What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

Brilliant Women Led Businesses in Edinburgh

March is the month of women – Recognising their history, struggles and achievements. To celebrate the achievements of women in our city, we’ve put together the collection below showcasing a few of the many brilliant female-led businesses in Edinburgh. Exploring local businesses is a wonderful way of experiencing the fabric and culture of a city. As today is International Women’s Day, it’s the perfect time to support women in business.

Bross Bagels

Several locations throughout Edinburgh

Women led business Edinburgh

Photo: Instagram/bross_bagels

Larah Bross AKA Mama Bross is serious about bagels. Hailing from Montreal, Larah opened her first bagel shop in 2017 after struggling to find her bagel fill in Edinburgh. Bagels weren’t a big business in Edinburgh until the Bross name changed that. Now a permanent fixture on the Edinburgh foodie scene, with four locations and counting including the new St James Quarter. They’re very delicious!

Little Collingwood

10 Haymarket Crescent | 8AM – 2PM

Photo: Instagram/littlecollingwood

The newcomer on our list, and the smallest too. As you walk along Haymarket you might spot this small hatch at local barbers, Stag. You can grab a shot of espresso to jump start your day or a sweet treat, this small coffee hatch was opened by Cathryn Cripps Clark in summer 2021. Cathryn owns another cafe, Little Fitzroy, a slightly bigger location than Little Collingwood, on Easter Road.

Rare Birds Books

13a Raeburn Place

Photo: Instagram/rarebirdsbooks

The mission behind this Stockbridge based book store is to celebrate and promote female authors. What started out as a small community book club by Rachel Wood in 2017, now spans across 23 countries. Opening its first physical store in 2021, it is the first bookshop in Scotland dedicated to championing women’s writing. Peruse their store in Stockbridge for new inspiration, or join their book club and become part of the global community.

The Little Chartroom

14 Bonnington Road

Women led business Edinburgh

Photo: Instagram/thelittlechartroom

This fantastic little restaurant tucked away in Leith first opened its doors in 2018 with a desire to bring elevated food to everyone. Word quickly spread across the city of the great food and atmosphere. Owned and run by couple, Roberta and Shaun, The Little Chartroom is a brilliant spot to stop for lunch or a more indulgent dinner. With profiles raised after Roberta appeared on shows like the BBC’s Great British Menu, they recently moved to a bigger space to welcome more diners, lucky us! The Little Chartroom are a great example of couples working well together to make something great.

The Good Store

13 Montagu Terrace

Women led business Edinburgh

Photo: Instagram/thegoodstore.scot

Two sisters have come together to open an organic, zero waste food store in Edinburgh. “We want to create a better future for our generation and the next and believe that any person who shops with us is making a difference, every item purchased without plastic or packaging is helping to beat the fight against plastic pollution!” Their offering of Good Food Boxes, to bring fresh goods to your door, and meal kits for stress free, easy home cooking are a great addition to plastic free shopping in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Gallery

16 Dundas Street

Women led business Edinburgh

Photo: Instagram/scottishgallery

Celebrating an incredible 180 years selling art in Edinburgh this year, The Scottish Gallery is headed up by Christina Jansen. Christina has as good an eye as you’ll find in the business and brings the finest quality artists to Dundas Street. Upstairs you’ll find art – always hung beautifully – and downstairs is a treasure trove of craft including jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, silver, scarves. The Scottish Gallery has led the way with supporting women artists through the decades too.

Dickins Edinburgh

17 Dundas Street

Women led business Edinburgh

We can’t leave ourselves off this list! When the Dickins family moved to Edinburgh from Yorkshire in 1988, Marianne Dickins started letting flats in the city. In those days every lease was typed by hand on an old Amstrad typewriter on our dining table at home. Marianne was a trailblazer as there were few women running businesses in the city then. Marianne, had four daughters, the eldest being Louise, who worked alongside her Mum and then took over the business when Marianne retired in 2001. Known throughout the city as a safe and professional pair of hands, we serve the local community all year round homing families as they first move to Edinburgh, locals while work is carried out on their homes, diplomats and corporate employees, festival performers and attendees and of course, visitors to our wonderful city too. Marianne died suddenly last year but her spirit lives on in the business she proudly started over 30 years ago. When people wrote to Louise after she died, many young women said that Marianne was the person who showed them that women can do anything. You can read Marianne’s story here

Home is at the heart of what we do and we look after some of the finest homes in the city. We create homes from home for our guests to feel welcome in. Dickins prides itself on encouraging guests to live like locals. Guiding our guests on great independent shops, where to eat and what to do exploring local neighbourhoods through this very blog and social media.


Let us know your favourite women led businesses in Edinburgh down below to keep celebrating the heard working women of our city.


  • Christina Nash

    March 7, 2022 at 3:02 am

    Sad to see Ostara on Coburg St didn’t get a mention in the women led businesses article. It’s had some amazing reviews by well known people for its creative menu at very reasonable prices. It’s weathered the Covid storm through local support and reinventing itself into a bistro/retail space. Carey Morrison and her partner David McVey set this business up six years ago and still gets five star reviews on trip advisor.


    • Dickins

      March 7, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks Christina, readers of this blog will see your recommendation now. I’ve eaten there recently and it was brilliant.

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