Legendary Women Entrepreneurs of North Dakota: Experience Adventures and Inspiring Businesses

John M. Dabbs

Celebrating Women's History Month in North Dakota

When Women's History Month came around, North Dakota was ready to celebrate the abundance of female entrepreneurs making a significant impact in the state. Visitors and locals alike were invited to meet and support these incredible women who made North Dakota a legendary place to live and play.

Cows & Co. Creamery: A Dutch-Inspired Creamery in Carrington

One of these legendary women is Maartje Murphy, who was putting her heart and soul into her dairy farm near Carrington, North Dakota. Her on-farm creamery, Cows and Co. Creamery, is a unique blend of a gelato shop and cheese sanctuary. Visitors can indulge in artisan Gouda cheese, fresh cheddar cheese curds, and authentic Italian-inspired gelato. Inspired by her birthplace in the Netherlands, Murphy's 35-acre farmstead evokes the feeling of being back in the Netherlands, but with a modern twist. The Creamery Cafe in Carrington is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A second Fargo location will soon open, featuring Murphy's delicious farm-fresh fare at Fargo's new Brewhalla.

Beyond Buckskin Boutique: Sharing Native American Culture in Fashion

Another powerful woman in North Dakota is Jessica Metcalfe, who founded the Beyond Buckskin Boutique in 2012. The boutique was on a mission to share Native American cultures with the world through fashion. Metcalfe and her small but mighty team currently work with over 40 Native American fashion designers and jewelry artists to get their work out to a broader audience. The shop's earrings, moccasins, handbags, clothing, and more are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of North Dakota's Native American communities. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for the VIP Newsletter to stay in the know on exclusive offers, product launches, and information about Native American history, culture, and art.

Butterhorn: Seasonal Delights in Downtown Bismarck

Butterhorn, located in downtown Bismarck, was another example of North Dakota's abundance of female entrepreneurs. Butterhorn's chef-owner, Stephanie Miller, is a North Dakota native and former Bravo's Top Chef contestant. Her menu of seasonal delights allows visitors to experience the agricultural bounty of North Dakota's 30 million acres of farmland. In addition to the iconic Butterhorn, other unique selections on the menu include Smorrebrod, Cavatelli alla Vodka, and Focaccia Neapolitan. Visitors can find Butterhorn and other award-winning dining experiences on North Dakota's Culinary Trail.

Dakota Cyclery: Epic Mountain Biking on the Maah Daah Hey Trail

For visitors looking for an outdoor adventure, Dakota Cyclery is the perfect place to book an epic mountain biking experience on the majestic Maah Daah Hey Trail. Outdoors enthusiast Jennifer Morlock, the owner of Dakota Cyclery bike shop, opened the shop to fulfill her passion for helping visitors experience the nation's longest continuous singletrack mountain biking trail. The shop offers guided tours for beginner, intermediate, and advanced bikers. Families can opt for the 2-hour "Slow Poke" tour, which teaches basic mountain biking skills and encourages participants to traverse the trail casually. The abundance of prairie plants in this state region allowed for impressive wildflower displays in the late spring and summer months, with the pasqueflower first to bloom in April.

Prairie Fire Pottery: Handcrafted Artistry

Prairie Fire Pottery was another must-visit destination for those who appreciate handmade craftsmanship. Tama Smith, the owner, creates each of her high-fire reduction pieces with meticulous craftsmanship and a personal connection. A visit to her shop in Beach, North Dakota, is an immersive experience as customers are welcome to see how pieces are made, watch as they are "thrown," see the smoke escaping the kiln's 2,400-degree flames and feel the heat rolling off the bricks coming out of the kiln.

The Plant Supply: Cultivating Happiness Through Houseplants

Finally, Jackie Maahs founded The Plant Supply for those who need a little help growing happier through houseplants in 2019. The shop's mission is to help people cultivate happiness through the joy of houseplants. The Plant Supply offers handmade concrete planters and homewares, a curated line of easy-to-use plant care products, and a zen-inducing selection of low-maintenance houseplants. The shop recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Fargo, welcoming visitors 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. With every purchase from the shop, a tree was planted in a developing country to help create sustainable food systems through Trees.org.

As visitors explore North Dakota and experienced the unique offerings from these female entrepreneurs, they can't help but feel inspired by their passion and dedication to their craft. Each business owner has a unique story, from Maartje Murphy's Dutch-inspired creamery to Jennifer Morlock's love for the great outdoors. Their hard work and determination pay off as their businesses grow and thrive.

North Dakota has a rich history of women making their mark on the state, and these female entrepreneurs are continuing that legacy. From fashion to food and outdoor adventures, visitors can experience the best of North Dakota while supporting the incredible women who are making it all possible.

As Women's History Month comes to a close, visitors can have a renewed sense of appreciation for the impact women continue to have on North Dakota's culture and economy. Visitors can't wait to come back and explore even more of what the state has to offer, all thanks to the legendary female entrepreneurs who call North Dakota home.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure, John is a consultant and writer..

Bristol, TN

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