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Mobile fashion trucks dress up the streets of Pittsburgh no matter the weather

Looking for the latest in fashion in Pittsburgh is as far as your nearest mobile fashion boutique.

A small fleet of fashion boutiques have rolled out in the last year. There’s StyleTruck, the adorable pink and lavender shop on wheels owned by Jackee Ging, XX. StyleTruck specializes in fashions at affordable prices for the professional woman.

Broke Little Rich Girl made its debut about the same time last July. Owner and driver Samantha Lugo, 28, sells women’s clothing and accessories, pieces she finds on shopping trips to her hometown of New York City. The collection includes one-of-a-kind finds—many pieces are handmade—but Lugo keeps the prices reasonable.

“Women don’t want their friend to be carrying the same handbag or scarf,” she explains. “I try to find pieces that are fun, different and unique.”

BLRG, a Chevy Grumman, can be found in the Strip District on many weekends, near Marty’s Market, when it isn’t attending a special event or festival. She also sells clothing online.

Cailey Breneman’s Roadie Fashion Truck offers a vintage line from her RV-boutique. Having grown up in a retail clothing business—her family owns Yesterday News on the South Side—Breneman says she has always aspired to be a wardrobe stylist.

Roadie specializes in second-hand clothing at affordable prices and is working on developing a men’s line, which is difficult given that men rarely get rid of the clothes they own.

While Breneman, 28, occasionally joins the other two fashion trucks for events during the warmer months, she hopes to find a pop-up shop where she can operate regular winter hours.

She also hopes Mayor Peduto keeps his promise and establishes a Fashion District on Smithfield Street downtown, a thoroughfare where boutique shops will coexist.

“Pittsburgh is really ready for something like this,” she says.

The more trucks the better for all, she adds, when asked about the competition. Lugo is the local ambassador on behalf of the American Mobile Retail Association, a member organization that represents and supports awareness and service around the mobile retail business.

“Our styles and demographics are very different. It’s cool to have all of us around.”

Writer: Deb Smit

Samantha Lugo of Poor Little Rich Girl displays her line.

How Penn Brewery was saved. The "ladies of lager" tell their story at Chatham this Friday.

It’s a refreshing story just waiting to be told--how two smart Pittsburgh businesswomen came to the rescue of the Penn Brewery on the North Side. 
Sandy Cindrich and Linda Nyman had successful careers in corporate America. Nyman worked in marketing and brand management for corporate clients like HJ Heinz and Sara Lee. Cindrich specialized in software engineering and project management for USX Steel Corporation and BNY Mellon.
Their husbands, business partners and craft beer drinking guys, were looking at real estate when they noticed the brewery, which was about to be shuttered and closed. The year was 2009.
“It was serendipitous,” says Nyman. “We were not looking for it. It came out of the blue.”
With the help of two other partners, the women purchased the brewery and embarked on a new path in an industry that has been traditionally male. Since then, they have rehired several of the original brewers and rebranded and created a new craft beer line.
The brewery is back in production on the North Side and the restaurant is again open for business.
“Penn was one of the first craft breweries on the scene in the entire country,” adds Cindrich. “When it closed down, people felt they were not only losing a beer they loved, but a piece of Pittsburgh history.”
Now they are ready to tell their story. This Friday the “ladies of lager” will speak at Chatham University’s Women Business Leader’s Breakfast Series. The event gets underway Jan. 10th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“Neither of us is the type to crave the spotlight,” says Nyman, explaining why they chose to quietly go about their work without fanfare, until now. “As much as we’d love to believe Pittsburgh adores us, we know it’s all about the beer!”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Linda Nyman and Sandy Cindrich
Photo courtesy of Becky Thurner

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Lots of year-end openings: Avere, Songwhale and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
Avere Systems, a developer of storage solutions for enterprise data centers, is hiring several positions for its Pittsburgh office: technical support engineer, software engineer, software QA engineer and technical inside sales.
Songwhale, a fast-growing interactive tech company that enables brands and companies to reach consumers with their message across multiple digital touch points, is hiring an iOS developer, Android developer, senior software engineer and senior project manager.
The Heinz History Center in the Strip District is hiring for six full-time positions: web and social media content writer, exhibit/experience designer, events coordinator, conservation services manager, Fort Pitt Museum customer service associates and a security officer.
The MAKERSHIP Project in Pittsburgh is hiring. The project is developing a new concept in tools training for next generation firms with the help of a Dept. of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund grant. The project seeks a training program coordinator responsible for building and operating a rapid training program to equip workers with the skills necessary to excel in digitized manufacturing and startup environments.
Neighborhood Allies is a new nonprofit set to launch in early 2014, replacing the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND) that began in 1982 as a community development funding intermediary to support community development in the region. The nonprofit seeks a dynamic individual with the vision and strategic sensibilities to pick up its mission and move the organization into the future.
Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. is hiring a director of receptive services to identify, generate and evolve business development opportunities in the promotion of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
TAKTL, a Pittsburgh-based, international designer and manufacturer of facade panels and high-tech architectural elements, is hiring an architectural projects and sales coordinator for its Glenshaw office.
The Resumator, a self-described “quirky software company that is reinventing the way employers hire,” is hiring. The Resumator is looking for a customer success engineer with great technical know-how who will engage customers, deliver outstanding support and exceed expectations.

The Jewish Community Center has an immediate need for a digital marketing specialist, someone proficient in using content management systems and website analytics.
TowerCare Technologies seeks a skilled website developer and customer support manager for its Wexford office. The successful candidate will join their team to provide web services to non-profit organizations.

Immunetrics, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based bio-simulation company that creates mechanistic mathematical models of biological systems to accelerate the development of drugs, clinical diagnostics and medical devices, has six openings: a user-interface software engineer, mathematic modeler, data administrator and software engineers.
BlueBelt Technologies is hiring a software quality assurance engineer. The firm is developer compact, handheld robotic tools for orthopedic surgeons.
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review seeks a seasoned business reporter to provide sophisticated coverage of the region’s economy.
Have hiring news? Ring in the new year and email us with your firm’s latest job listings. Happy Holidays!
Writer: Deb Smit

Shop local gifts to love for the holidays. Can you say Pittsburgh-brewed advent beer?

Shopping local for last-minute holiday gifts that not only keep giving but also give back to Pittsburgh?
Aside from supporting your favorite nonprofit, local artist or neighborhood boutique, here’s a few gift ideas:
Advent calendars have grown up. While it might be a tad late to start one, Pennies from Pittsburgh will help you catch up fast. Devon and Tim, husband and wife, have created an inspiring advent guide to great craft beer drinking, including many local brands.  Your favorite craft beer drinker might appreciate a case of their suggested advent brews.
Pittsburgh comic artist Ed Piskor has been documenting the early days of hip hop music through his online comic strip. Now his paper volume (Fantagraphics, $24.99) is flying off the online shelves. The word on the street is Pittsburgh is the only place with copies still available, but not for long.
Piskor’s book chronicles, through cartoons, the formative years of hip hop, capturing “the vivid personalities and magnetic performances of old-school pioneers and early stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons; Debbie Harry, Keith Haring and others,” says the New York Times.
The Phantom of the Attic Comic Book Store in Oakland and Copacetic Comics Company have a few signed copies left. Piskor himself will be signing more books at the Brillo Box tonight from 7-9 p.m.
Another Pittsburgh graphic artist, Frank Santoro, has released a new graphic novel “Pompeii,” ($15.11 on Amazon) packed with illustrative drawings that conjure Roman art and architecture. The story chronicles the journey of Marcus, a young expat artist and assistant to Flavius, the famous painter and is getting rave reviews. Santoro will join Piskor at the Brillo Box tonight.
Support the Pittsburgh startup community and show your love for the ‘burgh with a Dahntown tee ($20) offered by Kit Mueller and BuiltinPgh.
Nothing shouts out Pittsburgh like a basket filled to the brim with stuff made here. Basket of Pittsburgh does just that, with a Heinz Hamper for your favorite sport’s fan, a Taste of the Town, Incline Edibles and our personal favorite, Thanks a Dot, including Pittsburgh Popcorn, coffee and more.

Have a good holiday gift idea? Share it with the rest of us!

Happy Holidays one and all.

Writer: Deb Smit

An invitation to the White House. Three business leaders report from the nation's capital

Several Pittsburgh business leaders received invitations to the White House this month for a discussion on job creation, business opportunities for women and new ways to fuel the nations economy and manufacturing sector.
Rebecca Harris, Chatham University’s director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, and Lynn Banaszak Brusco, executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at CMU, attended the White House Business Council and Business Forward roundtable discussion.
Ilana Diamond, director of Innovation Works’ AlphaLab Gear, attended the White House Mayors Manufacturing Summit, where she touted Gear’s success in supporting manufacturing startups and offered suggestions on how others might replicate the program in their own communities.
The Business Council discussion was convened by Sam Brown, director, and brought White House senior officials together with local business leaders from across the country. The primary purpose was to enlighten the administration on ways to support the national job economy and increase the pace of recovery and job creation, says Harris.
“Much of the information will be reviewed by the President for possible inclusion in the State of the Union address,” she adds.
For her part, Harris highlighted the need for more support for women in business, especially in accessing capital and providing opportunities to serve on corporate boards. A recent study, she noted, reports that inclusive companies where women serve on the boards perform more successfully than those with all-male boards.
“It is critical that the issues that women in business face be represented at these discussions and become part of agenda for the President's State of the Union upcoming address,” she says.
Adds Brusco: “I was pleased to see that the administration is focusing on innovation as a key driver in the delivery of health care. Our institute is built around the mission of researching and deploying new technologies to help reduce health care costs and improve outcomes for patients.  People across our community and our country have begun to demonstrate a restlessness regarding health care. 
At DHTI, we are abandoning the old model of innovation, where a great idea is hatched and cultivated, and a market is sought later.  We know the market exists–better health care at a lower cost–and that the nation is demanding it. The market demand is our starting point. Working backward, DHTI is using the insurance data of Highmark and the expertise of the faculty at CMU to meet that surging market need. We were excited to be part of this White House dialogue that is driving future health care policy and implementation.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Lynn Banaszak Brusco, Ilana Diamond and Rebecca Harris

CMU researchers peek inside the minds of consumers using social media snapshots

What better way to understand the heart and mind of the consumer than through an analysis of the images that people post on social media?
Dr. Gunhee Kim, currently with Disney Research Pittsburgh, and Eric Xing, CMU associate professor, analyzed more than five million images and—not so surprisingly—found social media to contain a motherlode of strategic ideas for marketers.
The potential is staggering, they say.
Marketers strive to get into the heads of consumers to find out what a brand makes them think and feel. For example, what thought does the name Tiger Woods conjure? How does a McDonald’s hamburger make us feel? The researchers pulled the images from sites such as Pinterest and Flickr.
“If someone takes a picture and texts it as Nike, the picture is a pictorial impression about Nike,” explains Kim. “By culling millions of these images, we can read people’s minds for Nike.“

The research marks a first time researchers have systematically mined marketing data from social media and analyzed the messages, he says. Several practical applications may be explored on the basis of the research. 
For example, competitor mining through social media may one day help marketers to identify which companies are its primary competitors. Contextual advertising may assist companies in generating keywords or categories that best describe the image, which would lend itself to text queries for Google AdWords and BingAds.
The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and by Google.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dr. Kim Gunhee, CMU

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? IKM, Pittsburgh Parks, Chatham University, ASSET STEM and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.

Pittsburgh-based architectural firm IKM is hiring a marketing coordinator with strong organizational and writing skills. Stay tuned for more job openings in the future as well.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring a director of finance and administration who will be responsible for the effective management of the conservancy’s finances, business administration, human resources, information tech and risk management.

ASSET STEM Education, a national education improvement nonprofit, is hiring a communications coordinator to increase ASSET's brand awareness and donor and membership levels through marketing communications, event planning and social media.

The RJ Lee Group in Monroeville, providing industrial forensic and engineering solutions, has several openings: certified industrial hygienist, XRD scientist I, senior software engineer and instrument technician – technician III.

Smith Brothers marketing agency on the North Side is looking for a senior content creator and copywriter, someone with a portfolio full of digital examples with well-crafted copy.

Carlow College is looking for an executive assistant of academic affairs, a position that requires strong professional administrative and communications skills with a customer service orientation.

Chatham University is hiring a program assistant for interior and landscape architecture.

The Ward Home, a nonprofit devoted to training at-risk adults in practical life skills in safe, nurturing environments, is looking for a director of development with a minimum of four-years experience in a related field. 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.
Writer: Deb Smit

Duquesne University lands major licensing agreement to develop promising cure for cancer

Research on two promising cancer-destroying drugs that may one day cure cancer moved forward this month with one of the largest licensing ventures in the history of Duquesne University.

Duquesne signed a licensing agreement with North-Carolina-based FLAG Therapeutics, an early stage oncology company, giving FLAG worldwide rights to two drugs developed by Dr. Aleem Gangjee, a cancer researcher and distinguished professor in the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Gangjee has devoted his career to studying cancer killing compounds with a proven record of efficacy in late and early stages of the disease. He is internationally renowned for his research and received the prestigious American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Award in Drug Discovery and Development Interface in 2012.

The drug compounds specifically target breast, ovarian and brain cancer; they work by simultaneously starving the blood supply to the tumor before they kill it. In addition, the drugs are selective to cancer cells, so they are not toxic to healthy cells and therefore have fewer side effects.

“My grandmother succumbed to breast cancer, so it became more of a personal reason,” says Gangjee, who studied organic chemistry at the University of Iowa and began his research during his post doctoral fellowship at SUNY Buffalo. “I wanted to understand why this disease is so baffling.”

Early on, Gangjee studied the problem of cancer's tendency to develop a resistance to drugs that proved effective in initially killing it. He began using a combination of several drugs in chemotherapy and found that the disease had a more difficult time resisting a combination of drugs.

In the 2000s, Gangjee and his team at Duquesne began developing single drugs with multiple attributes that targeted cancer cells. The fledging compound is now in the hands of FLAG, which will devote the next two to four years conducting research and going for FDA approvals. 

“We’re elated to have FLAG Therapeutics pick up the drug and develop it and take it to the next level,”  says Gangjee. “We hope it has all the promise we believe it will. To our knowledge there is nothing out there that comes close to what these compounds do.”
“We have worked toward this day for a long time,” he adds. “In research, there are a few troughs and a few crests. The crests make it all worthwhile.”  

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Aleem Gangjee, Duequesne University

Pittsburgh newlywed entrepreneurs create stylin' diabetes Pump Peelz

For a child with diabetes, a colorful insulin pump cover can put a splash of fun where it’s needed most.
That’s the idea behind Pump Peelz, a Pittsburgh-based venture founded by Scott and Emily Imblum, high school sweethearts who married this year. Scott, whose wife Emily has Type 1 diabetes, came up with the idea one day when he was looking at her Omnipod-brand insulin pump.
“Wearing a pump all the time isn’t much fun,” says Scott. “If we can make it customizable, it becomes more of an accessory. They’re fun, cute and cool.”
Scott first sent feelers out to the diabetes community and the response for an Omnipod cover was overwhelming. So he bootstrapped it and created plastic prototypes with the help of the engineering department at California University of Pennsylvania.

Emily worked with several designers to create 60 different cover designs, from an adorable ladybug, the top seller, to other colorful designs and artsy graphics.
The manufacturing piece for the “coated vinyl adhesives” came together through PrintScape in Robinson. The company launched in August 2011.

While Scott, who is a business development manager at the Pittsburgh Tech Council, isn’t quitting his day job yet, sales are brisk. Omnipod, the pump company, is slowly warming up to the idea of collaborating with Pump Peelz, he says.
A co-branded event in Disney World is in the planning. Pump Peelz plans to expand into a line of soft goods, cool travel bags, purses and wallets with insulation and compartments in all the right places.
“Our goal is to empower diabetics to express themselves and be proud of their ability to manage diabetes,” he says. 

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Scott Imblum, Pump Peelz

What do you get when 85 Broads in Pittsburgh concoct martinis for the holidays?

Want to know what you get when 85 Broads get together to make martinis? In this case, a highly creative holiday fundraiser.
85 Broads is a national women’s networking group that opened a chapter in Pittsburgh four years ago. The chapter was founded by Christina Morgan, account director with Revive Marketing, to fill a void, give ambitious women here a way to connect locally, showcase women's accomplishments on the 85 Broads' national website and put Pittsburgh on the map.

The original 85 Broads was organized by several women working at Goldman Sachs at 85 Broad Street, the investment banking firm’s former NYC headquarters.  Over the past decade, the organization has expanded its membership to include women who are alumnae and university students with members from 90 countries around the world.

The Pittsburgh chapter, with 200 members, meets monthly and is open to women within Allegheny County who are interested in meeting other women and growing professionally through skill sharing and professional speakers, says Sofia Maravich, an account exec with Gatesman+Dave.

“It’s really nice to meet with like-minded women who are professional and smart,” she says. “It’s empowering to be in that environment.”
On Dec. 13th 85 Broads will hold its annual Martini Marking Competition to raise money for Special Space, a nonprofit that designs and builds out dream bedrooms for critically ill children in the region.
The competition gets underway at Summa Design Studio, 5933 Baum Blvd., at 6 p.m. Corporate sponsors and teams will battle against one another for the title of best martini recipe while the rest imbibe.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Sofia Maravich, 85 Broads

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Forever, Axiom Health, Romeo Delivers and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
Glen Meakem’s new company, Forever Inc., a provider of personal social storage for family mementos and documents, is hiring three for its downtown office: a marketing associate, marketing manager and senior product manager.
RE2, a developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems and drones for the defense industry, is hiring a principal electrical engineer to lead a team of electrical engineers, designers and technicians.
GiftCards.com, one of the largest makers of personalized gift cards from Visa or MasterCard, is growing and promises the hiring of 15 to 20 people in the coming year. The company currently has one opening for an eCommerce product manager.
Axiom Health Intellect Systems, a growth stage start-up company focused on hospital analytics and business analytics software products, is hiring two: a sales account executive to push initiatives across the U.S. and a CMIO and CTO to help create cutting edge products for hospital analytics and business. Candidates for the latter position should email a resume and cover letter to Murugan Subramanian at msubramanian@axiomhealthbi.com
Pittsburgh startup Romeo Delivers is seeking part-time studio assistants to help deliver happiness and spread perpetual kindness to the world. The AlphaLab Gear company in East Liberty sends romantic toolkits to men on a monthly basis with personalized messages and creative and personalized bits and bobs to bring joy to significant others.
Duquesne University is hiring a web communications manager responsible for managing and editing the university’s website, Intranet and other online communications.

The Tepper School of Business at CMU is looking for an office manager, someone with more than five years of experience working in a corporate or university environment.
CMU is also hiring a personal/administrative assistant to assist CMU’s school of design.
Writer: Deb Smit

Glen Meakem believes in the promise of Forever, his followup to Freemarkets

With Glen Meakem's days with Becker Meakem Venture Capital winding down, what’s next for the founder of the wildly successful online auctioneer, Freemarkets?
His new endeavor is Forever, a cloud-based, personal social storage site that preserves cherished media memories— vintage photographs, audio, video and digital media—in one standard format, putting it all in a safe and secure cloud. 
It’s going to be bigger than FreeMarkets, he predicts.
“I don’t want to be in a little dingy on the horizon,” he says, figuring the industry has a $2 billion market potential based on the sheer number of people in the world with family stories to preserve. “I want be leading the Normandy invasion.”  
Meakem, the historian in his own family, began thinking about the archiving business back in 1991, the summer he returned home from the Gulf War. Setting out on a road trip to visit relatives, he recorded video footage of his three living grandparents along the way, capturing family stories that might be otherwise lost. 
When he was done, he gave a copy to family members. “If you asked them today where it is, not one would know,” he says. “They all lost it.”
So where is a family to keep important personal records in the digital age—medical records, wills, documents as well as their personal scrapbooks? Facebook owns everything you upload on its site, he says. DropBox requires a monthly bill and shuts down accounts that fall delinquent.
Meakem did the research and found there was no permanent place to both save and share a family legacy privately, for all of eternity, assuming that clouds live forever. Any system also needed the technology to migrate different media formats—like VHS tapes or Super 8—to one standard format. 
For a one-time buy in, currently $295, customers join Forever’s permanent endowment, a restricted fund managed as an endowed fund. The one-time payment secures your content for as long as you live, plus one hundred years, he says.
“We will never lose anybody’s stuff,” he adds. “Everything is triple backed up in different sites around the world and encrypted. And you own it.”
The company, based in Market Square downtown, employs 40 full-time. Since it was officially founded in May of 2012, the firm has raised $13 million. David Ciesinski, a former Heinz executive, has joined as executive vice president.  
“My passion and love is setting a vision, inspiring people, leading and selling,” says Meakem of his latest venture. “I just didn’t enjoy being a VC very much. After six or seven years, I realized that I missed being a CEO.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Glen Meakem, Forever

FutureDerm rolls out new beauty products, introduces a custom-mixed moisturizer

When it comes to the science of beauty, Nicki Zevola knows her stuff.
The CEO of FutureDerm, Pittsburgh's own Estee Lauder, prides herself in educating women on the chemistry of cosmetics through her line of beauty products and an accompanying blog.
With two products already on the market, the startup has rolled out several new ones, including a customized face moisturizer designed to meet the personal needs of each user. FutureDerm Specialist is a patent-pending blend, bringing together elements of modern skin care chemistry, digital technology and the old-school apothecary, says Zevola.
Customers fill out an online survey about their skin care needs and an algorithm does the rest, creating a personalized formula from more than 100 different combinations of active ingredients.
Also new is FutureDerm’s Vitamin C Eye Cream, Skin Reborn Facial Cleanser and Seven Wonders Antioxidant-Rich Toner, which join the Time-Release Retinol 0.5 and Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum (a vitamin C formulation). The products were formulated to work together as an overall skincare system.

For seekers of a more organically-based system, the FutureDerm Organic 8 line--a cleanser, toner and moisturizer--is made from all-natural skin-care ingredients.
“We have a very scientific-minded audience,” explains Zevola. “We’re very authentic about who we are and what we represent. Women care about whether it works, not the fancy packaging and high price point.”
Another two products will be developed under a different brand name. Zevola declined to elaborate on them at this time. All will be available by Dec. 10th.
“What’s nice about the FutureDerm line is you get a wide assortment of ingredients that are scientifically proven. Everything is biocompatible to get maximal results,” she says.
The company has an office below Alpha Lab on Carson Street on the South Side and recently hired a chief marketing officer (formerly with TripAdvisor). FutureDerm employs seven; manufacturing takes place in Pittsburgh, Alabama and New Jersey.
FutureDerm’s growing success comes from a caring approach that is conveyed through its blog and responding to requests and questions through social media, Zevola says.
“I always say people don’t care what you know till they know that you care,” she says. “The fact that we have a lot of heart comes through. We’re walking before we run, but making great progress.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Nicki Zevola, FutureDerm

Red Star Kombucha, the brewed in Pittsburgh glob to love

Pittsburgh has a kombucha to call its own.
Red Star is a local version of the fermented tea beverage and the first licensed kombucha brewery in Pennsylvania. The company is expanding to new digs in Pittsburgh and adding a second location in Philadelphia.
Founded by Joe Reichenbacher and Naomi Auth, business partners and brewers, Red Star opened last year on Lowrie Street in the Pig Hill Café, starting out as a growler filling station for kombucha drinkers.
Auth developed the recipe, three flavors: Zingerbuch, Green and 1877, the latter a robust black tea with lemon notes. Reichenbacher had the bar business know-how to get the venture up and running.
The brewery is relocating to Dallas Avenue in Point Breeze; the growler shop will reopen early next year in the Artisan Café, 5001 Penn Ave.
“There’s a pretty good kombucha base in Pittsburgh,” Reichenbacher reports, “although it will never be as popular here as beer.”
Kombucha, pronounced kom-boo-cha, is a fermented fungus that is gaining in popularity, especially on the West Coast in health-conscious and hippie circles. China, Japan, Korea and Russia stake claims to being early brewers.
Many believe Kombucha has health-boosting properties, although it has not been scientifically proven. It should be noted that others, namely health experts, warn against the home brewing of non-pasturized kombucha due to the risk of contamination.
The tea is brewed using a culture of bacteria and yeast, called the “scoby,” a process that takes place in large glass bottles. It’s similar to sourdough, Reichenbacher says, and "the glob" can be eaten or removed. Hence the company’s motto “in glob we trust.”
The final product is mildly alcoholic, .5 to 1 percent, giving it a place in several Pittsburgh bars where it is sold on tap or used as a mixer. (Beer contains 5% alcohol.)
Reichenbacher agrees it can be an acquired taste, generally resembling a light brown carbonated, slightly bitter tea-like cider.
“I believe if it makes you feel good, you should keep doing it,” he adds, noting that he has found it to be the perfect midday pickup. “It makes me feel good so I keep drinking it.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Joe Reichenbacher, RedStar Kombucha

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? The City of Pittsburgh, Avere, MARC USA, Pittsburgh Steelers and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto is posting 30 city jobs on a new website created by The Pittsburgh Foundation called Talent-City.com.  The jobs are in the areas of the Mayor’s Office, Finance and Administration, Public Safety and Urban Affairs, and Planning and Innovation; annual salaries range between $60,000 and $106,000.

has four openings in Pittsburgh: director of cloud business development, technical support engineer, software engineer and software QA engineer, this from the fast-growing company that recently introduced Cloud NAS, reinventing the way data is stored in the cloud.

Rue21, in the news for going private, has 10 openings at its corporate headquarters in Warrendale, Pa. including buyers, district managers, store analysts and ecommerce merchandising.
MARC USA is hiring a PR/ social media account to manage the social media conversation for leading brands, plan innovative social promotions and also be involved in a wide range of media relations, event planning and cause marketing activities, in addition to day-to-day client service and project management.
The community newspaper of Pittsburgh’s Northside, The Northside Chronicle, is seeking a new managing editor. The monthly community newspaper has a circulation of 8,000 and delivers to 18 Northside neighborhoods.
Chorus Call in Monroeville, provider of audio and video conferencing and streaming solutions for an international market, seeks a video account executive to grow the company’s telecasting services including webcasting, multi-point video conferencing events, and endpoint video equipment.
Compunetix, also in Monroeville, a manufacturer of multipoint collaboration equipment and web collaboration software s hiring in for technical sales, software development, customer support, facilities maintenance, and electronics assembly.

Grantmakers of Western PA is looking for a program and communications coordinator, someone responsible for a wide range of responsibilities from communications to programming and service.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hiring a corporate partners manager. The position will be responsible for generating revenue through the sale of Pittsburgh Steelers marketing platforms, media programs and events through existing corporate partners and by cultivating new local and national partnerships. 

Is your company hiring? Email Pop City and include the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit
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