New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

From baked goods to books: 4 must-visit, women-owned businesses

Women’s History Month may have since passed, but there are some unique women-owned businesses worthy of your support.

There are more women-owned businesses in New York City than in any other city in the United States, making up more than 40% of all retailers. But, with an abundance of small businesses at your fingertips, it’s easy to walk by many of them and not realize that there are unique, women-owned stores hiding in plain sight. From cafes to bookstores, each of these businesses are great in their own right — the fact they are owned by women is simply a plus.


Café at Pop Up Grocer 

205 Bleecker St.

A storefront with text that reads “Pop Up Grocer & CAFE.”
Cafe at Pop Up Grocer (Audrey Holm for WSN)

Located right near campus, Café at Pop Up Grocer offers a cafe and grocery store all in one, boasting a variety of coffee, tea, baked goods, breakfast and lunch treats. The founder and CEO Emily Schildt created Pop Up Grocer so that shoppers could find newer, healthier brands beyond the more popular ones available at chain grocery stores.

In addition to the unique shopping experience, the shop offers food and coffee at a relatively inexpensive price. You can find classic drinks like cappuccinos, lattes and espressos as well as original unique drinks like a Cocoa Cereal Latte and Strawberry Matcha Latte at this charming location. Not only is there a wide variety of drinks, the shop is also conscious in offering alternatives for those who are nut-free, vegan, keto and gluten-free. It’s a must-visit if you’re looking for a new place to find groceries or just a new cafe to frequent. 


The Ripped Bodice

218 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn

The Ripped Bodice, though slightly out of the way for students living near campus, is entirely worth the trip to Brooklyn, even if only for picture-taking purposes. As an independent romance bookstore owned by sisters Leah Koch and Bea Hodges-Koch, it prides itself on being woman and queer-owned. Located in Park Slope, the sisters truly commit to a feminine aesthetic from its pink exterior, patterned pink tiles and heart-shaped overhead lights. This bookstore also includes a whimsical seating area framed by wooden window panes at the back of the store. Complete with antique chairs and books plastered on the wall, this spot makes for the perfect picture opportunity. 

Beyond the charming ambiance and atmosphere, the books available at the shop offer a wide range of romance books covering young adult, historical, paranormal and LGBTQ+ genres. There is truly something for all romance lovers and even for non-romance readers — though those selections are more limited. 


Pink Olive West Village 

30 Charles St. 


The exterior of a corner building that is painted black.
Pink Olive West Village (Julia Smerling for WSN)

Pink Olive is an adorable shop located in the West Village perfect for all your gift-giving needs. The shop’s exterior is a deep olive green color with large windows to display the array of cards, books, mugs and other trinkets you might be looking for. It welcomes you in by enveloping you in the scent of one of the store’s own candles that are available for purchase. The staff is welcoming while still giving you the space to peruse the shelves for the perfect gift or trinket. 

Grace Kang, founder of Pink Olive, created the shop out of her love of finding creative and unique gifts. The love and care that goes into it is reflected in everything from the decor, the staff and the gift guides available on the website. Head over if you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.


Yu & Me Books 

44 Mulberry St. 

Born from Lucy Yu’s dream of creating a bookstore with a sense of community, Yu & Me Books acts as a space where diverse perspectives and immigrant voices can be expressed. True to that message, the store offers a variety of books centering the experiences of people of color and immigrants. It is New York City’s first female-owned Asian-American bookstore. 

The bookstore — located in Chinatown — acts as a literary and community hub, constantly hosting events such as author meet and greets, book signings and even a no/pen mic where people can come perform poetry, prose, stand-up and more. It’s a great place to find books to diversify your bookshelf and participate in fun events.


Contact Yasmin Minos at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Julia Smerling
Julia Smerling, Photo Editor
Julia Smerling is a first-year studying photography and imaging, and is one of WSN’s Photo Editors. She is from West Palm Beach, Florida, and you can find her writing poetry, overly obsessing about films, painting art on jeans and always having her headphones on. Also, she’s secretly Peter Parker. You can reach her on Instagram @juliasmerling or her art account @jul3sarchive (where mostly her mom hypes her up and likes her posts so please give it a look — it's becoming embarrassing at this point.)

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