An Interview with Ellen Yin & Jill Weber
In the face of adversity, women have a history of coming together to support one another. July 2020 was no exception. This is when Sisterly Love – a collective of women restaurateurs and women food entrepreneurs across the city of Philadelphia – began.
We were lucky enough to speak with two key restaurant entrepreneurs involved: Ellen Yin, restaurateur and founder of the Let’s Talk’s Philadelphia Chapter, and Jill Weber, restaurateur and President of the philanthropic Les Dames D’escoffier Philadelphia Chapter.
GNL: What is Sisterly Love, and how did it get started?
Ellen: At the start of the pandemic, there was so much uncertainty within the restaurant industry. We needed a way for those of us in Philly to come together and have moral support as well as information.
Jill: The idea for the “Sisterly Love” food fair came about as a way to financially support one another. We had our first fair in December 2020, and from there the Sisterly Love brand kind of took off.
GNL: What is the mission of Sisterly Love?
Jill: To give female entrepreneurs and restaurateurs a platform for marketing and promotion, and allow them to do it in a way that’s not bankrupting them.
Ellen: There’s also a philanthropic side— for example, we had an opportunity to work with a pastry chef from Nashville named Lisa Donovan. Her book came out in the middle of the pandemic. We thought, how can we work together to help her have a proper book tour in Philly?
We ended up organizing a fundraiser called the “Sisterly Love Sunday Supper,” which raised $25,000. Quite a few local chefs and businesses came together for it, and we paid them all for their services, which is not common.
Jill: We’ve kept on with the Sunday Suppers, each time supporting a mission addressing women and food in the community.
GNL: Does Sisterly Love have any upcoming events?
Jill: February 12th and 13th, we’re having markets for Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day. The former will be held at Jet Wine Bar [Jill’s bar] in the garden, and we’ll have 15 vendors, selling items from chocolate to sparkling wine to cheese— things people might get for a Valentine.
It’s open to the public and tickets aren’t necessary – you can just come in and eat grilled cheese and drink wine in the garden, or purchase and go. The Valentine’s Day Market, on February 13th, is at Triple Bottom Brewery. Eat, drink and shop with Sisterly Love beer. There will be more than 20 vendors, all outdoors.
We also have happy hours to fundraise for Sisterly Love and Les Dames D’escoffier re-starting in April.
GNL: Who can become a member of Sisterly Love?
Ellen: You have to be a female entrepreneur or a female-owned business in the hospitality or food segment (in Philly). A lot of members are younger entrepreneurs; one of the missions of Les Dames is to provide mentorship for the next generation. We’re still meeting and recruiting!
Stay tuned! We will be back to tell you more about our BIG EVENT on March 28th and the partnership between Girls Nite Live and Sisterly Love.
GNL Marketplace – Sisterly Love
Interview conducted by Lynn Fisher & Annabeth Mann