I remember hosting a dinner party several years back...The theme for the main course was "locally sourced."
To that end, the meat was purveyed from a local specialty store (sadly no longer in business) which came from a local farm, as did the locally grown potatoes and root vegetables. The bread was baked in what was then a new neighborhood bakery, La Gourmandine. Even our bread basket was designed by local artist Paul Shafino. You get the idea.
So yes, I do love local and try my hardest to support local entrepreneurs – especially in this day of online shopping and big box stores. To that end, I give you this annotated list of some pretty spanking cool local shopping you can find in the 'Burgh. And really, how cool is it that Pittsburgh was named among the nation's top 20 cities for shopping local, according to a 2016 Harris poll commissioned by Yelp.
So go forth and commerce, local style!
Una Biologicals Products. Photo Courtesy of Una Biologicals Website
Move over Lancome, Una Biologicals is here. This Butler Street boutique is home to an amazing collection of organic skin care products. No chemical additives, fragrances and preservatives here. Just super lovely products to make you lovelier. And what's not to love about this motto: "We want the average person to be able to take care of themselves and not get priced out of the organic market." Yes, please.
The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Popcorn Company Website
Want to take home a taste of Pittsburgh? The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company has locations in the Strip District, Oakland, Downtown and South Hills Village...cheddar is the most popular flavor, but orange fingers are part of the deal. Betsy Anne Chocolates in West View is to die for...check out the bargain table for chocolates that may be a bit broken but are no less delicious. Try the butter creams and tell them Lynne sent you.
Parma Sausage Products. Photo Courtesy of Parma Sausage Website
The family-run Parma Sausage in the Strip District has vacuum-sealed packages of Prosciutto and tasty gift boxes of salamis that just can’t be beat...All definitely local and deliciously good. Just ask my hips.
Commonwealth Press calls themselves a small group of "hard working, fiercely independent, ink soaked, music addicted, design loving, event throwing, Pittsburgh embracing SCREEN PRINTERS." Their brick and mortar stores on the South Side and Mt. Lebanon is the place to go for funny Pittsburgh post cards, pins or even a parking chair. Their tee-shirt collections are seriously the funniest.
Everyone is wild about Wildcard (shown above). And no wonder. It's repeatedly named one of the best gift shops in Pittsburgh – with many items made in Pittsburgh by local artists. It's a go-to place to find handmade (not by me, but by someone with real talent) birthday gifts, along with greeting cards, gift wrap and more.
Studebaker Metals. Photo Courtesy of Studebaker Metals Website
And two places I haven't been yet, but plan to check out the next time I need a cool gift: Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe in Greenfield and Studebaker Metals in Braddock. Studebaker Metals, make hand-forged metal goods – everything from hoop earrings and artful necklaces to mustache combs and razors. Staghorn is reportedly home to a great collection of locally sourced ornaments, baby gifts and locally made jellies and spicy mustard.
So, yes, you don't have to go far to find what you’re looking for in Pittsburgh. Local treasures, all.
Lynne Glover is a Pittsburgh native and bridge lover. She’s been known to stop in her tracks to collect a particularly nice rock (or pinecone) and finds joy in the simple act of looking up. She’ll turn 40 next September. Again. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter