There are some incredible businesses in York, established and run by women, often managing busy home lives, children and their business! There has been a fantastic shift in the number of female-owned businesses in recent years and it is currently growing by over a third each year in the UK. Over 20% of new businesses are led by women – a record high!

From freshly baked pastries to beautiful flowers and scented candles to delicious food, here is a selection of brilliant female-owned businesses in York for you to visit and enjoy.

Flori Bakery, Nunnery Lane, York

Lotte at Flori juggles running her bakery whilst raising her young family. Her dream was to create a little neighbourhood bakery and she’s certainly achieved that. Expect delicious hand-made pastries, cookies and cakes, often with a seasonal twist. Everything is freshly baked early in the morning so that you can enjoy them from 7.30am Thursday through to Sunday until they are sold out!

SOPHiE, Lendal Bridge, York

Sophie always dreamed of opening a cafe and is now living her dream every day since she opened SOPHiE in York in 2021. Indulge in a coffee and cake or sip a cocktail while enjoying the stunning river views. Located on Lendal Bridge you can enjoy the quirky building, oozing with history and character.

Open everyday 10am – 4.30pm.

Blue Barbakan, Fossgate, York

Serving predominantly traditional Polish cuisine, Anna ensures everything on the menu at the Blue Barbakan is made in the restaurant. For breakfast, you can enjoy all the usuals or try Polish Toast – an eggy fried sourdough, topped with fried eggs and bacon. The lunch and dinner menus are crammed full of Polish and European influences delights from pierogi to stuffed cabbage leaves. Why not try the new weekday early bird menu 5-7pm.

Open everyday 9am – 10pm (closes 9pm on Mondays & Sundays).

Pairings Wine Bar, Castlegate, York

Run by sisters Kelly and Kate, Pairings Wine Bar is the perfect spot for a relaxed drink with friends. As the name suggests Kelly & Kate are passionate about pairing great drinks with delicious food. Enjoy small plates or sharing boards of locally sourced charcuterie, cheese and fish with fine wines, beers or cocktails.

Open 12pm – 11pm Sunday – Thursday & 11am – 12am Fridays & Saturdays.

The Little Green Weigh – online or a selection of products can be found in Taylors of Acomb,

Milliefox Cakes Cafe and Bishopthorpe Deli. Cat Wood at the Little Green Weigh aims for everyone to reduce waste, whilst supporting local businesses and makers. Offering meal kits, food and drink refills, plus all your household essentials and gorgeous gifts, eco is definitely made easy at the Little Green Weigh. Free delivery within York and various delivery collection points are available.

Belle Blooms, Blossom Street, York

Laura (and her dog Nellie!) runs Belle Blooms on Blossom Street. Her love of flowers started at 15 years old during a work experience placement at a local florist. Now she sells her own fresh and unique flower arrangements for any special occasion or event. Hand delivery and collections of her beautiful flowers are available if you get in touch with Laura.

Helston Street, Scarcroft Road, York

Helston Street is a mother and daughter collaboration. Both Vanessa and Lucy have a passion for all things stylishly vintage and a love of dried flowers, so established Helston Street to share their passion. You can enjoy shopping for unique and stylish homewares and gifts, perfect for any home. There are lots of ready-made bouquets of dried flowers or you can have a bouquet created exclusively for you.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

Ossie Studio, Spark York, Piccadilly, York

Alice wanted to create a relaxed, joyful and friendly self-care and wellness space when she opened Ossie Studio and she has certainly achieved that! Enjoy a range of fitness classes from Yoga to Dance Fitness or treat yourself to a beauty appointment for gel nails, a relaxing facial and much more. Treatments by appointment and see website for class timetable.

Born of Botanics, Stonegate, York

The founder of Born of Botanics, Alex has always had a passion for fragrance and began making candles after she had her son. She offers a unique range of products made from 100% natural ingredients and scents from essential oils and plant extracts including candles and diffusers in her beautiful new shop in Stonegate. Shopping is a joy in Born of Botanics as alongside the amazing fragrances, Alex offers a lovely range of homeware and gifts.

Open 7 days a week or order online.

Drakes, Low Petergate, York

A family-run business, Drakes in York is managed by Sara Drake and her team works hard to serve up delicious, fresh fish and chips every day in the centre of York. Using suppliers based in Yorkshire and the North East, they also try and source as much as possible from York business. You can eat in the newly refurbished and stylish restaurant or get takeaway as you meander the streets of York.

Open 7 days a week.

Soul Organic, Micklegate York

Lauren runs Soul Organic which specialises in natural, organic and vegan beauty products. Everything is supplied by Independent British brands. From skincare to fragrance and hair products to beard oil you’ll find whatever you are looking for or the perfect gift at Soul Organic. You are guaranteed a calm shopping experience the second you set foot into Lauren’s gorgeous shop.

Open 10am – 2pm Monday & Wednesday – Friday and 10am – 3pm on Saturdays.

Photos: Helston street, Ossie studio, Sophie