Women-owned businesses to support in Philadelphia, Disney100 preview

6abc Digital Staff Image
Thursday, March 16, 2023
FYI Philly celebrates Philadelphia's Women-owned businesses
FYI Philly is celebrating Women's History Month with a cast of inspiring stories from all over Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Essen Bakery owner-chef helps women of her native South Africa

Tova du Plessis owns Essen Bakery in South Philly and is a repeat James Beard nominee for the top baker in the country.

From here in Philadelphia, she is lending a helping hand thousands of miles away to women in her homeland of South Africa.

She is heading up an initiative for Women's History Month called Babkas for Blankets, with all proceeds going to the South African charity, Fingertips of Africa.

Through the month of March, when customers at her bakery donate $36 they will receive a limited edition babka, as well as a blanket made by the women who are able to work through the charity's Sewing Academy - helping them to earn a living wage, and helping the recipients of the blankets as well.

Essen Bakery | Facebook | Instagram

1437 E. Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147


open 8:30-3:00, closed Mondays

Apricot Stone holding dinner to benefit Armenian earthquake survivors

Fimy Ishkhanian's restaurant, Apricot Stone, is a reflection of the two worlds that define her family.

She is ethnically Armenian but was raised in Syria; her grandparents and great-aunts were among the 1.5 million Christian Armenians forced out of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire starting in 1915.

More than a century after the Armenian genocide, her family remains steeped in Armenian culture, attending an Armenian church and sending children and grandchildren to Armenian schools, keeping the language and history alive.

With her food, Fimy keeps the flavors alive too, with a menu that mixes Armenian and Syrian dishes.

She makes hummus, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, and Baklava -- both Middle Eastern and Armenian style.

Her Manti is a traditional Armenian recipe of ground beef stuffed dumplings served in a chicken broth and topped with yogurt and garlic dressing.

Along with running the restaurant, she's a member of the local chapter of the Armenian Relief Society, a non-profit that helps the Armenian diaspora.

When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Syria on Feb. 6, the group rallied, planning a fundraising dinner to raise money for Armenian survivors.

The dinner is set for May 8, falling between Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24 and Mother's Day on May 14.

Apricot Stone is BYOB but Davio's Steakhouse is donating wine, and all proceeds will go to help Armenians in Syria.

Apricot Stone | Facebook | Instagram | Armenian Relief Society

1040 N. American Street (Liberties Walk), Philadelphia, Pa. 19123


Syrian Earthquake Relief Dinner, May 8
Tickets are $50/person. To purchase, email anny.deese@gmail.com

Sprinkled Sweetness is a tasty dessert destination off South Street

Owner Tatiana Wingate opened Sprinkled Sweetness in 2021. But she's been baking custom cakes since she was 19.

The owner learned to love baking from her grandmother at age 7 and learned the science of baking when she went to culinary school.

Now she brings that passion to her new project just off South Street. After running a cottage business out of her home for more than a decade she decided to buy her own place when demand necessitated a bigger space.

The location allowed her enough room to expand her business from custom cakes to everyday cupcakes and cookies for walk-in guests.

It also opened the door for classes and date night events. She offers regular classes for kids, adults and seasoned bakers looking to reach the next level.

She also has date night dessert tastings where she serves a four-course dessert menu for those looking for a night out.

Upcoming events:

  • Buttercream Piping and Flowers Class - Friday, March 24, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Dessert Date Night - Saturday, March 25 reservations start at 5 p.m.
  • Kid's Easter Cupcake Workshop - Saturday, April 1-3 p.m.
  • Intro to Cake Decorating - Sunday, April 2, 2-5 p.m.

Sprinkled Sweetness | Facebook |

510 South 5th Street Suite 3, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Menagerie Coffee in Old City serves brews from around the country

Menagerie Coffee in Old City serves coffee from every corner of the country, from Maine to California and many places in between.

It's part of a unique guest roaster program created by the shop's owner, April Nett.

"With so much amazing coffee in the city, it was like, how do we separate ourselves from that and offer up a product that's still really unique?" says April.

She serves specialty coffee in a variety of ways, including pour-over and drip coffee methods.

It's served in a space designed with purpose and defined by the shop's name, Menagerie.

"A menagerie is an intersectional space," says April.

She arranged the space with the Nordic Hyggelig concept that creates coziness.

The space also features mid-century pieces and custom tables made from salvaged bowling lanes.

If you come hungry, there are sweet and savory bites made on site.

Since opening in 2013, the connection with the Old City community has grown stronger.

As a woman business owner, April finds that connection to be especially valuable.

"That feels very inclusive," says April. "It is a male-dominated space, but I think that the queer and women communities are coming together and reclaiming space or claiming space for the first time."

Menagerie Coffee | Instagram

18 S 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

Ceramic Concept sells clay art from diverse set of creators

When West Philadelphia native Stefani Threet was a teenager, she knew she wanted to make a living crafting works of art from clay.

Now she owns Ceramic Concept in the same neighborhood where she grew up.

She represents several artists who work in the medium, with a focus on artists of color, women, and local artists based all over the country.

She carries everything from classic mugs to vases and kitchen items. Planters are always stocked, as well as a variety of plants to match.

Ceramic Concept | Instagram

5015 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143

open Thursday - Sunday

West Philly art curator offering items from around the globe at Ultra Silk

Rashida Watson and her daughter, Ms. Kenya, have curated quite a cultural collection, traveling the globe for the artwork and home décor items available at Ultra Silk.

Watson, a lifelong artist, also owns The Silk Tent close by, also on Lancaster Avenue.

She says they specialize in "a lot of ethnic jewelry," but they also carry textiles and gift items.

"We have a lot of things from Africa and Southeast Asia," said Watson.

With the expansion of the gallery, it's enabled her to promote larger pieces.

The Ultra Silk Gallery has furniture from Morocco and lots of other home décor, including items like masks, sculptures and bronzes.

Watson says they're gathering a collection of works from artist Andrew Turner, since he lived in the Philadelphia area.

They have several of his pieces on display in the gallery, including one called "The Red Woman."

Ultra Silk Gallery also hosts Second Friday events to highlight local artists.

Ms. Kenya says they're hoping that Lancaster Avenue will become the place that people "go for art."

Ultra Silk Gallery

3808 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

World Premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute

For 100 years, the magic of Disney has dazzled the imaginations of the young and young at heart.

To celebrate, Disney archivists have opened the vault, curating the biggest exhibit Disney has ever done. The traveling exhibition is making its world premiere at The Franklin Institute.

It starts with a jaw-dropping technological marvel, Walt Disney himself onscreen, sharing his vision of innovation.

That's just the start of an epic journey through 100 years of entertainment history, with 15,000 square feet in 10 galleries, showcasing more than 250 of Disney's crown jewels.

There are objects people have never seen before like the Steamboat Willie whistle.

Cogsworth and Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast are in the exhibit. There's Cinderella's glass slipper and a one-of-a-kind Mickey Mouse guitar from the 1955 film The Mickey Mouse Club.

You can see the bejeweled storybook from Sleeping Beauty too and the prop book that opened Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first full-length animated feature, which premiered in 1937

The exhibit includes 14 interactive displays, at least one in every gallery.

For children, it's a chance to visit their favorite characters. For adults, it's an opportunity to feel like a kid all over again.

Disney100: The Exhibition |Tickets

The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Through August 27, 2023

Tune in to 6abc's special presentation: Disney100: The Exhibition, Making the Magic, Thursday, March 23 at 7:30pm.

Museum for Art in Wood's Mashrabiya Project features diverse artists

The former Center for Art in Wood is now the Museum for Art in Wood and has a new exhibit on display for March.

"The overall mission of the Museum for Art in Wood is to share the amazing creativity that comes from artists and their engagement with the material of wood," says Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum for Art in Wood.

You'll want to carve out some time for the museum's Mashrabiya Project, which includes an exhibition titled, "Seeing Through Space."

Six artists contributed pieces to the multidisciplinary exhibition. Milliken says the artists' work is in response to "the concepts behind the Mashrabiya."

The Mashrabiya itself is an architectural element that is often made of wood.

She says these structures were "installed in windows of stone or mud houses."

All the artists chosen for the project identify as women with roots in Morocco, Tunisia, Gaza, Palestine, Egypt and Pakistan.

There is a gathering space within the exhibition, called the l'iwan. Public events such as discussions and performances will be held there throughout the run of the exhibition.

You can explore with a smartphone or get hands-on at a Mashrabiya woodshop within the museum.

Anyone is welcome to walk into the museum and turn a wooden piece that will be inserted into the community-made Mashrabiya.

The Mashrabiya Project runs through July 23. Admission to the Museum for Art in Wood is free, though donations are always welcome.

Museum for Art in Wood | The Mashrabiya Project

141 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Sabrina's celebrates Women's History Month

Sabrina's Café is celebrating Women's history month by bringing in desserts from some of Philadelphia's top female pastry chefs.

Proceeds from the pasty sales will go to Project Home's Women of Change. The sweet weekends run through April 2. Supplies are limited so arrive early.

Sabrina's Cafe Graduate Hospital | Facebook | Instagram

2101 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

Upcoming Desserts Scheduled:

  • Kouklet Brazilian Bakehouse owner Mardhory Santos-Cepeda - March 17, 2023 - Brazilian cream-filled donuts called "Sonhos"
  • Tova du Plessis of Essen Bakery - March 24, 2023 - Chocolate Halva Babka
  • Vanilya Bakery owner Bonnie Sarana - March 31, 2023 - Bagels, and a Coconut Revani with kaymak and pistachio - coconut semolina cakes soaked in an orange blossom syrup and topped with clotted cream and pistachios

Women's Way Wednesdays

Every Wednesday in March, Stratus Rooftop Lounge is celebrating Women. Women's Way Wednesdays is a series of pop-ups in collaboration with the Sisterly Love Collective.

The events run every Wednesday evening in March from 5:30-8 p.m. featuring Philadelphia's female food and beverage stars.

Proceeds from the weekly pop-up benefit Women's Way, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women, girls, and gender and racial equity.

Sisterly Love Collective | Facebook | Instagram

Stratus Rooftop Lounge | Facebook | Instagram

433 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Upcoming Schedule for Women's Day Wednesday:

  • Wednesday, March 22: Chefs Kiki Aranita (Poi Dog) and Olga Sorzano (Baba's Acid Trip) (pastries provided by Kouklet Brazilian Bakehouse) - Music by Tanqueray Hayward
  • Wednesday, March 29: Chef Thanh Nguyen of Gabriella's Vietnam - Music by Andrea Nardello