Out of the millions of local businesses on Yelp, many are owned or managed by hard-working women. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, International Women’s Day on March 8, and Women’s History Month this March, we’re calling attention to local spots in Louisville run by awesome women. These 12 only scratch the surface of great women-owned businesses in Louisville and were recommended by members of our Yelp Louisville Elite Squad. From food to drinks to fashion and more, you’ll love supporting these businesses all year long.
There’s a bourbon for everyone. That’s one of the guiding principles behind Matson & Gilman, Kaitlyn Soligan and Nicole Stipp’s personalized Bourbon Country travel and concierge service. And that guides them as well in their newest venture, Trouble Bar, a whiskey bar that opened last year in the Shelby Park neighborhood. It features bourbon flights curated by notable local women, and be sure to check out The Wall of Trouble that showcases historic “troublemakers,” including many trailblazing women.
What Yelpers say: “You are really encouraged here to turn your visit into a tasting experience. Open the menu, and you’ll see more than 20 curated flights… My favorite part might be that your experience is not the brainchild of an 8th generation ol’ Kentucky boy whose pappy’s pappy’s pappy was a land speculator. The young women at the helm here are dynamos with a knack for tasting, shucking, and shooting. The energy in here is beautiful.” — Matt R
Elizabeth Kizito was born in Uganda and moved to the United States in 1975. Since then she has become known for her delicious cookies and sweets treats, as well as for her Highlands storefront, which sells African art. At local sports games and festivals, Elizabeth can regularly be found selling cookies from a basket perched atop her head, just like what’s shown in her logo on her well-known cookies.
What Yelpers say: “First, please read Elizabeth Kizito’s story. This woman is phenomenal. She is the sweetest and has the most infectious smile I have ever seen. Second, good lord these cookies are delicious. At events they run around $2-3, but your pennies have never been better spent. These cookies are huge and made with lots of love.” — Mariah B
Jess Harrison brought her decade-plus experience in skincare, beauty, and make-up to Louisville, when she moved here from New York City and opened Dollface Brows & Beauty in NuLu in 2016. And it has since become known for expertly crafting brows as well as offering other waxing and nail services.
What Yelpers say: “Stumbled upon this place on Yelp, and their five stars says it all… The ladies were so thorough and walked me through what your eyebrows should look like and what mine are and tips to get the result I’m looking for… This place truly made eyebrow waxes fun. And I feel weird saying it, but I can’t wait ’til my next appointment in four weeks!” — Taylor P
Annemarie Greipel and her husband, Michael, opened Gasthaus just off of Brownsboro Road in 1993. And since then they and their five children, who were all born and raised in Germany, have helped Gasthaus stand out for its authentic German food, warm atmosphere and waitresses wearing dirndls, the traditional German folk dress. Annemarie in particular has become known for her desserts, including the schwarzwälder kirschtorte (blackforest cake).
What Yelpers say: “Had a wonderful evening with the ladies at Gasthaus… I ended up sitting at the bar, which was the best idea ever. Annemarie was warm and welcoming and talked to me about Germany, culture, and food… I had the cheesecake for dessert. It was still warm from the oven and had a creamy texture and perfect flavor.” — Andy R
Amanda Dougherty is a self-described “girl boss.” The moniker adorns some of the designs for her Butchertown business, The New Blak, and it’s an ethos that her #girlgang of fans eagerly get behind. Amanda draws inspiration for her pieces from the strong women in her life, naming each new item after them. And along with making beautiful fashion, she also emphasizes making clothes ethically and sustainably.
What Yelpers say: “In a culture where we have developed the habit of quickly tossing away clothing, this woman-owned and -operated company strives to break us of it… The best part of this whole business is the owner, Amanda. With her sunny demeanor, she has created an inviting, empowering, and happy environment. You’ll be happy you stopped by.” — Allyson T
In 2014, looking to broaden her vegan food business, “Louisville’s Vegan Temptress” Chef Kristina J. Addington was the first plant-powered chef to appear on and win Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” She used the prize money, along with a successful crowdsourcing campaign, to start the V-Grits food truck and then partnered with False Idol Independent Brewers to open the vegan brewpub in 2018.
What Yelpers say: “After being introduced to the cuisine four years ago (at a Yelp Elite event, natch!), I signed up for text alerts and would show up wherever Chef Kristina and her gang were serving the best of food that appeals to herbivores, vegans, and omnivores alike. When I heard that she was planning a brick and mortar location, I couldn’t wait to swing by… Dug into my crab cake mac and cheese, and — as always — this food could fool anybody. Tangy, flaky crab cakes with a sprig of dill on top of soft noodles and the creamiest, tastiest, non-dairy cheese.” — Suzanne B
Thadra Sauer started her career in 1986 in Seattle and brought her skills to Louisville with Thadra’s Hair Cafe near Middletown. Along with the services you can expect to find at a salon, Thadra’s Hair Cafe particularly stands out for its color and hair extension skills.
What Yelpers say: “My favorite place with my favorite people. I’ve been trusting my hair here since 2013, and I am continually impressed by both Thadra and Kaylynn. Extensions, color, blow outs, you name it, and I’ve had it done here! This is the salon for you if you’re looking for something exclusive, luxurious, and personable!” — Leslie C
As the owners of Louisville’s first female-owned and -operated doughnut food truck and storefront, Annie Harlow and Leslie Wilson make mornings fun. These “ladies of the morning” specialize in one-of-a-kind doughnut creations, like the Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken Doughnut, Bourbon Caramel with Bacon and morning sweets covered in sugar, chocolate, cereal, and more.
What Yelpers say: “I’m a huge fan of this place and love the story behind it too. Food truck turned storefront and all owned by ladies who take pride in what they are serving. I love that you can create your own doughnut with special syrups and toppings. I add Fruity Pebbles or Cinnamon Toast Crunch to mine usually. The quality is second to none.” — Courtney H
Olivia Griffin takes her passions and makes them beautiful. This includes her hat shop, The Mysterious Rack, through which her one-of-a-kind chapeaus are on display in downtown Louisville. And then a block away, she opened The Limbo, “a performing arts venue disguised as a tiki bar.” Inspired by the bars she loved from her time in San Francisco, she features gorgeous cocktails, creative eats, and live entertainment.
What Yelpers say: “What a summer dream all year around. Tacos and apps to die for, and this is the place to be for a patio party. The drinks are phenomenal! When can I stop back?!? Every room is different so take a look around… You have the business folks, freaks, and fun crowds every night.” — Courtney G
Chateau Bourbon Luxury B&B is the brainchild of “boss lady” Missy Hillock, and her love and passion is evident down into the details, including the way each of the four suites in this Norton Commons B&B have been decorated and the food Missy makes for guests. And speaking of food, Missy was featured recently at the Courier Journal’s Wine & Food Experience. Missy and her husband, John, take the duty of being hosts seriously, and guests appreciate it.
What Yelpers say: “I was blown away by the attention to detail with decor and the overall Southern hospitality feel that Chateau Bourbon B&B exudes. Missy is overly sweet, and it shows… She made lots of tasty finger foods for us to munch on while we celebrated our friend, and wowza was it all good!.. She also made the best strawberry cake that I have ever had!” — Sarah C