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Who Run the World?: Yelp Celebrates Women-Led Businesses

It’s not new that finding great restaurants is a big reason why people come to Yelp – it’s our second highest reviewed category. We provide several ways for users to connect with their favorite businesses, too; You can make a reservation on Yelp, jump on a waitlist remotely for participating restaurants, and order delivery from your favorite spots when you’re just too lazy to leave your couch (we’ve been there, don’t worry). Whatever the case, Yelp is always here to connect you with the great, local businesses near you.

Well, this month for Women’s History Month, we wanted to take a second to honor the women out there making local restaurants so great. We asked our local community managers to share some of their favorite woman-owned, woman-led and woman-operated businesses in their markets and were flooded with names of women all over the U.S. making history with great food in their towns. Check out a few of their stories below and follow this bookmark collection to find some of the great women-led businesses across America today:


Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade – Homeroom in Oakland, CA

Photo by Dan Jung

Homeroom began with a sudden craving for mac and cheese. Co-owner Erin Wade longed for a place she could go to that would have mac and cheese as delicious as the one she grew up eating. Her craving, and the warm feeling that came with satisfying it by cooking her father’s recipe, made her realize that she wanted to open the kind of restaurant she wished she could’ve gone to that night: a friendly, familiar place serving up the best mac and cheese on earth. Within a month, she had recruited friend Allison Arevalo and committed herself to chasing this crazy, delicious dream. Homeroom opened in 2011 and has grown to be a 100+ employee enterprise and a local Bay Area staple…. named #1 mac ‘n’ cheese in the bay area by the San Francisco Chronicle.


Yashoda Naidoo – Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café in Albuquerque, NM

Photo by Albuquerque Business Journal

When Yashoda Naidoo opened Annapurna Ayurvedic Cuisine and Chai House over 10 years ago, She made a commitment to serve food as simple as possible from the earth just as nature intended. People were skeptical that her traditional Ayurvedic vegetarian restaurant would be successful, but she knew people were looking for this kind of food, but did not know where to find it. Since then, she has opened five restaurants in two different cities in the New Mexico and has become an anchor in the Ayurvedic community, providing food to the Panchakarma Clinic at the Ayurvedic Institute in Santa Fe for the last 13 years.

Sophia & AnnMarie Nelms – Sophia’s on Market, Sophia’s at Walden and THEA in Camp Hill & Mechanicsburg, PA

Photo property of THEA

Sophia Nelms started her career working with her sister at Kitchenworks Catering, where AnnMarie, her daughter, would often visit her at work. Both had a deep love for cooking together, testing family recipes. Nearly three decades later, the mother and daughter are now working side-by-side at three family-owned restaurants, starting with Sophia’s on Market, then later launching Sophia’s at Walden and AnnMarie’s THEA. This female duo will stop at nothing to share their love for food with their customers and see their businesses succeed.


Michaela McVetty – Sisters Gourmet Deli in Portland, ME

Photo by Erica Shirley Photography

27 year-old and three-time restaurateur and founder of Sisters Gourmet Deli in Portland, Michaela McVetty, has never given up on her dreams of success. While she loved running Fit to Eat and White Cap Grille, two restaurants she co-owned and managed in downtown Portland, McVetty says she was ready to have her own baby by 2016. That’s when she opened Sisters Gourmet Deli, a sweet spot in Monument Square that serves killer sandwiches according to locals. She is also one of three board members for a fresh food, self-serve kiosk called Veebie, a refrigerated food trailer that allows people to order in advance and pick up food from local restaurants at varying locations around town. With her sights set high, it doesn’t look like there is any slowing down for this young, female business owner.


Also, in case you missed it, our partners at Grubhub launched an initiative dedicated to supporting women-led restaurants nationwide called RestaurantHER. Now through the end of March, Grubhub promises to contribute $1 up to $1 million for every person who pledges at to dine in or order delivery from women-led restaurants.

Together with Grubhub and others, we brought the information to your fingertips. You can find women-led restaurants near you using the RestaurantHER map —  the first of its kind — which encompasses restaurants owned or co-owned by a woman or a kitchen led by a woman head or executive chef. Diners can also help expand the reach of the map by submitting a woman-led restaurant.