Did you know there are no fewer than 39 women-owned businesses in downtown Akron? Downtown Akron is teeming with businesses run by women who are smart, creative, innovative, intensely good at what they do, and who are making history every day. Read on to discover them.
Above: Candy in the case at the Peanut Shoppe (Photo: DAP Staff)
Food & Drink
Sweet Mary’s Bakery
Sweet Mary’s is a micro-bakery serving bagels, croissants, cookies, quiche, cakes, espresso beverages, and more. Owned by Akron native Mary Hospodarsky, the shop often has special holiday baked goods available for presale online and is proud to bake in small batches using techniques that produce high-quality baked goods every time. They also make an effort to use local ingredients when possible, such as honey from the Akron Honey Company, hot sauce from Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauce, eggs from Brunty Farms, and coffee from Akron Coffee Roasters. The bakery is currently open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Tea Lady
Renea Woods-Baylor is The Tea Lady. She offers morning tea, afternoon tea, brunches, and more in her elegant and inviting tearoom. Dine on delicious tea sandwiches, pastries, and of course, infused hot tea. Book a teatime and spend quality time with friends, family, or little ones. You can also purchase tea and tea accessories online.
Jilly’s Music Room
Jilly’s Music Room, owned by Jill Bacon Madden, is a live music venue in the Northside District offering entertainment no less than four nights a week. Jilly’s features original local, regional, and national bands in a variety of genres, as well as stand-up comedians and other entertainers. The venue also boasts a full-service kitchen that specializes in eclectic, gluten-free, small-plate dishes. Check their website for information on upcoming events and ticket information.
You don’t have to go far for fresh seafood and sushi. Visit the Boiling House Seafood Restaurant, owned by Tiffany Chen, for everything from Japanese squid salad to fried shrimp sandwiches to specialty sushi rolls. But what Boiling House is most known for is their namesake seafood boil, a Cajun-style meal featuring the seafood of your choice, corn, and potatoes boiled in a delicious, flavorful broth. Order carry-out online or make a reservation to dine in.
Chef Gina’s Bakeshop
Gina Giampietro is the pastry chef behind Chef Gina’s Bakeshop. She creates stunning and delicious cakes, macarons, and pastries. Her confections are perfect for weddings, parties, anniversaries, and corporate events. Visit her website to see a gallery of her baked goods, and to find more information about ordering some of these sweet treats for yourself.
Essential Dipped Delights
Essential Dipped Delights is a gourmet dessert company owned by Takila Nuss that specializes in unique desserts that are perfect for gifts, special occasions, corporate events, or your everyday sweet tooth fix. They serve marshmallow pops, banana pudding cheesecake bowls, chocolate-covered strawberries, and so much more. Visit Essential Dipped Delights in the Northside Marketplace or online to get a quote for your event.
Inspired by her mother’s recipes, Tanya Green founded JuliaBelle’s Seasonings with the mission of sharing the rich, vibrant traditions of southern cooking. Made from 100% natural, hand-blended ingredients, her seasonings, rubs, and rice and bread mixes have just the right amount of heat. Shop seasonings and discover new ways to spice up your favorite dishes on JuliaBelle’s website. You can also find JuliaBelle’s Seasonings at the Northside Marketplace.
After working at a juice bar, Taylor McKinnie discovered she had a knack for creating protein shakes that were delicious instead of chalky. McKinnie started Mizz Shakesum not only to help people get the necessary nutrients for building muscle and losing weight but also to share nostalgic flavors like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and popsicles. You can purchase Mizz Shakesum drinks at the Northside Marketplace.
The Peanut Shoppe
The Peanut Shoppe is located on Main Street and has been open since the 1930s. Owned by Marge Klein, at any given time the Peanut Shoppe sells 30-40 different candies, nuts, chocolates, and more. Want to send a gift box? They will also ship your selections anywhere in the U.S.A. Stop by Tuesday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., or Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Chameleon Cafe is an eclectic coffee shop offering gourmet coffee, homemade soups, and artisan wraps and sandwiches. Their lunch fare is delightfully unique and sure to satisfy, and if you dine in, their colorful atmosphere is sure to spark joy. Order online, or stop into their shop on Main Street to try their food and drinks yourself.
Alpha Country Market
Alpha Country Market offers quality old-fashioned food such as jams, noodles, popcorn, granola, jerky, cheese, and other snacks. Visit their website to shop online, or find their products at the Northside Marketplace.
Guarino Olive Oil
Purchase some gourmet olive oil from Guarino Olive Oil, owned by Laura Musarra, from the Northside Marketplace.
Sweet Bean, owned by Kristin Barnes and her husband, Bob, is a small-batch confection company that focuses on roasting cacao beans into chocolate bars and creating hand-painted, molded chocolates. Order from their website, or purchase their candies at the Northside Marketplace.
Ernie's Catering, owned by Hertistine Price, has a range of offerings--from some of the best barbecue around to sandwiches, salads, fruit plates, and burgers. As the name implies, they offer catering for lunches and special events, in addition to having grab-and-go lunches available for anyone to enjoy. Visit Ernie's at 50 S. Main St., and check out their menu online.
Above: Clients getting their hair styled at Mint Hair Collective (Photo: Shane Wynn)
Health & Beauty
Mint Hair Collective
Mint Hair Collective is a salon specializing in blonding, balayage, lived-in color, waxing, and organic skincare services. The five stylists, under leadership by Helaina Catherine, are passionate about exercising their creativity and providing authentic conversation to leave clients feeling in mint condition by the time their appointment is over. Check out their website for more information on the services offered and to schedule an appointment.
#PrettylashTag is a salon specializing in lash enhancements, brow threading, professional makeup application, signature facial treatments, and more. The owner, Lanae, travels between Akron and Atlanta bringing glamorous lashes to all. Visit her website for more information about her services and how to book an appointment.
Tammy O’s Salon and Spa
Tammy O’s Salon and Spa is located in the Akron Centre Plaza and offers services from lash enhancement and haircuts to massages, facial treatments, manicures, pedicures, and waxing. Call (330) 253-2300 to book an appointment, and follow the salon on Facebook and Instagram.
Hair Geek Studio
Owned and operated by Sapreea English, Hair Geek Studio offers numerous beauty and hair services including haircuts, silk presses, coloring, braiding, loc retwists, lace frontal sew-in weaves, and more. English also offers hair maintenance classes such as Loc N’ Learn, a class dedicated to the proper care, washing, and retwisting of locs. Visit the Hair Geek Studio’s Facebook page for information on booking an appointment.
My Eco Shop
My Eco Shop, owned by Maggie Spangler, is Akron’s first refillery for reusable, sustainable, and natural products for you and your home. Live a more eco-friendly lifestyle in a way that’s easy and local. Visit their website to shop online, and stop into the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Noble Theory LLC
Noble Theory mindfully creates organic self-care products using natural, high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients. Owner Nikki Carl boasts items such as soap-free cleansers, refreshing skin toners, bath bombs, tea blends, aftershave, steroid-free eczema cream, and more. Shop on her website, or visit the Northside Marketplace to check out her natural products in person.
Let’s Heal Massage Therapy
Relax and unwind with a massage from licensed massage therapist Sonya Lee at Let’s Heal Massage Therapy. Lee offers multiple types of massages, including relaxation, aroma touch, deep tissue, and hot stone massages. Visit Let’s Heal Massage Therapy on Facebook to learn more about Sonya’s services and to read reviews from happy customers.
Originally created to problem-solve health issues relating to the skin, scalp, and mouth, Goods offers organic multi-use wellness and beauty products made in small batches using plants and completely natural ingredients. Shop whipped body and hair butter, shave and beard oil, floral bath soak, and more online, or pick up Goods products at Akron Coffee Roasters.
India Ink Tattoo Company
Located inside Northside Marketplace, India Ink Tattoo Company is the only Black- and female-owned tattoo shop in Akron. They specialize in black and gray designs, as well as realistic color designs. Their website offers easy booking and price transparency, and they even offer gift cards. Check them out online or in person at Northside Marketplace.
Arts & Culture
Totally Tangled Creations
April Couch is the artist behind Totally Tangled Creations, which boasts intricately beautiful Zentangle-inspired pieces. Couch draws unique patterns onto wood and paper items in a way that simply can’t be duplicated. Visit Summit Artspace to view and purchase her artwork.
Art by Design
Art by Design specializes in handcrafted jewelry made from sterling and fine silver, and semi-precious, Czech glass, and porcelain beads. Owner Linda Moore draws inspiration from her surroundings and the textures of raw materials. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place a custom order, or stop by the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Zeber-Martell Clay Studio & Gallery
Zeber-Martell is a clay studio and gallery located in the Northside District of downtown Akron. They create one-of-a-kind home decor, garden sculptures, holiday decor, lamps, jewelry, and more. Owner Claudia Zeber-Martell, who started as a painter, focuses on decorating the surfaces of her husband and co-owner’s ceramic art in a way that enriches the environment and creates harmony. Visit their website or stop by in person to peruse and shop their collection.
Chris Klassen Art
Chris Klassen creates bright impressionistic landscape and abstract paintings, as well as mixed media works of art. She also creates artisan jewelry, greeting cards, and gifts. Find her vibrant works at the Northside Marketplace.
Lucas Clay Studio & Gallery
Lucas Clay is a ceramic studio and gallery owned by Christine Lucas, who, along with her husband Chip, believes art lovers should have access to quality and affordable pottery. The two mainly work with porcelain and decorate using contemporary colors to create items that are dishwasher, microwave, oven, and food safe. Visit their website to shop online, or stop by the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Stella Blue Glass Art
Named in honor of Stella, owner Renie DiAlesandro’s beloved yellow lab, Stella Blue Glass Art is the perfect place to find a unique piece of glasswork. DiAlesandro finds her artistic inspiration in the beauty of nature and uses it to create abstract work. She also creates jewelry and other decorative items. Check out her Facebook page, and stop by the Northside Marketplace to view and purchase her wares.
Tindercraft Ceramics showcases the handcrafted ceramic work of artist Kim Eggleston-Kraus. Each item is one of a kind. Visit her website to see a sampling of her work, and find her art for sale at the Northside Marketplace.
Cre8tive Gallery & Event Space
Cre8tive Art Gallery & Event Space is owned by Firestone High School and Savannah College of Art and Design graduate Derin Fletcher. Fletcher is an incredible artist whose work is in Cleveland’s RTA trains, on murals in West Akron, and even accompanies Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday. She uses Cre8tive Art Gallery to create commissioned pieces, offer art classes, host paint and sip events, and rent to other Black artists. Visit Fletcher’s website to learn more about her work and view upcoming events.
Street Craftery is a creative destination for DIY projects, splatter painting, and more. Located on South Main Street, they offer craft projects for people of all ages and even welcome private celebrations and corporate events. One particularly fun highlight of Street Craftery is the area in their shop known as Splatter Alley--a place where anyone can don protective gear and go to town with splatter paint on a canvas. Learn more about Street Craftery on their website.
Above: Clothing and accessories at Northside Cellar (Photo: Shane Wynn)
Apparel & Home Goods
Bizzy Beads Boutique
Bizzy Beads Boutique started as a hobby when owner Kimberly Camp couldn’t find the right jewelry to match an outfit she was wearing and decided to make something herself. Now, she works with beads, wood, and polymer clay to make earrings and bracelets that look elegant, colorful, and even downright delicious. Seriously–she creates earrings that look like donuts, ice cream cones, tacos, hotdogs, s’mores, and more. Visit her website to shop online, or stop by the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Northside Cellar is a spunky boutique that carries new and consignment women’s clothing, accessories, home goods, local artwork, and furniture. Shop a unique inventory of hand-selected items that you can’t find just anywhere. No matter your personal style, Northside Cellar has something for everyone and every budget. Visit their website to shop online, or stop in Tuesday through Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Embrace Earthleta is an apparel company owned by Tricia Archer that uses sustainable, recycled materials to design and make clothing from scratch. They prioritize having a positive impact on the environment and helping people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds embrace a healthy, positive lifestyle. They donate a portion of their yearly profits to nonprofits whose mission is to improve the planet. Shop their website, or stop into the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Above: Danielle Capotosta, mastermind behind Dippity and Snark (Photo: dippityandsnark.com)
Gifts & Children’s Items
Dippity and Snark
Dippity and Snark carries a variety of handmade greeting cards, stationery, and illustrated gifts–often with a funny, modern, cheeky twist. Danielle Capotosta, the mastermind behind the shop, is on a mission to bring back handwritten notes. Visit the shop’s website to shop online, or stop by the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Lilly’s Pad, owned by Linda Moore, carries artisan baby toys and gift items, such as stuffed animals with personalized embroidery, teething rings and necklaces, nursing cozies, bibs, and burping cloth sets. Stop by the Northside Marketplace to peruse her wares.
224 Creations, owned by Jenni Morrison, is located inside the Northside Marketplace and sells a variety of handmade items such as cards, drinkware, badge/passport holders, baby items, embroidered towels, and notebooks designed with an irreverent sense of humor or pop culture connection. Shop their website or stop by the Northside Marketplace to peruse in person.
Round 2 Kids
Round 2 Kids sells pre-loved children’s clothing, toys, and equipment. Owned by cousins Kara Mayner and Mary Testa, the shop aims to serve the local community and promote natural parenting. Visit their website to shop online, or head to the Northside Marketplace to shop in person.
Smile Inside, owned by Vanessa Lee Abraham, advocates for the well-being of youth. Abraham is the author of Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness Ages 12-13, a handbook of personal development activities for teenagers to live an aware and responsible life. Learn more on her website.