Across cultures, professions, and walks of life, women are a force to be reckoned with, and the food industry is no exception. March is Women’s History Month, so I thought we should take extra time to highlight the exceptional women who have helped to shape the food industry. Adding female-owned brands to your shopping cart is a great way to support and celebrate women in business, even after March is over. There are so many female-owned companies in the food industry, so here are ten to get you started.

Late July

Nicole Bernard Dawes started Late July in 2001. Learning about the ins and outs of running a food business from her dad’s experiences in the industry, Nicole quickly paved her own path to success through snacks. The name Late July is an homage to her childhood home in Cape Cod where “late July was always that sweet spot of summer”. Luckily, we can enjoy Late July chips, salsa, crackers, and popcorn all year round. The quinoa corn chips are a personal favorite, and I’d be lying if I said my roommate and I didn’t polish off a whole bag on our last taco night (no regrets here).

Fusion Jerky

KaiYen Mai merges traditional Asian jerky with American flavors to mirror the way she fuses her American upbringing in the Bay Area with her family’s background. All-natural, high-protein, and made without preservatives or nitrites, the jerky is a perfect option for the athlete, the hiker, or the on the go student snacker. The flavors range from Chipotle Lime Beef all the way to Rosemary Citrus Turkey.

Purely Elizabeth

After studying holistic nutrition, Elizabeth Stein set out to show others the connection between eating well and feeling well. Now Elizabeth advocates for healthy, nutrient-packed foods and food creativity through her brand. Her website features her granolas, oatmeal, pancake mixes, and a number of recipes to try. Since Purely Elizabeth is my go-to granola (the original from January to September and of course the pumpkin for October and November) and is featured in my oatmeal most mornings, I had to include it on my list.

Me and the Bees Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer is only 15 years old, but she has already been in business for almost ten years selling honey-sweetened lemonade! Besides showing that a woman’s strength is not defined by her age, Mikaila uses her brand to teach people about how pollinators contribute to our world and what we can do to help save them. Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, and World Market all carry Me and the Bees Lemonade, which can also be purchased online.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

It truly is splendid! Jeni Britton Bauer opened her first ice cream shop in 1996, and she has since become a widely recognized ice cream guru with nationwide customers, with a number of stores, and cookbooks deemed the “homemade-ice cream-making Bible” by The Wall Street Journal. Jeni is celebrated for her creativity when it comes to her ice cream flavors. One of her most recent additions, the Everything Bagel Ice Cream, has pleasantly surprised the world from Food Network to Tik Tok (I’m still undecided in where my bagel loyalties lie and will probably still get a scoop of the chocolate Texas sheet-cake next time I go, but here is what Spoon U thinks). 


While the delicious flavors and organic ingredients in the protein bars are reason enough to love the brand, the mother-daughter duo behind the GoMacro bar gives us yet another reason to add it to the shopping list. Amelia and Jola Kirchoff embarked on a mission to create a plant-based macrobiotic bar when Amelia switched to a plant-based diet during her battle with cancer. This pair shows that strong women really do raise strong women, and strong women need protein. Their sustainably produced protein bars come in flavors like chocolate chip, maple sea salt, and peanut butter.

Miyoko’s Creamery

Even before she entered the food industry (while she was a full-time jazz singer), Miyoko Schinner was a cheese lover. She learned to love cheese growing up in Tokyo, Japan when French cuisine was sweeping through the city. Balancing her need for cheese and her compassion for animals, Miyoko started her vegan brand. Today, she is recognized by the UN as a "Vegan Revolutionary" in its "The Future of Women" global initiative and is celebrated as a savvy entrepreneur, activist, and chef. Her cheeses are nut and oat-based because according to Schinner, "[m]aking food from animal milk is like making energy from fossil fuel."

Simple Mills

Kaitlin Mills started her journey in the food industry by baking muffins and taking them to different Whole Foods stores near her home in Atlanta. Today, her products are sold in over 6,500 stores across the country. Kaitlin’s business education and experience combined with her belief that real ingredients are imperative to an individual's holistic health has enabled her company's success. She has rightfully earned a place on Forbes magazine's "30 under 30" list and a mass of loyal customers. From crackers to bread and muffin mixes to the newest line of frosting, Simple Mills has the goods for your next baking adventure.


Yes, another mother-daughter duo because there is something extra special about a food venture formed around a maternal bond. While Beryl and her daughter Alex are no longer in charge of making each bar like they did when they first baked the bars for their neighbors, all of Bobo’s products are still made by hand. The basic bars contain only four ingredients, five ingredients, they say, if you count love (I mean, come on).  

Maya Kaimal Foods

Through her line of dals and rice (which she started from her Brooklyn apartment), Maya Kaimal makes South Indian cuisine accessible for “flavorful gatherings around any table”. Her first cookbook, Curried Flavors, won an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 2003. The sauces are an easy and tasty way to try new flavors in your kitchen. For my dorm friends without a kitchen, I can attest to the convenience and deliciousness of Maya’s Everyday Dal pouches, which can be stored at room temperature and only need to be heated up in the microwave.

These are definitely not the only female-owned brands around, and there are a number of other ways to support women in the food industry (try eating at a restaurant proudly run by a woman). But each of these women deserves recognition for the way they use their culture, business knowledge, passion for health, and creativity to shape the food on our shelves.