March 17th, 2023

Women business owners chime in on McMinnville magic (and where they send visitors)

Three women walk down a quaint downtown sidewalk, smiling and chatting with shopping bags in their hands.
Shopping on dreamy 3rd Street. Photo by Molly Bailey.

If there were a phrase about McMinnville’s famous historic boulevard, it would be this: “Women hold up half of Third Street.” 

Yes, the charming little downtown – hailed for its indie shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and boutiques – brims with the energy of women-owned businesses. 

Here are a handful of McMinnville’s women business owners taking the pulse of what’s new, what’s fun, and where they send visitors in the area. Whether they are right on the main drag or in the emerging hotspots, ladies love local!

Hollyann Finch, Accessory Appeal

Years in business: 23

Why she does it:  For me, it’s an all-consuming, fast-paced, fulfilling, physically exhausting, mentally rewarding, exuberant, roller-coaster kind-of feeling!  My small business is my muse, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

🧡 McMinnville: While on Third Street I always recommend breakfast at Crescent Café, lunch at Local Flow or The Sage and topping off your day with dinner at Humble Spirit, La Rambla, Bistro Maison or Pizza Capo. 

What customers love: Jewelry! Especially sterling silver and gold rings, our new Will Leather and Hamm.

Where she sends visitors:  If you’re lucky enough to be here on the first Sunday of the month, I highly suggest starting your wine tour at Abbey Road Farms for the best and most delicious smash burgers ever.

Sylla McClellan, Third Street Books

Years in business:  19

Why she does it:  “I love books. It’s easy to sell something that you genuinely care about. And I love that we have customers from all ages and aspects of the community.

🧡 McMinnville: “There’s a little bit of magic in this town. I attribute it to the love people have for it. People want to be a part of that.” 

What customers love:  “At the moment, cozy novels and metaphysical books are hot.”

Where she sends visitors: “Outside of Third Street, I send visitors to our friends at Mac Market and our favorite wineries.”

Tayler Brisbin, Mes Ames Ladies Fineries

Years in business: New owner, (5 as manager)

Why she does it: “It’s so rewarding to see people’s faces light up when they come into the shop. I love the human connections, and also the storytelling aspect of retail. 

🧡 McMinnville: “I moved here 20 years ago, and the moment I stepped out of the car I was like “oh yeah, this is definitely home.” Third Street is a big part of that. It is such a supportive business community.”

What customers love: “We have an amazing selection of jewelry at the moment, which is great because it always fits! I’ve been able to bring back a few of my favorite clothing lines like Prairie Underground, Curator, and Elk the Label.”

Where she sends visitors: My first recommendation is always Durant. You never know if everyone in the party is going to be big on wine tasting, and I love that at Durant you can browse the nursery, pick up a house plant, or taste olive oil. I also always suggest Martha’s Taco’s in Lafayette. It’s a bit of a sleeper, but it’s my most favorite burrito in wine country.”

Linda Hays, Hopscotch Toys

Years in business: 19

Why she does it: “What motivates me is actually the local economy. Getting kids’ hearts connected to their community through commerce, letting them realize in some small way that we are here for them, and that we get to keep being here because of the choices our community members make to spend their money with us. It’s big stuff.”

🧡 McMinnville: “Deep roots. I have five siblings that grew up here – three of us are still here.  I am so attached to McMinnville as a place that it feels a little sickly obsessive sometimes. I love drawing lines between people and understanding more strands in the web of community.”

What customers love: “As far as products go, unique really soft plush is big this year, so is candy. But, what people are craving is relationship. To be on the inside of things.”

Where she sends visitors: “People who are new to wine and feeling intimidated get shuttled across the street to James at NW Food and Gifts. Families who are needing lunch for kids either get sent to 3rd Street Pizza, The Sage, or Golden Valley. Everyone who eats food of any kind gets sent to Pura Vida.”

Haley Queen, Sustainable Rituals

Years in business: 3

Why she does it: “I’ve always had a passion to care for our environment, I started living with less plastic in my own home and wanted a way to help others do the same. For me taking care of the Earth is so important, it gives us food, water, and so much more. If we want to live healthy lives, we need the Earth to be healthy as well.”

🧡 McMinnville: “We moved here seven years ago and have been in love ever since, we love the community and support from this amazing town. It’s just got this magic to it!”

What customers love: “We offer a bulk refill bar for people to fill up on household items like dish soap and laundry soap, customers love bringing in their own containers and filling up on what they need without having to buy plastic. The Solid Dish Soap Bar is our top seller as well. I have one at home and absolutely love it.”

Where she sends visitors: “We love sending them to Third Street to shop and eat, so many great places it’s hard to pick. Pura Vida is a favorite of ours in town.  We love eating in Newberg at Honey Pie, Dos Mundos, and getting coffee at Caravan.”  

Kathleen Stoler, La Rambla

Years in business: 21

Why she does it: “I thought I could simplify my life by opening a restaurant and living above it… not sure what I was thinking! But it has been such a pleasure to meet customers from all over the world and the great local residents and winemakers.” 

🧡 McMinnville:The Yamhill Valley has been a wonderful place to grow my business with the outstanding support from customers and fellow businesses.  

I treasure my fabulous staff and consider them family.

What customers love: Guests love the NW-inspired Spanish Cuisine, craft cocktails, local beer and our large wine list focusing on Oregon and Spanish wines.

Where she sends visitors: We recommend our customers to Willamette Valley Vineyards’ world-class wineries and tasting rooms and to our gorgeous Oregon Coast. 

Illustration of writer, Emily Grosvenor

Emily Grosvenor is author of Find Yourself at Home: A Conscious Approach to Shaping Your Space and Your Life (available for pre-order).