Pittsburgh Is Home To The Best Cake In America, Says HuffPost

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.

HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2014/HuffPost-Taste-Praises-Prantls-for-Having-the-Best-Cake-America-Has-Ever-Made/

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Bucks Entrepreneur’s Raw Foods Flying Off The Shelves

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With annual sales of his raw-foods snacks closing in on $20 million and investment experts suggesting that could rise to at least $100 million in the not-too-distant future, Doylestown-based organi-preneur Brad Gruno’s lesson is indisputable:

Mothers have been on to something all along with their “Eat your vegetables!” harping.

Gruno was smart enough to build a business off it – one that started in 2009 with a sales table at a Bucks County farmers’ market and now has shelf space in major markets such as Whole Foods and Wegmans and many specialty grocers.

His Brad’s Raw Foods product line has expanded from raw tortilla chips made of a dehydrated mixture of fresh vegetables, flaxseed, and buckwheat groats to include seasoned sprouted seeds, dried onion rings, and what is now responsible for 70 percent of sales: six flavors of crunchy kale.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/20140414_Bucks_entrepreneur_s_raw_foods_flying_off_the_shelves.html#CZoDDDCY6dGf0bOx.99

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New Mexican War Streets Grocer Connects With Pittsburgh North Side Neighborhood

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rob Collins believes he has the formula to reanimate a piece of lost history in the Mexican War Streets.

Collins is owner of the Allegheny City Market, a corner grocer that opened in Pittsburgh’s North Side last month in space formerly occupied by Doug’s Market.

Doug’s went out of business in January because of years of declining sales. Collins, however, envisions a more successful outcome.

“There’s no reason this place shouldn’t be a gold mine,” Collins said recently from behind the counter of his Arch Street shop. “It started off really slow, but it’s picking up. The last two days have been really busy.”

Collins, 46, of Manchester has worked in the grocery business for more than two decades. In 2010, he opened Bryant Street Market in Highland Park, which, he said, “is crushing it.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5891864-74/collins-market-streets#ixzz2yp4GTuDA
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Easton Urban Garden, Which Grew 1,400 Pounds Of Produce Last Year, Hopes For Funding Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A once-withering urban garden on Easton’s South Side grew hundreds of pounds of free produce for city residents last year.

The city hopes to build on its success by pursuing a $75,000 federal grant and then matching it with city funds to expand and improve the garden at the Easton Area Neighborhood Center.

The West Ward Neighborhood Partnershiptook over the troubled garden in 2012 and last year, volunteers helped harvest more than 1,400 pounds of vegetables that were donated to Easton residents.

Initial plans call for expanding the farmable land, installing new garden-themed playground equipment, improving the watering system and erecting a fence.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/04/easton_urban_gardens_success_c.html

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Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Experts: Excess Sugar Consumption Leads To A Host Of Diseases

Editor’s note:  All things in moderation.  Interesting article.

(MCT) Dr. Robert Lustig’s YouTube lectures about the dangers of sugar have raised a few eyebrows in recent years and even drawn some criticism.

But the pediatric endocrinologist’s proclamations are supported by research his team has done at the University of California, San Francisco, with steady confirmation from other scientific studies linking sugar with chronic disease and early death. Among his points are:

1. Sugar is poison.

2. Sugar is sugar and unhealthy in any form.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/Experts_Excess_sugar_consumption_leads_to_a_host_of_diseases.html#sPl0fOcS1xjBS5DE.99

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Subway: ‘Yoga Mat Chemical’ Almost Out Of Bread

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.

The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety of products, including those served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But its long, unfamiliar name has an unappetizing ring, and the petition became a flashpoint in part by noting that the chemical is also used to make yoga mats.

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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Plotting And Planning And Digging..Oh My! MOSAIC Community Gardens Prepared For Planting Season

photoOn Saturday, April 5, the MOSAIC CLT spent a day in community preparing our gardens for the coming growing season! Neighbors and friends swept, dug, and spread compost and smiles at our two gardens at 423 and 615 Chestnut Street. We’ll have another Garden Day on April 12 from Noon to 3 PM, and again on Wednesday, April 23 from 2 – 3 PM.

Come grow with the MOSAIC Community Land Trust!

Saturday, April 12 - Volunteer Day at the Gardens (423 and 615 Chestnut Street) from 12 – 3PM

Please plan on meeting at the 423 Chestnut Street location prior to start

Wednesday, April 23 - Volunteer Day at the Gardens (423 and 615 Chestnut Street) from 2 – 3PM

Please plan on meeting at the 423 Chestnut Street location prior to start.

COMING SOON: MOSAIC’s 2nd Beautification Contest-Prizes Awarded! Keep checking our website for more details!

Upcoming Events

Would You Love to Teach a Workshop or Attend a Table Event? Let us know! Review the dates below and send an email to wash5000@msn.com to learn more about workshop and table event activities!

Saturday, April 12, 2014 – Year of the Young Child 9AM – 11AM happening at the YMCA located at 724 N. Adams Street, Pottstown

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – Organic Gardening Workshop from 6 – 7PM at the Pottstown Library located at 500 E High Street, Pottstown

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MOSAIC Community Garden Manager To Facilitate Two Upcoming Workshops

ImageProxy (1)Laura Washington

Environmental Health & Safety Committee

Laura Washington is the Garden Manager for the Mosaic Community Land Trust.  As a certified herbalist, weight and lifestyle coach, and a Level 1 CrossFit trainer, Laura has a passion for organic foods, natural healing and physical activity.  She also serves as a board member for the Pottstown Karate Club.  As a member of the TCN Environmental Health & Safety Committee, Laura conducts organic gardening workshops for the community.  She will be facilitating two upcoming workshops this month.  One will be held on Friday, April 11th at 10:30 am at the Pottstown Seniors’ Center and a second workshop on April 22nd at 6:00pm at the Pottstown Regional Public Library.  “We are proud to have her as a member of the Committee,” stated Robyn Slater, committee co-chair.
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MCCC Needs Your Vote In National Sustainability Contest

Lansdale, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is a finalist for Second Nature’s 2014 Climate Leadership Award and needs the community’s help!

While the award itself is based on a formal application and supporting data, Second Nature is  hosting a supplemental popular vote video contest, for which MCCC is one of 15 contestants nationally, and is the only one from Pennsylvania. Individuals can vote daily (one vote daily per IP address) through April 15. Winning videos will receive national media play throughout the year.

To view and vote for MCCC’s video, visit http://www.planetforward.org/idea/cooking-green-cuisine.

MCCC’s video, “Cooking Green Cuisine,” focuses on the Landfill-Free initiative at its new Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale. The Culinary Arts Institute partners with Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS), of Souderton, to convert all waste—trash, recycling and food trimmings—into energy or materials.

To learn more about this, and other green initiatives at the College, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

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Fresh, Local Food Making A Comeback At Central Market York

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Central Market York was designed to fit the crop cycle of local farmers.

One day they’d harvest, and the next day they’d display their fresh produce for market patrons, hungry for the local items.

Over the years, Central Market York added other vendors, and the fresh produce was no longer the main attraction.

But now, more people are asking for the farmers who once defined the market with fresh and local food, said Cindy Steele, COO of Central Market York.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25447848/fresh-local-food-making-comeback-at-central-market

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Developers Hope To Attract Grocery Store To Former Bethlehem Steel Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developers are seeking to attract a grocery store to the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site on Bethlehem’s South Side.

Former Mayor John Callahan, now director of development for one of the site landowners, said Thursday that they’re looking to get a grocery store into the former Steel General Office building, or in a new building planned across East Third Street from the former Steel headquarters.

“I certainly have heard about the idea of putting a grocery store in part of the SGO project and I also believe that potential use would be a good fit for across the street,” said Callahan, who now works for attorney Michael Perrucci, part owner of Steel site co-owner BethWorks Now. “I think there’s only a need for one and it’s just a matter of trying to figure out where best to put it.”

At an unrelated news conference Thursday, ArtsQuest officials displayed a map that showed a future grocery store planned along with apartments and parking at the 13-story Steel General Office building. ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks said he got approval from Sands BethWorks officials to include the plans on the map.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/developers_seeking_to_attract.html

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McDonald’s Offers Free Coffee For Breakfasters

Logo of McCafé (McDonald's).

Logo of McCafé (McDonald’s). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald’s said that this is the first time it’s ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140328_ap_1b9a662a7c944ed3b68c30a4a37c9644.html#zKZw22x0Fl9EoVrC.99

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Super-Size Gas Stations Stir Hostility

The typical gas station of yesterday is a shell of what one looks like today.

Gas stations are twice the size, with more pumps; some have full-service restaurants, small grocery stores and 24-hour operations.

More convenience stores sell gas, too — a 14.2 percent increase to 126,658 locations from 2005 to 2014, according to the National Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing in Alexandria, Va.

In some communities, these mega-stations are hang-out spots on the weekends for the post-nightclub crowd — and they are attracting more opposition in the planning stages from residents who are leery of more traffic, noise, crime and bright lights.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5724398-74/gas-station-stations#ixzz2wkRXN8TE
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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Lancaster City Restaurant Week: Starts Monday, Check Out The Offerings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster City Restaurant Week begins Monday and customers will have a variety of restaurants and price packages from which to choose.

Participating restaurants vary from casual to upscale to a pop-up event at Commonwealth on Queen.

Miesse Candies will also be represented as POUR, Character’s Pub and The Pressroom Restaurant will all be incorporating the chocolatier’s products into their Restaurant Week offerings.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/lancaster-city-restaurant-week-starts-monday-check-out-the-offerings/article_1674afb0-b129-11e3-9f44-001a4bcf6878.html

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Sbarro Pizza Chain Files For Bankruptcy Protection For Second Time

The pizza restaurant chain Sbarro on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than three years, after struggling with too much debt and lower customer traffic in the malls that house many of its restaurants.

Sbarro and more than 30 affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors with the US bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

Read more: http://dfm.timesherald.com/article/sbarro-pizza-chain-files-for-bankruptcy-protection-for-second-time/c8065ce850e3d91ac94aa80ba458c0a0

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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