Skip to Main Content

VisitErie Blog

Painted Finch 2 provided by PF resize

Celebrating Women-Owned Businesses in Erie County

Friday Feb 24th, 2023

NanciHaibach Elsie Greer

The Elsie Greer House Bed & Breakfast – Nanci Haibach, Owner
The Elsie Greer House Bed & Breakfast is a beautiful Victorian-style home nestled in the historic town of North East, PA near Gibson Park. Built in 1865, it is believed to be one of the oldest homes in Erie County and is named for the woman who owned the home after the Civil War. Innkeeper/owner Nanci Haibach invites guests to take a step back in time and experience old-fashioned hospitality surrounded by a 19th century environment of polished carved woods, ornate fixtures, and stately decor. Guests can wake up to the tantalizing aroma of a home-cooked breakfast and for those who need to stay connected, the high-speed internet connection ensures seamless connectivity. An amenity worth checking out is the in-house penny press machine, a delightful attraction that churns out charming images of the picturesque town.  

Q: What are the secrets to your success?
“The secret to my success is to have a good idea of what people want and expect for the money they spend. Putting out quality for all my guests. My dedication to my personal objective of having a business where I can be creative every day gives me the quality of life I want.

Missy Hitz for WEB

Monacella Massage & Kinesiology – Missy Hitz, Owner/LMT
Being a young female business owner at the age of thirty presented its challenges, but in 2008 Missy Hitz turned her dream into a reality. For more than 24 years, Missy has been helping people feel better by combining her knowledge of Kinesiology and massage therapy to reduce and even eliminate muscle pain and stress. Monacella Massage is in downtown Erie’s Renaissance Centre and offers clients a variety of massage therapy services including Swedish massage, deep tissue, reflexology, and hot stones.

Q: What does it mean to be a woman entrepreneur?
Being a woman entrepreneur is an honor. Opening a business is an opportunity to empower oneself, contribute to the community and local economy, and inspire others, especially women, to pursue entrepreneurship.”

Wendy Neckers for WEB

Painted Finch Gallery and Epiphany’s Emporium – Wendy Neckers, Owner
With a vision of opening a high-end gallery with exceptional art in a small city, artist and owner Wendy Neckers launched the Painted Finch Gallery in 2012 and in 2017, her success expanded next door with Epiphany’s Emporium, a unique hand-crafted gift and collectibles shop. Over the years, Wendy has collected an amazing array of artists who have their work on display at the Painted Finch, while Epiphany's wide selection ranges from leather journals and felted critters to stained glass kaleidoscopes and craft sodas.

Q: What advice would you give to other women who are looking to open their own business?
A: “Consider if you have a market or niche that your business would fill. What makes you unique? How will people find your business and when they do find you, will they want to walk through your doors?"


ChristinaVogel 1 for WEB

Donatos Pizza – Christina Vogel, Owner
With three Erie area Donatos Pizza locations cranking out hundreds of orders of pizzas, wings, subs, and salads on a daily basis, Christina Vogel tends to wear many hats as she navigates her way through the ups and downs of owning and operating a franchise restaurant. However, her persistence and confidence is paying off as she continues to grow her three stores, provide great jobs with benefits for her employees, produce a quality product with excellent customer service, and establish a connective presence in the community. Donatos Pizza is known for their edge-to-edge toppings, thin and crispy crust, and a range of unique toppings such as smoked provolone cheese, aged brick cheese and a variety of meats that gives its pizza a distinctive taste that customers love.

Q: What is one of your biggest challenges?
A: “I believe the biggest challenge I faced was convincing others I could do it.  There are pizza restaurants all over the world and a lot right here in Erie.  I have watched many open and close in the past seven years.  Understandably, other people questioned the viability of opening three in short succession.  I did not take it personally.  However, I was also very persistent and confident in my plan.”

Partner Spotlight

the cork

The Cork 1794

The Cork 1794 is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion! Indoor and outside seating available with amazing food.

Learn More

spotlgiht the cove

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

Join us today! 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.

Learn More

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!”

Learn More

bayfront grille

Outdoor Dining at the Bayfront Grille

The Bayfront Grille Restaurant at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is excited to announce that our Bayside Patio is open for Lunch and Dinner. Please check Open Table for reservations or contact the restaurant directly at 814-454-2005.

Learn More


UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 423-bed hospital in Erie, PA, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

millcreek mall

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.

Learn More

Untitled design 1

When you have an opportunity to fly, give Erie a try - support your hometown airport!

Direct Daily Flights to Charlotte and Chicago.
Erie International Airport is serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines with daily flights to Charlotte and Chicago with connections across the country and around the world. Book your flight today at or

Learn More

dobbins landing

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.

Learn More

Corporate Events Port Farms

Port Farms Corporate Events

Treat your employees to a unique, country experience that is sure to inspire with all of the magic the farm has to offer! Located just outside of Erie, Port Farms offers a charming countryside venue for your next company retreat! Our unique space is located on 200 rural acres and includes everything you will need to host a successful work session, work event, or company picnic. Learn more about how we can help you plan the perfect event!

Learn More

CartHorse Spotlight 400 x 300


Cart/Horse Distilling is a first-generation woman-owned distillery, pioneering the craft in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Handcrafted care never goes out of style. We put that artistic attention into every bottle of our small batch spirits. Cart/Horse proudly produces rum, whiskey, vodka, gin, and several award-winning specialty liquors. Our robust cocktail menu uses the finest and freshest ingredients for each custom-built drink.

Learn More