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Celebrating Women-Owned Erie County Businesses

Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2022

March is Women's History Month and to celebrate, VisitErie is shining a spotlight on four local, and amazing, women business owners.

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Dena Rupp - Purrista Cat Cafe

Purrista Cat Café - Dena Rupp, Owner

Purrista Cat Café is Erie’s newest coffee shop (opened in February 2022), created by cat lover, coffee enthusiast and Erie native Dena Rupp. Ever since encountering her first pet café during her travels, Dena has been committed to bringing a cat café to her hometown.  Purrista Cat Café offers a relaxing social environment in Downtown Erie, serving fine espressos, specialty coffees, teas and pastries while also providing the opportunity for guests to interact with adoptable cats in a clean, stress-free environment. “For me, a female entrepreneur is someone who chooses to go out of her comfort zone, takes risks, and is not afraid to share her experiences, positive or negative, with others. She also supports and lifts up her fellow female friends.”

 

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Heather Hart - A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy

A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy –Heather Hart, Owner/LMT

Owning her own business was always in the back of Heather Hart’s mind while she was working at medical facilities and spas around Erie.  In 2010, she opened A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy.  Promoted as “Erie's premiere massage therapy and bodywork studio”, A Compassionate Hart is located in (appropriately) the “heart” of Downtown Erie and features three massage rooms with five employees focusing on managing stress to pain relief.  Heather plans to expand her business even more within the next year.  “I think the advantage of being a women business owner is all the community support and help you get from others. I know a lot of people say women have a hard time getting along, but I have found that to be the opposite of the truth among entrepreneurs.

Pineaplpe Eddie Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas - Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro

Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro – Karen Thomas, Owner

Starting a restaurant like Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro was a lifelong dream for sisters Karen Thomas and Adrienne Paul.  After spending fifteen years in the corporate and private sector of the hospitality field, their dream came to life and Pineapple Eddie opened its doors in July 2011.  Since then, it has established itself as one of Erie’s finest local restaurants.  The restaurant’s Haitian and American South inspired menu features items such as shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, griyo (cubed fried pork shoulder), jerk chicken and homemade desserts. “You want to be committed to building a solid foundation and then ‘brick up’ because the trends, distractions and haters are coming.  Even at your weakest moments your ‘bricks’ stand and resist weakness and remind you of your commitment.”  

Kelly Karns Landscape
Kelly Karns - Erie Food Tours

Erie Food Tours – Kelly Karns, Owner

Erie Food Tours is a fun way to experience Erie County’s history and culture, all while sampling delicious local food and drinks.  Since its creation in 2015, Karns and her team take patrons on guided food tours, sharing Erie’s history at local landmarks and historic buildings, while visitors enjoy samples of local cuisine!  Erie Food Tours run May through October in Downtown Erie and the nearby town of North East. “Getting the right people ‘on the bus’ - on your team - is essential to your success.  I have an amazing group of tour guides (all female!) who have carried Erie Food Tours throughout each season and we’re only getting better!  I also collaborate with phenomenal restaurants who give us their best food, drinks, and service at every tour visit.”

Partner Spotlight

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UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 458-bed hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital serves as a regional referral hub and is the only accredited trauma center in the region.

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814 Photo

Showcasing the incredible year round beauty of the City of Erie and its surrounding areas, commonly referred to as its area code "the 814". Explore some of Erie County's most breathtaking landscape photography.

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Farmhouse retreat Spotlight 400 x 300

Farmhouse Retreat

Your “Home Away from Home” short term rental sleeps 8 and is in a great location close to Erie Sports Center, Splash Lagoon, shopping and restaurants, as well as Steelhead Fishing. This restored 1881 Farmhouse is located on 10 private acres. Reminisce about bygone days when life was slower and simpler. With a long driveway and large yard, kick back by the firepit, watch wildlife or enjoy a beautiful Erie sunset from the back patio.

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The Cork 1794

Open for Lunch and Dinner. Get ready for an experience like no other. An atmosphere where uncommon style, comfort and service seamlessly meld. Where food and beverages are expertly crafted to be beautiful, satisfying and truly special. A place that makes every day feel like a reason to celebrate.

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Two45 Waterfront Grille Now Open!

Savor an exquisite waterfront dining experience at Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, where culinary excellence meets panoramic views. This signature restaurant invites you to indulge in a delectable journey with a menu showcasing locally sourced ingredients and global inspirations while overlooking the serene waters of Lake Erie.

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the cove from the cove site

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

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u pick 6 spotlight

U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

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Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales

Stop by Port Farms to check out the newest addition, Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales. We offer hand-crafted beers and delicious sharable food year-round. The brewery is family and dog friendly with both indoor and outdoor spaces. We offer games, music and entertainment for all ages!

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ASCEND Erie - Climbing | Fitness | Yoga

NOW OPEN! ASCEND fosters a community-centered climbing, fitness, and yoga experience by serving individuals and groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Located in Downtown Erie, ASCEND welcomes Erie visitors to stop in and give climbing a try!

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Tia Book Cellar Spotlight 400 x 300

Tia Book Cellar

Tia Book Cellar is an independent bookstore offering new and bargain books, unique gifts, puzzles, and games for all interests and ages. Located across from Gibson Park in North East, their brand embodies the local business model and the local grape heritage. Tia's believes that "there is always … local, an alternative, and a story." They look forward to helping you discover your next read or gift here.

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mazza spotlight

Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

The Mazza family welcomes you to explore 3 unique locations in Lake Erie Wine Country. Sip and savor award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA, and be sure to visit their combination winery, distillery and brewery, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars/Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, in nearby Westfield, NY.

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Dobbins Landing Spring 2022 EB 2

Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

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Mall Image Spotlight v2

Millcreek Mall

The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.

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erie events spotlight

Erie Events

Erie Events manages a four facility entertainment complex that includes the Warner Theatre, Erie Insurance Arena, Bayfront Convention Center and UPMC Park. These four venues host a variety of events that include world-class entertainment, family friendly shows and sporting events.

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Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.