Sheridan, Wyoming – The Wyoming Council for Women (WCW) announced today that Katherine Bede has been awarded the 2022 Woman Entrepreneur Award. Bede owns and operates Sheridan-based Verdello Olive Oils and Fine Foods, a gourmet food store designed to bring unique food experiences to Wyoming. 

“Wyoming women continue to be pillars of our local communities and leaders across the state,” said WCW Board Chair Jennifer Wilmetti. “The WCW Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to showcase and honor women across Wyoming who are contributing to our vibrant Main Streets and local economies. We are proud to recognize Katherine Bede for her success as a small business owner and contributor to the Sheridan community.”

“I love being a small business owner in Wyoming.  It is tough with the workforce. I was born and raised in Wyoming and come from a family of entrepreneurs, ” Bede said. She added  that the people of Wyoming and particularly Sheridan have always been supportive of her entrepreneurial endeavors. As a mother of a special needs daughter, she has always encouraged a family friendly environment in her store. Bede takes care of her employees, especially working mothers by being flexible with their schedules and encouraging them to continue their education.

The ‘Woman Entrepreneur Award’ recognizes woman-owned businesses in Wyoming and is designed to increase the attention to, and recognition of, the contribution female entrepreneurs make to Wyoming’s economy. All the Wyoming Woman Entrepreneur Award nominees have been highlighted on the WCW Facebook page over the past few weeks. 

“We would like to thank every person who took the time to nominate these outstanding Wyoming women,” said WCW Chair Jennifer Wilmetti. “We had nominations that came from local Chambers of Commerce and Urban Renewal Agencies, friends and family, and the entrepreneurs themselves. It takes great courage and resilience to be a business owner at any time, but even more so when times are tough. Please support small businesses in your community.” 

Bede has years of retail experience and has been a small business owner in Wyoming since 1996. Bede began her entrepreneurial path when she opened Cottonwood Kitchen Shop based on her passion for cooking. The business expanded over time and became well known in the area. Bede started Verdello Olive Oils and Fine Foods in 2017. 

Bede believes that enjoying food and experiencing cultures goes beyond just the individual and is a communal experience. She wants her business to encourage people to learn about other cultures and histories. Bede wants to encourage people to have a meal around a table and to have a shared experience among family and friends. 

Bede is very involved in her community, volunteering her time and partnering with various groups that enhance life in Sheridan.