When you support local women-owned businesses, you’re supporting economic justice and empowerment for women, and that feels good. You’re also supporting the local economy, the surrounding community and most of all, local families, both the owners' and their employees'. That feels good too, but truth be told, these businesses are worthy of your support, even without all of that.
We have a few wonderful women in Irving who are in the business of bringing good food and good times to the people who live, work and play in Irving, as well as the many who visit. Before we introduce you to them, how about some fun facts?
- In the U.S., almost 40% of businesses are owned by women. The latest data on this show similar figures for the city of Irving.
- In Texas, 7.7% of women in the workforce are entrepreneurs.
- The Dallas metro area is one of the top 10 regions for women-owned businesses in the U.S.
Those are some impressive numbers, but if all you want is wonderful food and fun things to do, check out these local women-owned businesses. You’re gonna love these ladies.
Via Reál: Southwestern Flavors and Santa Fe Style from Fran Mathers
4020 N MacArthur Blvd Suite 100 | (972) 650-9001
Since 1985, Via Reál has served the flavors of New Mexico and the Southwest in a fine dining atmosphere. It’s a great place for a special occasion or simply for a great dinner with some very fine margaritas.
Longtime customers and first-time visitors alike love the waiters, many of whom have been there 15 years or longer. The food and drinks are pretty special too with seafood dishes unlike any served at other restaurants and top-shelf liqueurs for tasty cocktails.
Sunday brunch is an elegant affair with carving stations, salads, desserts and more. Breakfast favorites like southwestern eggs Benedict and chilaquiles are in demand, and you can get omelets and waffles made to order.
Mathers serves her community as well as serving wonderful food. In 2004, she created the Pat Mathers Scholarship Foundation in memory of her late husband, Pat Mathers, who had always been a strong supporter of the Irving Police Department. This year, the foundation gave out $40,000 in scholarships to college-bound and college-enrolled students who are children of Irving Police officers.
Jam + Toast: Fresh and Delicious Breakfast and Lunch from Tema Seferi
3351 Regent Blvd #140 | (469) 565-8622
975 John Carpenter Freeway | (469) 372-5512
This family business excited Irving families about breakfast so much, they opened a second location. Along with her husband Udi and her brother Louie Kerimi and his wife Z, Seferi is all about making daytime meals fun again at Jam + Toast.
Housemade jams are wonderful whether served with toast or fresh-baked biscuits. Traditional egg breakfasts and skillets hit your hungry spot, and French toast satisfies your sweet tooth. Customers rave about their crepes, but whatever you order, you know it will be served fresh and served with a smile.
Sometimes it takes me longer to decide what to order than it does for my order to be ready. I’ve never gone wrong with any breakfast dish there, but the thing I crave most often is a simple grilled Virginia ham and cheese sandwich with a fresh fruit cup as the side.
The new Las Colinas Village location is just minutes from dozens of offices in Las Colinas and convenient for a quick lunch; their takeout operation is fast and efficient. But for fans of their original location further north, don’t worry, it’s still open for business.
Angels Frutería y Paleteria: All Kinds of Sweetness from Flora Nunez
3008 N Belt Line Road | (972) 785-7123
When the Google review says, “I love the lady who works here. She reminds me of my mom,” chances are, the reviewer has just met Flora Nunez of Angels Fruteria y Paleteria. The family-owned business makes lovely cold treats with fresh fruit and more.
If you want the latest craze, try the mangonadas, a traditional Mexican frozen beverage that combines the sweetness of mango with the subtle saltiness of chamoy and spicy Tajin seasoning. Ice cream with blueberries and strawberries in it? Absolutely. If you can think up a frozen dessert, it’s probably on the menu here. And whatever you order, it will be served with love.
Tamz Cake Lair: Amazing Cupcakes from Tamara
@tamzcakelair on Instagram
Her name is Tamara, but once you taste her baked goods, you might just call her the cupcake lady. You can order her outstanding cupcakes on Instagram, and you’ll find her at numerous community events. She’s been a welcome sight at the Irving Junction Farmers Market at Southern Junction lately, but check her social media for schedules, flavors and availability.
While you’re looking on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll see some of those fabulous cupcakes. Whether it’s a classic flavor like lemon, vanilla, and chocolate or one of her unique creations like oatmeal cream pie or cookies and cream, you’ll be head over heels with just one bite.
Glory House Catering-Receptions-Bistro: A Taste of Home from Jo Ann Goin
109 S. Main St | (972) 259-1123
Glory House has been in the catering business in Irving since 1999, and since August 2007 has had a beautiful event space in the Irving Heritage District. Jo Ann Goin and her husband Steve made the place even more spectacular with renovations in 2014.
While the pandemic required some pivots, the Goins rose to the challenge. In addition to their busy catering and events business, they serve brunch on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
They’ve won numerous events over the years, including the 2021 Best in Irving Caterer. Whether you order catering delivery or book an event in the industrial farmhouse chic bistro space, Jo Ann and Glory House will win you over too.
Mama Tried: Toe Tappin’ Texas Music at Toyota Music Factory from Brooke Humphries
340 West Las Colinas Blvd. | (972) 259-1123
Humphries has brought us drinks, dancing and more at Mudsmith Coffee, Barcadia, Pints & Quarts, and Beauty Bar. She also brings fun to Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood with the dance club It'll Do, as well as Mama Tried. In 2019, she decided to share some of that fun with Irving at Toyota Music Factory.
Mama Tried is what you end up with when you combine a full bar with Texas beers, a sports tavern with 24 televisions, and a 5,000 square-foot music venue. It’s a mighty fine place to chill and watch the game, but there’s room for boot-scootin’ if you want to.
Entertainment has included local favorites like the Straight Tequila Night duo, Justin Myers and the Trent Cowie Band. If you haven’t experienced the live music here yet, A Honky Tonk Christmas on Friday, Nov. 26, will make a perfect introduction.
Lizzie Lu Luxury Treats: A Magical Wonderland of Candy, Cake and More from T’Juanna Winters
4020 N MacArthur Blvd. Suite 120 | (469) 276-7131
Lizzie Lu's is not your average candy store or bakery. There are so many things to see here you might need several visits to take it all in. It’s likely that on every one of those visits owner T’Juanna Winters and her staff will urge you to taste a little of this and a little of that.
You’ll definitely want to try one of her signature desserts - butter cakes soaked in a buttery glaze that are so moist and delicious you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Good luck choosing which candy bark you want to try, as there will be many you love among the dozen or two flavors offered.
Her twist on candy apples is eye-popping with giant apples dipped in caramel and coated twice with things like rice crispies treats or cookies and cream. You should probably put the banana pudding on your bucket list too.
Winters grew up cooking and learned at the feet of her grandmother Elizabeth, for whom the shop is named. In addition to being a wonderful sweet maker, she’s also passionate about giving back to her community, especially when she can provide aid to senior citizens and children.
This summer, Winters contributed her butter cake recipe to "Come to the Table," a new fundraising cookbook from Ronald McDonald House of Dallas that features cherished family recipes and deeply personal dishes by top chefs.
Aunt Cissy’s Kitchen and Catering: Simple Sandwiches to Chef Prepared Comfort Food from Crystal Durst
2824 N O'Connor Rd | (469) 594-7355
Some people love the burgers at Aunt Cissy’s. Others swear by the fried catfish. Chicken fried steak? It will bless your tummy and maybe your heart too. No matter what your favorite is, Durst has a recipe that will please you.
Since opening in October of 2019, the restaurant has gathered a loyal following, from folks who just swing by for lunch to those who come to hang out on game days. The work crowd in local offices love it when they hear Aunt Cissy’s is catering lunch.
Weeknight karaoke evenings are just about as popular as the food, and you’re definitely going to need to plan ahead if you want to have Saturday brunch. Don’t worry, the mimosas will make it well worth the wait.
This is just a small taste of the many women-owned businesses in Irving. Go there to support women in business and while you’re at it, enjoy some of the best food of your life.