Once dominated by men, these women are thriving in Philly's food industry

Angelina Branca, owner and chef of Saté Kampar
Photo credit Neal Santos
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A lot has changed for women in the Philadelphia food industry.

Business owners like Ange Branca of Saté Kampar say women have more opportunities than ever before.

"When it comes to just starting your own businesses, getting a loan, whatever it is, it is not like it used it be," she said.

And in Philadelphia, there's a lot of diversity.

"There are more and more Asian women in food business, especially," she added.

She noted, however, women still lag behind men in terms of ownership.

And as the owner of her own butcher shop, Primal Supply Meats, she's the trailblazer opening doors for other women.

"I actually just had to work harder and be a little bit better just to be recognized as the same," she added, noting she actually hasn't faced much adversity due to her gender, though sometimes her employees forget she's the boss. "I'm actually working on a construction project right now, and none of the contractors or vendors listen to me even though I pay their bills."

Another big issue in the food industry is harassment, where the #MeToo movement has already made an impact on female business owners.

"The opening up of the conversation, I think, does let you be a little bit more protective of everyone around you," Thomason said. "It's OK to speak up about it knowing that there will be consequences, so that's good."

In honor of Women's History Month this March and International Women's Day, listen to the full conversation with Thomason and Branca and subscribe to the What's Cooking podcast on the RADIO.COM app.