CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Starting your own business in the Mountain State can be a challenge, and expensive. However, some West Virginians with the hope of one day starting their own restaurant have pushed through and made their dream come true.
With this article, we’re recognizing some of the West Virginia women who now hold the title of business owner and bring their community together through food, pastries, coffee and even ice cream!
Here are 25 Mountain State restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and other eateries owned by women.
Bridge Road Bistro
Bridge Road Bistro is an award-winning restaurant and catering service in South Hills owned by Sandy Call. Bridge Road Bistro opened in 2004, combining global and contemporary cuisine influences to support West Virginia farmers with several locally sourced ingredients.
Bridge Road Bistro is located at 915 Bridge Road in the South Hills neighborhood of Charleston.
Cheryl’s Country Diner
Cheryl’s Country Diner is a locally owned restaurant in Parkersburg serving country favorites and southern cooking, including a breakfast menu. Cheryl Poskey opened the restaurant on July 1, 2011.
Cheryl’s Country Diner is located at 3970 Staunton Turnpike, Parkersburg, WV 26104.
Connie’s Corner is a family restaurant and catering business at the top of the Mountain State serving up homemade meals in Chester, West Virginia. Owner Connie Hissam first started her business in 2004, and it has since become known as the “Best Little Place in Chester,” according to the business’s Facebook page.
Connie’s Corner is located at 256 Carolina Ave, Chester, WV 26034.
The French Goat
The French Goat is a bistro in Lewisburg, West Virginia, that specializes in French cuisine. Owners and proprietors Debbie Porter and Arthur Forgette say on the restaurant’s website they have a life-long passion for French cuisine, and chose to bring their dream of opening a French restaurant to Lewisburg, where Debbie has family ties.
The French Goat is located at 290 Lafayette St, Lewisburg, WV 24901.
The Hütte Restaurant
The Hütte Restaurant clings close to the history of the town of Helvetia, serving up Swiss-American meals. According to its Facebook page, the restaurant was founded in 1968, nearly a century after Swiss and German immigrants moved from Brooklyn, New York, and settled the town in 1896. The restaurant is currently run by managing owner Heidi Arnett.
The Hütte Restaurant is located at 1 Main St, Helvetia, WV 26224.
Jamaican Spice WV
Jamaican Spice WV is a Jamaican cuisine restaurant owned by Kela Munye. According to Nexstar’s WBOY, who featured the restaurant six months after it first opened, Munye is a native of Jamaica and works to serve up authentic classic dishes from the island to her customers.
Jamaican Spice WV is located at 708 Beechurst Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505.
The Juice Box
The Juice Box in Kanawha City is a mother-daughter-owned health food restaurant that began in 2020. Vikki Sook and her daughter Miranda Sook have designed their business to serve juices, smoothies, salads, bowls and other homemade recipes made from fresh and healthy ingredients to the community.
The Juice Box is located at 4614 MacCorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304
Lady Jay’s Catering
Lady Jay’s Catering provides meals for private and corporate events throughout the area surrounding Martinsburg West Virginia. Owner Rakita Ames says she learned to cook at her grandmother’s side, and has grown up to run her business, offering soul food and comfort foods to her clients for their events. Her website also says the business caters to a variety of dietary needs and preferences.
Lady Jay’s Catering is located at 106 W Martin St, Martinsburg, WV 25401.
The Loopy Leaf
The Loopy Leaf is a 100% vegan restaurant in downtown Charleston owned by Sondra Kelley. In 2021, Kelley opened the restaurant to share her vision of modern, delicious vegan food to the community.
The Loopy Leaf is located at 700 Virginia Street East.
Mountain Juice WV LLC first opened in 2019 as a local business selling cold-pressed juices and other plant-based products. The company, which uses locally sourced ingredients is co-owned by sisters-in-law Amy Smith and Lisa Smith. They say they were inspired by researching the health benefits as well as disease fighting properties a plant-based diet and raw green juice can offer.
Mountain Juice WV LLC is located at 1600 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV, offering online ordering and curbside pick up. They also have a mobile unit that travels the area.
My Mother’s Daughter, LLC
My Mother’s Daughter, LLC is a small cafe in Clarksburg that serves breakfast and lunch options with different specials each day. Owner Stephanie Wyatt first opened My Mother’s Daughter, LLC, as a craft business in 2013 before relocating to Clarksburg in 2015 and opening it as a cafe.
My Mother’s Daughter, LLC is located at 318 W Main St, Clarksburg, WV 26301
Mythical Pizza is a pizza is a cryptid-themed pizza restaurant in Berkeley Springs. The restaurant, owned by Megan and Antonio Burgess, features a variety of create-your-own pizza options, entrees named for cryptid creatures and its own Cryptid Club Sodas, also named for the mythical monsters.
Mythical Pizza is located at 1855 Valley Rd Suite #200, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.
Paula Vega Cakes
Paula Vega Cakes is a bakery located in the heart of downtown Huntington near Pullman Square. According to the business’s website, Vega says she began her love for baking as a child under her mother’s guidance. She says all of the treats are made by hand, and her goal is to make her customers smile and lift their spirits with an indulgent creation.
Paula Vega Cakes is located at 308 9th St, Huntington, WV 25701.
Rachel’s on 16th
Rachel’s On 16th is a small diner specializing in breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is owned by Rachel Alvarado and opened in August 2019. Some of Alvarado’s creations include paninis, wraps and other sandwiches for lunch and omelets, French toast, and biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
Rachel’s on 16th is located at 86 16th St, Wheeling, WV 26003
Rock City Cake Company
Rock City Cake Company is a bakery in downtown Charleston, that first opened in 2016. Co-owners Morgan Morrison and Courtney Marsh say on the company’s website they were inspired to create their cakes and baked goods with a modern twist on classic ideas. and are constantly looking for new way to expand their decorative designs for their products.
Rock City Cake Company is located at 205 Capitol St, Charleston, WV 25301.
Saigon Pho Kitchen
Saigon Pho Kitchen in Morgantown serves up popular Vietnamese comfort foods including Pho noodle soups and Banh Mi sandwiches to the local community. Owner Narawan Watcharajamroon first opened the restaurant in 2017.
Saigon Pho Kitchen is located at 3109 University Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505
Savannah’s Bistro, in Huntington, is a restaurant currently owned by Tara Dunn located in a building built in 1903 that was originally a single-family home! The former owner of the restaurant purchased the home in 1996 and opened “Savannah’s Restaurant” and purchased the building next door to expand space. According to the business’s website, when the original owner decided to close in January 2020, Dunn purchased the building and reopened it that fall as “Savannah’s Bistro.” Dunn had worked for the former owner for more than 20 years prior to purchasing the building.
Savannah’s Bistro is located at 1208 6th Ave, Huntington, WV 25701.
A Scoop of Heaven
A Scoop of Heaven is an ice cream shop in the southern coal fields of the Mountain State. Owner Mary Smith opened the restaurant in 2021 in a very unique location – a 1971 refurbished airstream trailer! Her menu features ice creams, shaved ice, coffees, sundaes and milkshakes.
A Scoop of Heaven is located at 13896 Rocket Boys Dr, War, WV 24892
Screech Owl Brewing/Spent Grain Cafe
Screech Owl Brewing/Spent Grain Cafe is a restaurant and taproom owned by the family of Crista and Roger Johnson. They began their brewery journey in 2015, and according to their website, Screech Owl is the first licensed brewery in Preston County, West Virginia.
Screech Owl Brewing/Spent Grain Cafe is located at 2323 Ralph Livengood Rd Rd, Bruceton Mills, WV 26525
The Shape Shop Cafe
The Shape Shop Cafe is a health food restaurant on Charleston’s West Side owned by Millie Snyder. She opened the business in 1976 to serve “smart eats and treats” to the community.
The Shape Shop Cafe is located at 706 Central Avenue on the West Side of Charleston, or at their food truck.
Southridge Golf Range and Larobi’s Pizza
Southridge Golf Range and Larobi’s Pizza is owned and operated by Andy and Karen Call in the Southridge area of Charleston. The couple began the business in 2001 with Andy’s avid love of golf and Karen’s now 40 years of experience in the restaurant business.
Southridge Golf Range and Larobi’s Pizza is located at 500 Gateway Blvd, Charleston, WV 25309.
The Stache is an ice cream shop in Fayetteville, West Virginia, striving to make customers feel like “a kid in a candy store,” according to their Facebook page. Owner Margie Williams purchased the business in 2017 from Olivia Tygrett who established The Stache in 2014. Williams had worked for Tygrett since the business opened. Along with ice cream, The Stache serves lunch specials, coffee and even candy.
The Stache is located at 139 S Court St, Fayetteville, WV 25840.
Up Da Holler Pizza
Up Da Holler Pizza is a locally owned mom-and-pop pizza restaurant owned and operated by Jeannette and Steven Slack. The Slacks opened their restaurant, known for its pizza, subs, wings and salads, on Christmas Eve 2019. They say opening just months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit was “heartwrenching,” but having drive-thru and delivery options allowed them to push forward and save their business.
Up Da Holler Pizza is located at 15111 MacCorkle Ave SE, Cabin Creek, WV 25035.
The Vandalia Co.
The Vandalia Co. is a cafe and bakery on Charleston’s West Side. Owner Stephanie Woody opened the business in July 2021 with the goal of serving made-from-scratch, fresh foods -including sandwiches, salads, pastries and more – and beverages to the community.
The Vandalia Co. is located at 611 Tennessee Avenue on the West Side of Charleston.
Vanessa’s Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant that first opened in 2022 in Morgantown. The restaurant, owned by Vanessa Martenson, specializes in steaks, seafood and smoked meats. Nexstar’s WBOY also featured the restaurant on its “Restaurant Road Trip” series last fall.
Vanessa’s Kitchen is located at 709 Beechurst Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505.
Editor’s Note: This list is only a small sample of the women-owned restaurants throughout the Mountain State. .
(Video in this story shows the top headlines for April 18, 2023)