Bristol is full of baes who know food, know how to run a business, and are smashing glass ceilings. These ladies are achieving their dreams and more by running some of the most successful restaurants and bars in town.
So without much ado, meet the women carving up the Bristol food-scene:
Beccy Massey - Birch
Beccy Massey, one-half of Birch, has turned an old corner shop into a buzzing neighbourhood restaurant. Serving fresh, seasonal ingredients straight out of the restaurant garden, Beccy is helping to gel a community together through the medium of simple, fresh and local food and a calm, welcoming atmosphere that makes Birch a lovely place to hang out and catch up with neighbours and friends alike.
Louise Abel - The Spotless Leopard
The infamous vegan truck parked on Alma road in Clifton is owned by Louise Abel, who is passionate about food that's ethical, good for you and good for the environment. Louise has been featured in Buzzfeed and national newspapers for serving up some of the best, wholesome, vegan dishes that delight even the most unapologetic meat eater. Look out for her pop-ups around Bristol and strive to try something guilt free this 2017.
Raine Kameyama - Yume Kitchen
Raine at Yume Kitchen is serving up Japanese food and drink in a small restaurant on Cotham Hill and holds a special place in Wriggle's heart. It was the first establishment to join the platform back in 2014 and we think it, and Raine, are just fantastic. Selected as one of the Guardian's top Cheap Eats, this is a bastion of quality food at affordable prices. Yume means "dream" and Raine certainly serves those up if you like your Japanese food authentic and your sake poured correctly.
Helen Wilkins - Bambalan
Helen Wilkins is the manager of Bambalan, who had a previous career as a tour manager for Madness. This led her to hanging out with the likes of David Bowie and The Rolling Stones back in the day. These days she's shed her biker boots and leather jacket and become the badass manager of bar and restaurant, Bambalan. Keeping Bambalan running like clockwork, Helen runs a tight schedule and anyone who has worked in the service industry knows this is no easy task. We raise a beer to you, Helen.
Mary Wilson - Wilsons
Mary (pictured here with her partner Jan, head chef and co-owner) has created a perfectly formed little English bistro. Dubbed after Mary’s family name, this 24-cover spot offers up a weekly changing menu using ingredients which are grown, hunted or gathered locally by themselves. Mary has taken the the torch from her parents, bringing the Wilsons family name, and the stain glass sign, from their London resturant to Chandos Road.
Amy Cox and Joney McNamara - Cox & Baloney
Serving tea and vintage glamour, friends Cox and Baloney are the place to go on Cheltenham Road. Starting with a small cafe and shop, they have taken the brand to new heights offering high tea, gin cocktails and a banging full English breakfast. If your twitter profile mentions you love tea or gin and you haven’t been here, you need a word with yourself.
Shona Graham - Emmeline
Shona (previously of Yurt Lush) named her gorgeous little cafe after her niece. Taking over the shop Dutty's site in Stokes Croft, Shona has made Emmeline her own. With flowers, succulents and cacti for sale from The Mighty Quinn, fantastic coffee and delicious food, and the ever-lovely welcome of Shona, Emmeline is one of our favourite independents.
Sarah and Louise Hawkins - The Library
Run by sister-act Louise and Sarah, this cosy little wine bar (voted Bristol’s Best in the Good Food Awards 2015) in the shadow of The Arches on Gloucester Road, aims to challenge your taste-buds. Their passion for wine is infectious, whilst their hospitality is immaculate. All the wines have been hand-picked by them, and the list expands and changes on a monthly basis.
Laura Hart - Hart's Bakery
From small seeds come mighty loaves and Laura Hart knows her loaves! Starting in a small bakery down a back road in Clifton, she has taken her skills and team to a Victorian railway arch in Temple Meads. Making and selling pastries, sandwiches, hot drinks and everything in between, Laura is a Godsend to travellers and office workers alike.
Ellen, Cassie and Lily Grist (The Gristers!) - At The Well
Ladies, we’d always encourage you to avoid being a slave to the laundry basket. Run by three sisters (and occasionally their mum), this super relaxed café allows you to treat yourself to a cappuccino, a stack of pancakes with your gals, while the on-site launderette does the hard work for you. Instead of a tropey Diet Coke break man to entertain you as you watch your smalls whizz around, they have live music, speedy internet access and cake. I’d rather watch Cat Gifs and eat brownies than watch a topless man showing off any day.
Janice Heskett - Cafe Matariki
A top choice, this place is a wholesome yoga studio-cum-super food café, managed independently by role model businesswoman Janice (previously of Kate's Kitchen and Arch House Deli). It’s a haven of female empowerment that encourages you to care for the body and soul. We at Wriggle love being nourished from the inside out (it helps to counteract the amount of burgers we eat) and Janice provides really tasty food that is actually good for you too. We salute the sun to you, Janice.
Wizzy Chung - Sky Kong Kong
The jewel-in-the-crown of Bristol's Korean food scene. Set up and run by Wizzy Chung, who's been a chef at Michelin Starred establishments, this place screams low-key quality. A beautiful space with an invariably warm and informal welcome, the whole point is making haute-cuisine accessible - and affordable - to all. Using produce she has grown herself on her allotment, you know you're going to be looked after. Either swing by for a takeaway bento box for your lunch or come with friends for a more leisurely dinner in the evening and Wizzy will look after you.
Liz Haughton - Folk House Cafe & Spike Island Cafe
Invest in yourself and book into a life drawing class or a course in well-being at the Folk House. Liz Haughton is a truly impressive entrepreneur, and has created a space where good food and creativity meet in a harmonious space - and done it twice with the recent opening of the Spike Island Cafe. The wholesome, organic-inspired cafés are perfect for catching up over a warm goat’s cheese salad with friends.
Kate Ploughman - Kate's Kitchen
Kates’ Kitchen is a Wriggle newbie set up at one of Bristol's most unusual beauty spots, the Arnos Vale Cemetery. The Cafe is already gaining a reputation for some of the best brunches in the business - with the stunning Arnos brunch leading the way. Kate has run her own catering business for years before opening up the cafe - and now works with a predominantly female team.
Tracy Koh - Ramen Ya & Bento Boss
Tracy Koh (pictured here with her partner James Fong, who's the executive chef at Bento Boss and Ramen Ya) is a woman filling Bristol with Asian flavours, with two successful restaurants. Bento Boss has been a knock-out success in a previously difficult location by Clifton Down, earning a reputation for being somewhere to nab a quick lunch or enjoy an indulgent dinner - and Tracy has recently expanded and opened Ramen Ya on Gloucester Road, serving delicious bowls of Ramen and Bao in a cosy setting.
Elly Curshen - Pear Cafe
Everything is just peachy for Elly Pear and her unstoppable influence on the Bristol food scene. A woman of many talents with nimble fingers in all the pies, she runs a humble café off Stokes Croft, has two recipe publications under her chic belt, and an impressive Instagram following. Some of Bristol's best foodie havens are documented there, so it's well worth following.
Hayley Wright - The Mighty Quinns Flower Emporium
Heading up her first retail unit at Whapping Wharf, Hayley Wright is the owner of The Mighty Quinns Flower Emporium - and is spreading flower power to Bristol. Providing beautiful bouquets for the special someone in your life. Although she doesn’t serve food, we had to include Hayley on our list - as a pillar of the new foodie bubble of Wapping Wharf. Hayley can’t do enough to help you if you’re not sure about what you want and her flowers are stunning. Don’t forget Mother's Day is coming up...