Kickstarting A Braddock Restaurant: Kevin Sousa’s Superior Motors

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When chef Kevin Sousa last year announced plans to open a fourth restaurant in Braddock, one of the Pittsburgh area’s poorest boroughs, it was big news. Not only would the high-end destination eatery in the 1929 Couda Building give Pittsburghers one more place to enjoy Mr. Sousa’s award-winning modern cuisine, but it also would bring much-needed life to a town all but left for dead.

Then reality set in.

While various grants from the county and Heritage Community Initiatives were to raise upwards of $300,000 for renovations, the dilapidated structure at the corner of Eighth and Braddock avenues would end up needing way more resources. Too many dollars, in fact, to make the ambitious project feasible. Magarac — as the restaurant was to be named after the imaginary Croatian steelmaking folk hero — was about to be history before it even got started.

Without rich investors or bankers willing to take a chance, Mr. Sousa had to change direction this fall to keep his dream alive. First up was finding a new building that would prove cheaper, quicker and easier to build out. Second was coming up with a creative source of financing to pay for it.

With Mayor John Fetterman’s help, he’s hoping to hit on both cylinders.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2013/12/05/Kickstarting-the-Braddock-restaurant/stories/201312050096#ixzz2md7YTAqp

Lancaster Central Market: The 13th Best Market In The United States?

62291_464860577791_784297791_6553207_5848835_nLancaster County loves Central Market. We know that.

But so do fresh-food aficionados across the United States, according to recent rankings.

Lancaster’s Central Market is ranked the 13th best among 101 farmers’ markets across the nation by The Daily Meal, a website that celebrates all things culinary.  It was the only farmers’ market in Pennsylvania to make the list.

The Daily Meal said its ratings factored in the quality, number, and variety of products sold at the markets, and the availability of each vendor’s background information.  The website also weighed what it described as “street credibility.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/896875_Lancaster-Central-Market–The-13th-best-market-in-the-United-States-.html#ixzz2fS8zsrGf

Lancaster Central Market Trust Looks Ahead With Strategic Plan

62291_464860577791_784297791_6553207_5848835_nWith the yearlong, $7 million renovation of Lancaster’s Central Market behind them, the operators of the historic market paused.

“After we took a breath, we said: ‘What comes next? Where are we going,’ ” said Peter Olmsted, chairman of the Lancaster Central Market Trust.

The result was a strategic plan that looks both inward at operations of the 123-year-old public market house and outward at the surrounding community.

The strategic plan, developed early this year, will guide the nonprofit organization for the next three years. It was unveiled Wednesday at the trust’s annual meeting in Southern Market Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/896304_Central-Market-Trust-looks-ahead-with-strategic-plan.html#ixzz2fLvMXcfV

Summer Of 2013 Suits Crops Just Swell

Picture 489Editor’s note:  A good reason to buy local and support local growers!

A hot and rainy July has left Berks County crops looking good and tasting great.

“They’ve been beautiful,” Carolyn Preston said Friday of the 25 varieties of peaches she grows at her South Heidelberg Township orchard.  “I’ve been selling out within hours.”

Peaches are picked and sold daily at Preston Orchards, 168 Preston Road, and are never put in cold storage so they don’t lose flavor, she said.

“We’ve been getting the best of both worlds,” she said of the heat and rain.  “The apples are looking good, too.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=496174

The Secret Studio Returns To ArtFusion 19464 For A Third Year

GetAttachment 19464POTTSTOWN, PA – Looking for a way to make holiday gift shopping easier for your children?  Then be sure to check out VanGogh’s Secret Studio, a fun opportunity for kids 12 and under to shop for special gifts for family and friends.  The studio is fully stocked with goodies for everyone on their lists, from relatives to teachers and coaches.

All items are handcrafted and range in price from $1 to $5.  The Workshop will be open Saturday, December 15 from 10am to 3pm and Sunday, December 16 from 12-3pm at the ArtFusion building, 254 E. High St.

ArtFusion recommends children come with a list and a budget.  Parents can download a simple form from the ArtFusion website: www.artfusion19464.org.  The ArtFusion elves will help the children select gifts and stay within their budget.  Shoppers will even get their gifts wrapped for free! Parents must remain in the gallery while their children shop.  The Studio is a fundraiser for the non-profit ArtFusion 19464.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown.  The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Buy Fresh Buy Local Gaining Traction In Lancaster County

“Fresh” and “local” are buzzwords used by marketers to promote everything from organic produce to fast-food sandwiches.

But the Buy Fresh Buy Local network is distinct from Madison Avenue marketing. It is a grass roots movement aimed at encouraging consumers and businesses to buy foods grown and produced in their immediate regions.

Linda Aleci is the chair of the Buy Fresh Buy Local steering committee in Lancaster County. The network’s state coordinator is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and its national coordinator is the FoodRoutes Network.

Aleci is an associate professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an affiliated scholar with the college’s Local Economy Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/777744_Buy-Fresh-Buy-Local-gaining-traction.html#ixzz2D43yHYKM