These Women Are Leading Denver and Boulder’s Culinary Scene

These Women Are Leading Denver and Boulder’s Culinary Scene

Trellis Wine Bar owners Ilona Botton and Alisha Stoltz. Photo by Patricia Kaowthumrong

Eat and Drink

If you want to support female-led food and beverage businesses in Colorado, this is a good place to start.

From running restaurant kitchens to brewing Coloradans’ favorite craft beers, women are leading in all facets of the Front Range’s exciting dining scene—and driving its success. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we hope this list makes it easy for you to find and support female-owned and -operated establishments from Aurora to Boulder and beyond.

Who did we miss? Email us at [email protected]; we’ll update this list regularly.



Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries

Catering and Meal Delivery Services

Coffee, Tea, Juice and Kombucha Shops

Culinary Retail

Culinary Tours

Food Trucks

Food-Related Organizations and Associations

  • Above the Bar: CC Chaput, co-founder; Jillian Hapak, co-founder
  • Bridge House/Community Table Kitchen: Isabel McDevitt, CEO
  • Chef Ann Foundation: Ann Cooper, president and founder; Mara Fleishman, CEO
  • Colorado Restaurant Association: Sonia Riggs, president and CEO; Emily Ewing, office manager and executive assistant; Devany McNeill, vice president of strategic partnerships; Jen Johnson, business development & engagement manager; Christine Krumholz, accounting manager; Emily Rickert, membership services representative; Denise Mickelsen, communication director; Erin Dewey, communication & membership coordinator; Mollie Steinemann, manager of government affairs; SallyAnn Prier, events and sponsorship manager; Laura Shunk, president of the Colorado Restaurant Foundation; Stacy Griest, program manager for the Colorado Restaurant Foundation
  • EatDenver: Katie Lazor, executive director; Kristen Rauch, marketing and partnerships coordinator
  • Flatirons Food Film Festival: director, Julia Joun
  • Metro Caring: Teva Sienicki, CEO; Donna Munip, COO and CFO; Sisi Dong Brinn, CIO
  • Project Angel Heart: Jennifer Lackey, interim president; Summer Polson, sous chef
  • Western Colorado Community College Viticultural and Enology Program: Jenne Baldwin-Eaton, instructor
  • Work Options for Women: Julie Stone, executive director; Angela O’Leary, director of operations; Bailey Denmark, director of development; Kristi Hornick, director of recruitment and community engagement; Tessa Houston, culinary program and special projects manager; Yoselin Corrales, manager of student services; Tamika Simmons, program coordinator; Ebony Magee, mobile culinary classroom assistant chef instructor; Shannon Boehler, cafe and commissary supervisor
  • Women’s Wine Guild of Colorado: Abbie Minton, Sarah Shomaker, and Jessica Roat, co-founders


  • Acova, the Hornet: Betsy Workman, owner
  • African Grill & Bar: Theodora Osei-Fordwuo, co-owner
  • Aloy Modern Thai: Arisa Chanchokpong and Bo Bean, co-owners
  • Almagre Venue & Bar: Mundi Ross, co-owner; Grace Harrison, co-owner
  • Ambli: Pariza Mehta and Kelly Morrison, co-owners
  • Anise, Modern Vietnamese Eatery: Quyen Trinh, owner and executive chef
  • Annette: Caroline Glover, chef-owner
  • Apple Blossom, Coperta: Aileen Reilly, co-owner and general manager; Jodi Polson, pastry chef;

    Kate Birney, dining room manager (B&B); Nicole Romeo, executive sous chef (B&B);

    Hannah McGowan, dining room manager (Coperta)

  • Baba & Pop’s Pierogi Kitchen & Bar: Katherine Yurek, co-owner
  • The Bagel Deli: Rhoda Kaplan, co-owner and lead cook
  • Barolo Grill: Erin Lindstone, sommelier; Katie Kelly, bar specialist
  • Beckon: Allison Anderson, director of experience
  • Big Red R Restaurant Group (Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, West End Tavern, Centro Mexican Kitchen, The Post Brewing Co.): Dana Query, creative cat; Sheila Lucero, executive chef; Tiffany Richards, the Oracle; Audrey Quistorff, offensive coordinator; Iva Townsend, mother of all F’ers; Chelsea Carlton, party planner; Cindy DeSanto, bean counter
  • The Bindery: Linda Hampsten Fox, chef and owner
  • Bird & Jim: Melissa Strong, co-owner
  • Bistro Barbès: Megan Silvertooth, owner, general manager, and wine buyer
  • Bistro Georgette: Heather Morrison, co-owner
  • Black Cat Farm, Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, Bramble & Hare: Jill Skokan, co-owner
  • Blackbelly, Santo: Lauren Feder, co-owner; Ashley Ogden, general manager (Santo); Kelly Kawachi, butcher (Blackbelly)
  • The Bluegrass Coffee & Bourbon Lounge: Sheena Gordon, owner
  • Bombay Clay Oven: Rohini Miranda, co-owner
  • Bonnano Concepts (Denver Milk Market, Mizuna, Luca, Osteria Marco, French 75, Green Russell, Lou’s Food Bar, Russell’s Smokehouse, Wednesday’s Pie, Salt & Grinder, Vesper Lounge): Jacqueline Bonanno, co-owner and and creative director
  • Brazen: Carissa Sargent, owner
  • Bridge & Tunnel Restaurant Group (Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen/Rosenberg’s After Dark, Lou’s Italian Specialties, Famous Original J’s Pizza, Sherry’s Soda Shoppe): Kelley Mang, head pastry chef; Dani Craig, brand director
  • Broadway Roxy: Paula Vrakas, owner
  • Carbon Cafe & Bar and Habit Doughnut Dispensary: Lisa Ruskaup, owner and CEO; Eve Sloan and Diane Kleindienst, co-managers
  • Carm & Gia Metropolitan: Razz Cortés, owner
  • Cattivella: Elise Wiggins, chef and owner
  • Charcoal Bistro: Amy Brown, sous chef
  • Chickee’s Lil Kitchen: Harriett Sanchez, owner
  • Chicken Rebel: Lydie Lovett, owner and operator
  • ChoLon Restaurant Concepts (ChoLon, LeRoux, Yumcha): Lourdes Garcia, Cho77 sous chef; Ashley Adams, ChoLon bar manager; Michelle Xiao, dim sum chef
  • Chook Charcoal Chicken: Elizabeth Nicholson, COO
  • Comal Heritage Food Incubator: Slavica Park, co-founder
  • Comida at Stanley Marketplace: Rayme Rossello, owner; Sandra Banchs, head chef
  • Coohills: Diane Schapiro Coohill, co-owner; Nikki Baldacchi, executive pastry chef
  • CoraFaye’s Cafe: Priscilla Smith, owner
  • Coquette’s Gluten Free Bakery: Michelle Marx, co-owner; Turu Marx, co-owner
  • The Corner Beet: Nikki Hazamy, owner
  • The Cow Eatery: Sherri Lind, co-owner
  • Cabrón Carbón Taqueria: Camelia Robles, co-owner
  • Crafted Concepts (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Ultreia, Stoic & Genuine): Jennifer Jasinski, chef and co-owner; Beth Gruitch, co-owner; Lauryn Markle, pastry chef; Ariana Didziulis, Bistro Vendôme executive chef; Jessica Richter, Ultreia and Stoic & Genuine general manager; Katie Murphy, Bistro Vendôme general manager; Casandra Hood, Crafted Concepts Administrative Coordinator
  • Cuba Cuba: Kristy Soccarás Bigelow, owner
  • Culinary Creative Group (A5 Steakhouse, Ash’Kara, Bar Dough, Tap & Burger, Señor Bear, Mister OsoForget Me NotAviano Coffee): Katie O’Shea, partner; Emily Obermeyer, chief of staff; Nicole Westerman, director of operations (Tap & Burger); Natalia Spampinato, head of pastry; Allie Holmes, operations manager (Culinary Creative and Aviano); Nicole Lebedevitch, partner & beverage manager (Forget Me Not); Kristen Eagan, general manager (Tap & Burger Belleview Station); Jessica Rehs, bar manager (Bar Dough); Jen Mattioni, general manager (Ash’Kara); Carrie Walbridge, bar manager and assistant general manager (Ash’kara); Chanelle Libuano, general manager (Mister Oso); Stefy DeVita, executive sous chef (Señor Bear); Kayla Jones, social media and branding director; Carrie Baird, partner and culinary director (Tap & Burger); Anna Munoz, sous chef  (Bar Dough); Natalia Spampinato, pastry chef (Culinary Creative Group); Jess Rehs, bar manager (Bar Dough); Patti Horan (Mister Oso)
  • Curio and Green Seed Market (at Denver Central Market): Katsumi Yuso Ruiz, co-owner and manager
  • D Bar Denver: Lisa Bailey, co-owner
  • Daughter Thai Kitchen & Bar, Citizen Thai Bistro: Ounjit Hardacre, owner
  • Flagstaff House Restaurant: Elizabeth Sammuri, wine and beverage director
  • The Fort: Holly Arnold Kinney, owner
  • Fox Run Café: Lauren Brendel, chef and kitchen manager; Kelsie Berens, pastry chef and general manager
  • Frasca Hospitality Group (Tavernetta, Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale, Sunday Vinyl): Carlin Karr, wine director; Erin Pommer, brand director; Jodi McAllister, director of culture & human resources; Alicia York, executive assistant; Kelly Jeun, Frasca co-executive chef; Rose Votta, Frasca general manager; Clara Klein, Sunday Vinyl sommelier; Rachel Garcia, Frasca sous chef; Courtney Grisham York, Frasca pastry sous chef; Charlene Vogel, Tavernetta pastry sous chef; Ryanna Kramer, Tavernetta sommelier
  • Fresh Thymes Eatery: Christine Ruch, owner and chef
  • Frozen Matter: Gerry Kim, co-founder and owner
  • Fresh Fish Company: Karen Kristopeit-Parker, owner
  • Gemini: Catherine and Elizabeth Neckes, co-owners
  • Ginger Pig: Natascha Hess, chef and owner
  • The Green Collective Eatery, Allison and Jamie Rifkin, co-founders/owners
  • The Greenwich: Delores Tronco, owner
  • Hi Tide Poke & Hawaiian: Celeste Pfeiffer, chef and co-owner; Melissa Krischuk, co-owner
  • High Point Creamery: Erika Thomas, co-founder
  • Hops & Pie: Leah Watson, co-owner
  • Id Est Hospitality Group (Basta, the Wolf’s Tailor, Dry Storage, Brutø): Erika Whitaker, co-founder; Holly Clarke, head pastry chef; Tayler Warren, director of operations; Caroline Clark, beverage director; Leigh Barnholt, marketing, events, and community engagement manager
  • Il Posto: Julianna Dreistadt, sommelier and wine director
  • The Inventing Room Dessert Shop: Stacey Kleinman, co-owner
  • Island Woman Shanty (Longmont): Modah Naycha, owner
  • Jovanina’s Broken Italian: Jennifer Linzinmeir, co-owner; Ashley Morrison, chef de cuisine and pastry chef; Christina Maza, general manager; Kristy McDonough, events manager
  • Konjo Ethiopian Food: Fetien Gebre-Michael, co-owner
  • Just Be Kitchen: Jennifer Peters, owner
  • Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group (Mila, Hickory & Ash, Masa Cocina Mexicana, Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House, Prelude & Post): Denise Taylor, co-owner and partner
  • La Catrina Grill: Silvia Hernandez, owner
  • La Fogata: Danette Calhoun, owner
  • La Merise French Cuisine: Elena Zasytiene and Baiba Sisco, co-owners
  • La Bouche: Alexandra Tréton, co-owner
  • Le French: Aminata Dia, co-owner; Rougui Dia, co-owner and executive chef
  • Lindsay’s Boulder Deli: Lindsay Shaw, owner
  • Logan Street: Christina Kanai, assistant general manager
    Los Cabos Peruvian Cuisine: Francesca Ruiz, owner
  • Los Chingones: Nikki Fielder, executive sous chef
  • Maria Empanada: Lorena Cantarovici, owner
  • Mercury Cafe: Marilyn Megenity, owner
  • Meta Asian Kitchen: Doris Yuen, co-owner and general manager
  • Morin: Mary Allison Wright, wine director
  • Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club: Nicole Mattson, co-owner
  • Northside Eatery & Market: Alexis Osborne, general manager
  • Ohana Island Kitchen: Regan Colburn, co-owner
  • Olive & Finch: Mary Nguyen, owner and executive chef
  • Onefold: Terese Nery, co-owner
  • Osaka Ramen: Caitlin Lapinel, general manager
  • Panzano: Gaby Navas, pastry chef
  • Parisi: Christine Parisi, owner and business manager
  • Peel Handcrafted Pizza: Angel Hepp, co-owner
  • The Preservery: Whitney Ariss, co-owner
  • Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana: Pam Proto, owner
  • Postino: Lauren Bailey, CEO and co-founder; Jen Gray-Beery, Colorado area director; Brianna Jacobson, Postino Broadway general manager; Molly Jacobs, Postino LoHi general manager; and Molly Jones, Postino 9+Co general manager
  • Potager: Eileen Warthen, co-owner
  • Q House: Jen Mattioni, co-owner
  • The Queen of Sheba Restaurant: Zewditu (Zodi) Aboye, owner
  • Racines: Lee Goodfriend, co-owner
  • Rae’s & Kay’s Melting Pot: Isha Rae Desbin and Char Kay Desbin, owners
  • Restaurant Olivia: Heather Morrison, co-owner
  • Revelry Kitchen: Sarah and Vanessa Harris, co-owners
  • Safta: Liliana Myers, head pastry chef; Emily Shaya, co-founder of Pomegranate Hospitality
  • Sam’s Meat Market: Debbie Sams, owner and manager
  • Santiago’s: Carmen Morales, founder and co-owner; Rachel Wells, co-owner
  • Sassafras American Eatery: Julia Grother, owner and operator; Jazmin Montano, restaurant manager; Tina Bennet, restaurant manager; Sarah Blackmore, restaurant manager; Tiffany Condra, office manager
  • Secret Sauce Food & Beverage (Steuben’s, Ace Eat Serve): Emily Biederman, COO; Nadine Donovan, executive pastry chef; Jacqui Grossman, general manager (Ace Eat Serve); Sarah Cloyd, executive chef (Steuben’s Arvada); Anna Regan, media manager
  • Silva at Lost City: owner, Silvia Hernandez
  • Smōk: Katlyn Demaline, general manager
  • Somebody People: Tricia Maher, co-owner
  • Spuntino: Cindhura Reddy, chef and co-owner; Austin Nickel, sous chef
  • Sputnik: Allison Houseley, co-owner
  • Stanley Beer Hall: Anne Walter, executive chef
  • Stowaway Kitchen: Amy Cohen, co-owner
  • Sugarfire Smoke House Westminster: Jamie Green, co-owner
  • Cantina Loca, Super Mega Bien, Work & Class: Dana Rodriguez, chef and co-owner; Tabatha Knop, co-owner; Anna Walter, SMB sous chef
  • Sushi Co.: Olivia Maeng, co-owner
  • Tables Restaurant: Amy Vitale, chef and co-owner
  • TAG Restaurant Group (TAG, Bubu, TAG Burger Bar, Guard and Grace, Los Chingones, Hashtag, FNG): Nikki Guard, beverage director; Joy Williams, executive pastry chef
  • Tamales by La Casita: Paula Sandoval, co-owner
  • The Walnut Cafe: Dana D. Derichsweiler, owner
  • Whole Sōl: Alexa Squillaro, co-founder and chief taste officer
  • The Wooden Table, Brodo Scratch Kitchen: Jane Knauf, co-owner
  • To the Wind Bistro: Leanne Adamson, chef and co-owner
  • Uncle: Cecelia Webster Jones, general manager (Speer location)
  • Urban Farmer: Susan Wieser, general manager
  • Via Perla: Peggy Romano, owner
  • Vibe Concepts (Spanky’s Roadhouse, Roadhouse Boulder Depot, Montezuma Roadhouse, Metropolitan, Dusty Boot Roadhouse Beavercreek, T Street, Kickapoo Tavern, Luigi’s Pasta House, Reivers Bar & Grill): Cynthia Shipp, co-owner
  • Xicamiti La Taquería: Paola Meza, co-owner

Denise Mickelsen

Denise Mickelsen

Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.

Patricia Kaowthumrong

Patricia Kaowthumrong

Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to be overseeing all of 5280 Magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.

Riane Menardi Morrison

Riane Menardi Morrison

Riane is 5280’s associate food editor. You can follow her culinary adventures at @riane__eats.

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