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2024 Power 100: Danielle Spring and Julie Toupin-Spring

Two women smile at the camera at an awards event. Photo | Courtesy of Femme Danielle Spring (right) and Julie Toupin-Spring, owners of Femme
Danielle Spring and Julie Toupin-Spring Title Owners Company Femme, in Worcester Employees 19 Residence Worcester College Denison University (Spring) Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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The lesbian bar of old may be something of a relic, but it’s one worth resurrecting.

Danielle Spring and Julie Toupin-Spring opened Femme in Worcester’s Canal District a year ago in March 2023. At the time, 21 lesbian bars were operating in the U.S., according to the Lesbian Bar Project, a short film and national fundraising effort.

The couple had visited a lesbian bar in New York City that instantly felt like home, and they wanted to make it a reality in their home city of Worcester. Spring and Toupin-Spring’s Femme is now one of about 30 lesbian bars in the U.S. and the only one in New England, according to the Lesbian Bar Project.

“We took a major risk to open an inclusive space for people who are often overlooked,” they said.

Although it is a lesbian bar, Femme is open to everyone and seeks to be a safe space at a time when the LGBTQ+ community is increasingly under fire locally and nationally. The couple only asks patrons to bring positive vibes. With soft fluorescent pink lighting against moody, dark-paneled walls and serving signature cocktails such as Midnight Love and For the Girls, one could imagine women of any persuasion enjoying Femme, which is what Spring and Spring-Toupin envisioned.

Being the premier lesbian bar in New England has earned Femme ink in national publications. In April, Femme won the Innovative Business Award from Safe Homes, a program from Worcester behavioral health nonprofit Open Sky Community Services designed to support LGBTQ+ youth.

The duo keep Femme lively and welcoming with events almost every day of the week, including with live music, comedy shows, brunches for all ages, and Taylor Swift trivia.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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