Celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting locally-owned female businesses

Sojourn Philly is helmed by three women: (from left) Qamara Edwards, Jill Weber and Heather Rodkey.
Lexy Pierce

The month of March marks the first day of spring, the anticipated arrival of daylight savings time, and of course, Women’s History Month.

This month is an annual celebration that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, and that includes in Philadelphia. All around the City of Brotherly Love, there is plenty of sisterly love being spread and ways for Philadelphians to support locally-owned female businesses—and the options are as diverse as the food scene here in the city.

Here are a few female-fueled spots to help support and celebrate Women’s History Month in Philadelphia. 

Sojourn Philly 

Sojourn Philly isn’t just one place in the city, it’s actually four. According to a release, Sojourn Philly is comprised of Jet Wine Bar, Philadelphia’s own “global vineyard,” adjacent to Jet Wine Garden, Rex 1516, an elevated Southern cuisine in a ‘faded mansion’ dining room, and Café Ynez, the Mexico-City inspired all-day diner located on Washington Avenue in South Philly.

The esteemed restaurant group is helmed by three women: Jill Weber, owner of Sojourn Philly and wining archaeologist; Heather Rodkey, Director of Operations; and Qamara Edwards, Director of Business and Events. These three women have worked as a team to become leaders in the industry with philanthropic endeavors: Sojourn Philly has previously partnered with fellow women entrepreneurs such as the Sisterly Love Food Fairs, as well as The Voter Project to raise awareness for the need for poll workers.

Additionally, Sojourn Philly continues to pay health insurance for all full-time staff, and 401k benefits amidst the pandemic while they are continuously working on opening two new restaurants, Sor Ynez, a Mexico City-inspired veg-focused restaurant and REX. This past year, Weber also co-developed Nourished, a meal delivery platform that enabled hospital staff to access healthy and affordable food options while supporting eight local female-owned restaurants, including her own.  

1525 South St., jetwinebar.com

1516 South St., rex1516.com

2025 Washington Ave., cafeynez.com

Jessie Prawlucki-Styer, Co-Owner and Pastry Chef of Fond

Fond is located right across from the Singing Fountain in the East Passyunk neighborhood of South Philadelphia, and this eatery is known for its French-inspired cuisine, but also for its baked goods and desserts that complement the menu. Those sweet treats come from Pastry Chef Jessie Prawlucki-Styer, who worked her way up to Pastry Chef at Le Bec-Fin before opening up Fond with her husband and colleague Chef Lee Styer in 2009.

Over the past year, Chef Prawlucki has even hosted successful Bake Shop Pop-Ups at Fond and partnered with Philabundance for a food drive around the holiday season. On top of the pop-ups, both owners also helped pivot the business model of Fond by first transforming their eatery into a prepared foods market and take-away restaurant, then also a street-side grill in the winter months. Philadelphians can head to the picturesque spot to try some of Prawlucki’s popular pastries as well as its full menu, bar program and full wine list. 

1537 S. 11th St., fondphilly.com

Pastry Chef Jessie Prawlucki-Styer worked her way up to Pastry Chef at Le Bec-Fin before opening up Fond in 2009. Provided

Nancy Barton, Co-Owner of Philadelphia Brewing Company

Nancy Barton and her husband, Bill, have been in the brewing business for quite some time, co-owning one of Philadelphia’s oldest and largest breweries. Philadelphia Brewing Company, located in Kensington, pumps out 5,000 barrels of beer per year, consisting of five year-round beers, several seasonal beers, and occasional one-off recipes, including their flagship beer — Kenzinger.

The beer hotpot also has The Peacock Room — a 30-seat tavern selling Philadelphia Brewing Company beers and Commonwealth Ciders on tap and in bottles, as well as snack plates and craft cocktails with local spirits. The Peacock Room was opened by Barton a decade after the Brewing Company opened its doors. Just to name another accolade, PBC’s Walt Wit was also named the Wheat Beer of the Year by Beer Scene Magazine, and Philadelphians can still indulge in the draft at the year-round brewery.

On top of her success, Barton has expressed strong interest in community involvement and focuses on local distribution opposed to distributing heavily across the country. Barton has also shown support to local pet shelters by hosting fundraisers, and in most recent years, hosting “Caturdays” at Philadelphia Brewing Company where the Pennsylvania SPCA brings adoptable cats to the tasting room for potential adopters to choose from.  

2440 Frankford Ave., philadelphiabrewing.com

Nancy Barton and her husband, Bill, co-own Philadelphia Brewing Company. Lexy Pierce

Erin Wallace, Owner of Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den has always been a popular spot for pub fare and an extensive beer selection, and that’s thanks to owner Erin Wallace. According to a release, Wallace is not only one of the few female brewery owners in Philadelphia but she is a fixture in the city’s ever-growing beer scene. A longtime board member of Philly Loves Beer and Philly Beer Week, Wallace is also the regional founder of the Philadelphia chapter of the Pink Boots Society — a nonprofit organization with International membership which supports women working in the brewing profession, especially in creating craft beer.

As for Devil’s Den, the release also states that Wallace and the bar/restaurant have many accolades from multiple publications and have appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, and on Foobooz’s Top 50 Bars list on several occasions.  

1148 South 11th St., devilsdenphilly.com

Erin Wallace, owner of Devil’s Den, is also a longtime board member of Philly Loves Beer and Philly Beer Week. Lexy Pierce

Raquel DeAbreu, Co-Owner of Sabrina’s Café

Sabrina’s has always been a popular dining spot for breakfast and lunch, and each location of this locally-grown brand has come to fruition because of Raquel DeAbreu. Raquel, along with her husband, Robert, opened the first location in 2001 and named the venue after her newborn baby, Sabrina Isabella. The brand then expanded to open four additional locations in the Philadelphia area: Sabrina’s Café’s University City, Callowhill, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and Collingswood, New Jersey.

Over the past two decades, Raquel and Sabrina’s Café have garnered awards and accolades from Travel + Leisure, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more. Previously, Raquel has also worked with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and donated to various local churches in an effort to give back to the community. The release states that in the future Raquel hopes to delve further into charity work by assisting the homeless and mental health facilities.

Various locations, sabrinascafe.com