent European flax that is garment-dyed and washed. All of the company’s products are OEKO-TEX-certified.
Sarah Kauss started S’well in 2010 with the aim of helping reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. The result? The original S’well 17-ounce triple-insulated water bottle marries both style and function—the sleek bottle could keep cold drinks cold for up to 36 hours and hot liquids hot for up to 18. Not only that, but the company also partners with UNICEF to help provide clean water to vulnerable communities around the world. Today, S’well’s array of sustainable products also includes colorful tumblers, barware, reusable food bowls, steel straws, and more.
Mary Kate Hoban, Associate Editorial Director, says she carries her S'well water bottle with her everywhere, especially in the summer. “I love how cold it keeps beverages and the fact that I can throw it in a backpack or purse and it won't get condensation all over my stuff,” she raves. “It's also really cute—I get compliments on my shiny gold one whenever I pull it out.”
CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo founded Blueland with the belief that “we shouldn’t have to sacrifice a clean home for a clean planet,” says the household company’s website. That’s why all its household products are packaged in reusable bottles and contain only eco-friendly ingredients. Take the Clean Suite Kit, for example, which includes foaming hand soap, laundry detergent, powder dish soap, dishwasher detergent, multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass and mirror cleaner, and all the stylish BPA-free containers that house them.
"I received this as a birthday present years ago and haven't looked back," says Commerce Editor Taylor Rock. "All it takes is one little tablet and some water to fill the hand soap and each bottle of cleaner, and the laundry tablets and powdered dish detergent work wonders. It feels really good to know that I'm not contributing to waste by purchasing a seemingly infinite amount of plastic bottles from the grocery store."
“It’s cookie time, all the time,” according to the Partake website—and the brand aims to make this true for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions. The Black-owned company, founded by CEO Denise Woodard, came about when she found out her daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies and she ran into a lack of tasty snacks that were also safe for her to consume.
Partake makes non-GMO, vegan cookies that are free from 14 allergens, including peanuts, eggs, dairy, soy, and gluten. Plus, the company is also heavily involved in mentorship programs for women and people of color looking to be involved in the food industry.
But what about the flavor? “These cookies remind me of Chips Ahoy!, which was such a huge part of my childhood. It's hard to believe these are vegan and gluten-free,” says Fran Sales, Associate Commerce Editor, about Partake’s crunchy chocolate chip cookies. “I can see them replacing my Oreo obsession, for sure,” she adds, praising the cookies’ simple ingredients.
Eat Me Guilt Free
“I love a good snack, especially something sweet,” says Editor Kristin Stangl. But she also tries to limit her carb and sugar intake, especially during the week. Enter the brownies from Eat Me Guilt Free. Registered Nurse and Certified Sports Nutritionist Cristie Besu founded the company in response to her clients’ late-night sweets cravings.
Today, Eat Me Guilt Free comprises a team of highly skilled bakers that make everything from the decadent brownies that are Stangl’s go-to daily afternoon treat—which come in flavors like cotton candy, and red velvet cake—to protein bread and protein tortillas. Plus, everything is made from simple ingredients.
“I’ve been a monthly subscriber for nearly a year now,” adds Stangl, who is a huge fan of the original chocolate flavor but also gets the flavor of the month. But what excites her even more is that founder Besu is also launching a Women Entrepreneur Grant to help usher in the next wave of women-owned businesses and to pay her knowledge forward.
Founded by Rachel Drori in 2015, Daily Harvest’s goal is to make tasty plant-based food more accessible “by eliminating barriers to access, cost, and time,” according to the company’s website. The foods are quick and easy to make, 95 percent organic, and free from fillers, refined sugars, stabilizers, and other additives—and they’re delivered right to your door. While the company got its start with smoothies, the offerings have expanded to include soups, harvest bowls, oat bowls, chia bowls, and more.
"The soup and smoothie cups contain ready-to-blend fruits and veggies—great for a quick breakfast or lunch,” says Commerce Food Group Editorial Director Taysha Murtaugh. “The gift box is one of my favorite things to send everyone from new parents to family members."
SOS Chefs, a small specialty food market that holds many hard-to-source ingredients from all over the world, was founded in 1996 by Atef Boulaabi—“one of the most passionate and knowledgeable people, let alone women, I have ever met,” according to Freelance Editor Lauryn Bodden.
Based in the East Village of New York City, Bodden can only describe SOS Chefs as a culinary wonderland of gourmet spices, vinegar, herbs, syrups, powders, and more. There’s no lack of interesting ingredients, from celery salt to dill pollen to fried grasshopper.
“Plain and simple, if you’re not asking questions, picking [Atef Boulaabi’s] brain, and petting her loveable cat, then you’re doing yourself a disservice,” Bodden adds. Plus, owner Boulabbi makes every ingredient accessible, regardless of your skill level and palate. If you are not fortunate enough to visit in person, SOS Chefs ships nationally.
Fly By Jing
Fly by Jing owner and Sichuan chef Jing Gao wanted to share her unique twist on the flavors of her hometown of Chengdu, China, as well as its packed hole-in-the-wall “fly” eateries—“so good they attract diners like flies,” she says on the company’s website. So Gao launched Fly by Jing in 2018, offering carefully crafted sauces, spices, kits, and more, with only 100 percent natural ingredients sourced from Chengdu.
Eric Handelsman, Senior VP of Dotdash’s Food and Drink brands, is a self-professed spicy condiment fanatic—so it makes sense that he got turned on to Fly by Jing from an Instagram ad for its chili crisp. So he ordered the Triple Threat trio of Sichuan sauces, one of Fly by Jing’s bestsellers.
“It had the chili crisp, Zhong sauce, and mala spice mix, and I was instantly addicted to all three,” Handelsman raves. Why? “They go on everything from eggs to salads, ice cream to cheese. All three are distinctly delicious.”
Virtual With Us
Virtual With Us, founded by Alexandra Schrecengost, aims to connect colleagues from all over with easy and relaxed interactive virtual food and/or beverage pairings. The company’s goal is to curate a business casual social environment where professional relationships can thrive—remotely.
“They have a bounty of passionate food and beverage consultants who tailor their events to your specific needs, making scheduling, receiving supplies, and hosting the day-of event as seamless as possible,” says Victoria Heydt, Editorial Project Manager.
Janie's Life Changing Baked Goods
“If you cannot tell from the name of this company, your first bite of her famous pie crust cookie will,” raves Editor Kysha Harris. “Let me say that again for all of my buttery, flaky, delicate crust fans: pie...crust...cookie.”
She’s talking about the popular cookie from Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods, based in East Harlem, and a product of that community’s Hot Bread Kitchen incubator program.
“What makes this cookie taste even sweeter is owner Janie Deegan’s journey to this well-deserved victory. Janie has overcome obstacles, worked hard, and been extremely resourceful at continuing to build her business.” Harris adds.
You can find Janie’s pie crust cookies in Whole Foods and on the company’s website. If you do buy from the website, make sure to get the sampler box and “send a care package to someone whose life needs changing,” Harris advises. She loves all the flavors, but her “fave-faves” are the original, chocolate, and seasonal rhubarb.
League of Kitchens
It’s easy to see why League of Kitchens is former Editorial Director, Heather Ramsdell’s resounding pick. “Lisa Gross created a business that goes so far beyond cooking classes,” she explains. Based in New York City, the immigrant women who make up League of Kitchens lead cooking workshops—and give you insight into their food traditions—directly from their homes (these classes are all offered online).
These cooks come from all over the globe, from Lebanon to Nepal to Argentina. What makes these workshops even more special is they’ll be teaching you their beloved family recipes. All you need to do is choose a class from their website, and you’ll get a Zoom link, as well as a recipe packet, shopping list, and equipment list. You’ll cook, eat, and share cultural stories with other students, who will likely also be from diverse backgrounds, and the instructor.
League of Kitchens was launched in 2014 and has since hosted hundreds of workshops. Several online reviewers who’ve taken these virtual classes marvel at how well the instructors have converted their in-person cooking classes to an online format—while still cultivating a sense of connection and engagement among the participants.
Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen
When Editor Kysha Harris first tasted the sambal from Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen at an expo of Brooklyn makers years ago, it was love at first bite.
“In fact, right after leaving the expo, I beelined to Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue to buy Auria’s lime leaf sambal,” Harris says, describing the sambal as “unique, bright, spicy, and aromatic for the ages.”
The business, founded by chef Auria Abraham in 2013, was born out of the buzz around the food she was vending at street fairs, pop-ups, and food festivals—as well as her desire to make authentic Malaysian flavors widely available to the American public. The lime leaf sambal, along with Auria’s Kaya coconut jam, is also a Specialty Food Association (SFA) sofi winner. Not only that, but her products have also been featured in countless journals and, in 2020, were featured in Chrissy Teigen’s gift guide—a boon for the small business.
“Auria’s is the authentic Malaysian truth run by a passionate woman, and I dig her for all of that!” Harris says.
Baked By Melissa
Any kind of mini food is adorable, but the bite-sized cupcakes from Baked by Melissa are unbelievably delicious, too. Founded by Melissa Ben-Ishay, this New York City-based brand is famous for its signature tiny cupcakes, which come in a fun array of flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Chip Pancake, and Tie-Dye. There are even vegan and gluten-free options to choose from, and the sweet treats can be shipped anywhere across the country.
If you happen to live in New York City, there are 14 retail locations you can visit, and the brand also offers courier delivery to Manhattan addresses below 110th Street so you can get your cupcake fix faster.
The quality of extra-virgin olive oil sold in stores isn't always the best—studies have found it's often expired or diluted with other types of oil—and this lack of quality and consistency is what drove Aishwarya Iyer to found Brightland. The direct-to-consumer brand offers authentic olive oils and vinegars made from ingredients grown at family-run California farms, and the products never contain fillers or artificial preservatives.
Some of the brand's best-selling products are its AWAKE and ALIVE olive oils, which are made from hand-harvested heirloom California olives, and Brightland recently introduced unfiltered California Orange Blossom Honey and Kauai Wildflower Honey to its product range, too.
While convenient for food storage, plastic wrap is far from eco-friendly. While looking for ways to eliminate plastics from her own kitchen, Bee's Wrap founder Sarah Kaeck created a washable, reusable, and compostable alternative for food storage, and it's been a massive success to date.
Bee's Wraps are made from cotton fabric that's coated a mixture of beeswax, plant oil, and tree resin. The resulting material sticks to itself when warmed by your hands, allowing you to wrap food and dishes for storage. Each Bee's Wrap can last up to a year with proper care, and the product comes in a variety of sizes and patterns to suit every kitchen.
Our tester noted that these wraps are more pliable compared to other wraps by other brands she's used. When it comes time to clean, simply wash with soap and warm water; each wrap will retain its original level of stickiness and durability after washing and air-drying on the counter.
"I like the thickness of this wrap and how easy it is to wash. Its packaging is compact, as well, so I like how easy it is to store the remaining unused wraps until they're needed." — Rachel Werner, Product Tester
Hedley & Bennett
A great apron is a must-have for every chef, but Ellen Marie Bennett wasn't pleased with the quality of her kitchen apron when she was working as a line cook. She went on to found Hedley & Bennett, a popular brand of professional-grade aprons that are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Every Hedley & Bennett apron is designed with both function and quality in mind, and you'll be hard-pressed to find better craftsmanship. In addition to simple, classic designs for both everyday and professional use, Hedley & Bennett also offers fun collaboration with other brands, from "Sesame Street" to "Top Chef."
Why use regular sprinkles when you can use Fancy Sprinkles instead? The brand was founded in 2016 by Lisa Stelly, and its fun and fabulous sprinkle mixes are all the rage on Instagram.
The sprinkle mixtures are designed with the "modern baker" in mind and typically contain sprinkles in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that will take any sweet treat to the next level. Whether you're looking for bold holiday sprinkles to elevate your Christmas cookies or fancy sugar for the rim of your cocktails, Fancy Sprinkle has the perfect product for you.
In addition to sharing her culture with the world, Copper Cow Coffee creator Debbie Wei Mullin wanted to ensure ethical treatment for the farmers in Vietnam who cultivate coffee beans. As such, each purchase from Copper Cow Coffee helps support the farmers and everyone in the supply chain.
Create a delicious cup of Vietnamese coffee right at home with these easy-to-use pour-over kits. There are coffees, teas, and lattes in a variety of flavors, with popular selections including churro coffee, lavender latte, and the chai tea latte. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try the mystery latte, which can also come free with purchases over $35.
If you fall in love with Copper Cow Coffee’s wonderful selection, you can set up a customizable subscription box with extra perks and savings. Copper Cow Coffee kits can also be found at major retailers, such as Walmart and Whole Foods.
“Grown for flavor. Rooted in equity,” is the motto of Diaspora Co. Mumbai-born Sana Javeri Kadri was inspired to found the company after visiting over 40 spice farms in India. Frustrated with the unfair wages of hard-working farmers and the complicated supply chain from harvest to consumer, Sana met with the Indian Institute of Spice Research, and a dream was born. Now, Diaspora Co. claims to pay their partner farms six times above the standard commodity price to ensure a fair living wage, all while bringing high-quality South Asian spices and products to consumers.
There are a wide variety of flavorful items to try. Some intriguing options include the Playing With Fire chili pack, the best-selling Pragati turmeric, Annamalai cacao, Kashmiri saffron, and Kerala vanilla to name just a few. Diaspora Co. even has cooking tools and company swag, such as aprons and totes, available.
“On my personal journey to discover tea, I realized a few things: There’s a lot I don’t know, exploring tea can be expensive, and finding great tea is hard,” says Staci Brinkman, founder and CEO of Sips By. “Despite all those challenges, I knew one thing to be true: Drinking tea made me feel good. In 2017, I launched Sips by to simplify the quest to find hidden gem teas and match you with your new favorites based on your unique preferences.”
Sips By is a monthly subscription box of teas from around the world customized to your very own tastes. Whether you’re a tea novice or enthusiast, it’s a great way to explore new flavors and partner brands of tea in a convenient and affordable way. It starts at just $16 a month for 16 cups of four different flavors. A dollar per cup is a pretty great bargain. The teas range from well-known global brands to smaller local shops.
If your friend has a birthday coming up and you know they like cookies, but you're not sure what kind, there's a solution for that. Sugarwish is female-founded and women-owned personal and corporate gifting company that allows the recipient to make their own selections, taking guesswork out of the equation for the gifter.
Cofounded by Elisabeth Vezzani and Leslie Lyon, the platform is quite simple to use: Just pick a mini, small, medium, large, or extra-large box—ranging from two to twelve selections—and then choose between classic candies, freshly baked cookies, gourmet popcorn, crunchy snacks, coffee and tea, or dog treats. Better yet, the "Sweet Treats Select" box lets the recipient choose a combination of the six categories. This is the company's most popular offering.
For adults of the legal drinking age, shipping or dropping off a bottle of wine can sometimes be difficult, and sending a gift certificate to the receiver's local wine shop isn't all that fun, so Sugarwish also offers wine samplers via Vinebox. Choose between all different types of local reds, whites, and rosés or opt for a specially curated box, such as A Trip Through Europe or Sunset Mix. Each variety arrives by the glass in a chic tube, and favorites can later be purchased by the bottle.
Kaitlin Mogentale was surprised to learn that the pulp from making fruit and vegetable juice often goes to waste, so she founded Pulp Pantry and created a line of chips made out of that leftover pulp. To say it’s made an impact would be an understatement: Pulp Pantry has saved over 100,000 pounds of food in just its first two years in business, working directly with juice brands, such as Suja. It’s Certified Upcycled by the Upcycled Food Association, as well. Pulp Pantry’s veggie chips are made with an assortment of vegetables, including kale and celery, and come in tempting flavors, such as jalapeno lime, barbeque, and salt and vinegar.
Tiny Fish Co.
The food trend that no one expected, tinned fish is about as hot as food trends get. James Beard nominee and Top Chef contestant Sara Hauman founded the Tiny Fish Co. to bring the tastes of the Pacific Northwest to grocery stores across the nation. The offerings are ethically sourced and sustainable, featuring seafood including octopus—the wild bycatch of Alaskan waters. Instead of the standard tinned fish varieties, Tiny Fish Co. focuses on less consumed and underutilized options. Selections include smoked geoduck with black pepper, rockfish in sweet soy, and smoked mussels in escabeche. With vibrant branding, Tiny Fish Co. is helping tinned fish become a mainstay on tables across the country.
Estelle Colored Glass
Whether you’re in the market for a new cake stand, wine glass, or decanter, Estelle Colored Glass has you covered–and in gorgeous hues. Founder Stephanie Summerson Hall named the brand after her grandmother Estelle, who often used her own colorful glass pieces at Sunday dinners. The brand’s pieces are heirloom-quality and speak to Hall’s history with her grandmother, who loved to go antiquing. She says, “I learned my first fundamental cooking techniques all the while spending invaluable time side-by-side with her in the kitchen and accompanying her on shopping trips.” Pieces are crafted in Poland by artisans at a glassmaking company with over a 100-year history.
Raised in Texas on junk food, Sabeena Hadha spent four years in the marketing departments of PepsiCo and Diamond Foods before setting out on her own to create a high-quality cookie dough. Partnering with a naturopathic doctor, she created Deux, a line of nutrient-enhanced cookie doughs designed to be eaten straight from the container. These cookie doughs include a range of functional ingredients, such as immune-supporting zinc and vitamin C, and stress-relieving ashwagandha. You can bake the cookies up in the oven or indulge raw by the spoonful. With flavors including birthday cake, brownie batter, cinnamon roll, and peanut butter cup, even the best intentions of baking require a few bites first.
“Climate-friendly” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when most of us think of crackers, but for Moonshot Snacks founder Julia Collins, it was imperative. She created a line of crackers out of regeneratively grown ingredients to help fight climate change after becoming a mom and wanting to leave the world a better place for her “tiny human.” And she didn’t stop there: Collins went on to found Planet FWD, an organization that enables other food companies to also craft better practices. Cracker flavors include Margherita pizza, rosemary garlic, and sourdough sea salt. They each have an amazing tang that pairs perfectly with rich, creamy cheeses and sweet jams.
There’s no question that natural food coloring has made leaps and strides in recent years. Supernatural sprinkles, colors, frostings, and chips are all made with “hyper-concentrated vegetables and spices, which allows for 300% more vibrancy while remaining odorless and tasteless.” Founder Carmel Hagen started young in baking, winning a Pillsbury Bake-Off award as a child in 1995, and her baking products were designed with both professional and novices in mind. These are nothing like the bland, washed-out-looking natural sprinkles of the past. For example, the “Dinomite” mix contains vibrant yellow jimmies, white, pink, purple, and red pearls, and both blue and green little dinosaurs.
Wooden Spoon Herbs
Bridging the gap between supplement and food is on the rise, but not many do it as deliciously as Wooden Spoon Herbs founder and clinical herbalist Lauren Haynes. The brand’s herbal coffee mixes seamlessly into hot liquid and is far closer to the “real thing” in both taste and effect than one would anticipate from a caffeine-free beverage mix. Haynes founded Wooden Spoon Herbs out of a home kitchen in Tennessee, and her first outpost was an Appalachian mountain farmer’s market stall. With a product line that includes a “Country Women Floral Salt Soak” and “Creaky Joint Salve,” Wooden Spoon Herbs is perfect for nourishing your body inside and out.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Fran Sales is an Associate Commerce Editor for The Spruce Eats. She consulted The Spruce Eats editors for their favorite woman-owned brands and spent hours researching and writing this list. As a vegan with a sweet tooth, she loves Partake’s crunchy chocolate chip cookies and plans to add them to her after-dinner cookie rotation.
Ariane Resnick is a special diet chef, certified nutritionist, and bestselling author. She has more than 20 years experience in the food and writing spaces and believes in a joy-filled approach to health and wellness.
Allison Wignall is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She’s always in the kitchen trying to recreate recipes from around the world. Her work has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.
Taylor Rock, an Editor for The Spruce Eats, was gifted a Vinebox through Sugarwish and was impressed with the easy ordering process, robust amount of selections, and trendy packaging. Taylor also loves her S'well and Blueland products.
Hot Bread Kitchen. Voices from the field: Janie's life changing baked goods.
Specialty Food Association. Auria's Malaysian Kitchen wins bronze in the Cooking Sauce, Marinade category.