Shop Small, Shop Local-Small Business Saturday

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Shop Small, Shop Local-Small Business Saturday

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There’s nothing more important than supporting your local businesses! Local business owners are the ones who sacrifice time and energy to provide you with items and services that they are passionate about! When you buy local, you are supporting someone’s dream!

I decided to re-post my blog article from last year below. Our communities are strengthened when we support our local shops. You are making a big impact when you shop small!

The four businesses that hold a special place in my heart are:  Romeo’s World Importing Market, Ultimate Structures (not listed below), which has expanded with lots located in:  Uniontown, Belle Vernon, and Washington, PA, MikeRo Marketing, and KingView Mead.  I support them on a daily basis. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I’m sure that you’ve seen posts from each of these businesses. It’s important to share what’s going on. Great ideas that have thought and uniqueness to make them stand out from the rest! I challenge you to step away from the norm, and visit a local business in your area. I can almost guarantee you will return back to that business in the future.

More and more people are trying to get away from the traditional corporate America style jobs. They are tired of the politics, the feeling of being taken advantage of, and stressed with no appreciation. In most occupations today, it’s not about who does the best job or who is most dedicated or qualified. It’s about connections and who you know. I applaud all small business owners for taking the risk and following their dreams!

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My blog post from last year: https://allthingsprettycom.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/small-business-saturday-shop-local/

Small Business Saturday: Shop Local

My entire life I’ve experienced the lifestyle of growing up in a family owned, small business. A successful business takes passion, dedication, commitment, and a lot of personal sacrifices. It is by no means a piece of cake to run or manage a local small business. There are long and stressful days where putting in extra effort is a must to become unique and well known. You must make your mark to stay open and still be profitable.

I am encouraging each of you reading this to understand how important it is to support your local businesses. I’m asking you not to only shop local on November 26, but shop local as often as you can. When you walk into their store, take a look around and realize the amount of time put into the business (which goes way beyond a 9-5 job), recognize the thought and passion that the owner has put forth to bring you the products that they have to offer and all that they do for the community. You would be surprised how many small business owners are the ones that volunteer and make an effort to go above and beyond to help make your community a better place to live in. Appreciate them, support them, celebrate them, and thank them!

Here are a few local, small businesses that are close to my heart! World Importing, MikeRo Marketing, and KingView Mead. If you have any small businesses that are meaningful to you, I would love to hear about them as well.

Romeo’s World Importing Market & Groceria

Established: 1935

Location: Uniontown, PA

Owner: Ron Romeo

Welcome to a world of Italian food products (such as a variety of pasta and sauces), baked goods, gourmet meats & cheeses, baked goods, daily soup & lunch specials, and more! This business began in 1935, it started from the ground up by my great grandfather, which was then passed on to my grandpap, and is now in the hands of my dad, Ron Romeo. My father is currently the owner of this exquisite, “Old World” deli and market. Although he has large shoes to fill after my grandpap, he continues to dedicate his time and passion with the food industry to provide you with the most affordable and fine foods that our little town has to offer!

When you walk into the store, you may smell fresh bread baking or fresh homemade pepperoni rolls hot out of the oven. Make sure to stop in for your morning cup of coffee, then return back in for one of the best daily lunch specials around! (You can find the weekly lunch menu on Facebook) If you are looking for lunch meat to take home or supplies for dinner, you are in the right spot.

The holidays are right around the corner, so order your meat & cheese trays, holiday cookie trays, and catering dishes soon! World Importing is ready to help you get ready to celebrate the holidays and make them special! Gourmet meats and cheeses are a great addition to your holiday parties and wine tastings. A few of my favorite items are: imported prosciutto, soppressata, smoked gouda, feta, beemster cheese, and I cannot forget Calabrian and kalamata olives! Some days I feel these food items are the only necessities that I need in life! Yum!!!! I’m making myself hungry just thinking about them!

When you are in search of great food, proceed to World Importing and you will not be disappointed! World Importing has so much history and endless memories dating from 1935, so shop local and keep the traditions and memories alive! Make sure to follow Romeo’s World Importing on Facebook!

MikeRo Marketing

Established: 2013

Location: Uniontown, PA

Owner: Mike Romeo

Website: www.mikeromarketing.com

MikeRo Marketing is your premiere source for imprinted items! My brother Mike is always up for a challenge and is ready to offer you the newest items and provide you with ideas to make your business stand out and be remembered! He will puts his heart into each inquiry and will treat your business as if it was his own.

Mike decided to start his own business to give you the best customer service and offer you affordable and unique marketing items. He will help get you what you want and try to get it for you at the price you want! Some of the most popular items that he has worked on are:  pens, business cards, calendars, t-shirts, hats, ribbons/medals, mugs, business signs, etc. There are endless possibilities when it comes to marketing your business! If you can put a logo on it, it can be done!

Check out MikeRo Marketing at: www.mikeromarketing.com. Also, follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

KingView Mead

Established: 2016

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Owner: Scott Neeley

Website:  www.kingviewmead.com

What is mead? It is actually the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man. It may have faded away and disappeared for awhile, but it is now the new and upcoming beverage! Mead is wine made from fermented honey.

Scott, owner and mead maker started making mead as a hobby about 6 years ago. He entered competitions locally and around the world. His meads have won in several competitions and have medaled internationally. Scott pursued his passion and his business was recently established in 2016.

If you are wondering where you can find and taste KingView Mead, you may find the products in about 50 local bars and restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, as well as looking up the events KingView participates in, such as festivals across the state. You may purchase mead at: www.kingviewmead.com and it will be shipped directly to your home.

Scott not only wanted to provide you with wonderful, award winning mead, he also wanted to give back and help to save the declining bee population. He created the first and only, “Mead for Bees” program. This program was built into the business model. It is a free program for beekeepers. They are encouraged to sign up on the website and join the other 200+ beekeepers. 10% of KingView sales goes back to the beekeeping community. When this amount is reached, a name from the program is pulled and the individual is awarded with a hive or beekeeping supplies.

If you are looking for unique holiday gift ideas, one idea would be to sign up for the KingView Quarterly Club. (Similar to a wine club) The cost is around $40. Three meads chosen by Scott will be sent out to you four times a year. The shipping cost is taken care of by Scott. Gift crates, wedding favors, and other original items are available for sale online. Another added bonus, use the coupon code: Holidays for a 10% discount! Learn more about this awesome company at:  www.kingviewmead.com

. Get all of the latest updates and upcoming events by following KingView Mead on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

 

Remember to Shop Local not just this holiday season, but everyday! 

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Mother Earth News Fair Review (Seven Springs, PA 2017)

Mother Earth News Fair Review

(Seven Springs, PA)

2017

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I can’t believe it was already a week ago (last weekend) that I worked in a vendor booth at the Mother Earth News Fair for the 2nd year. This has become one of my favorite events to work! The first year at the event, I met some wonderful people including the women from Pittsburgh’s “Farm to Table of Western, PA.” Last year, I was amazed at how many vendors participate in this fair.

On a side a note, I’ll explain why I loved this event even more this year!  We all know that life isn’t always pleasant and peachy by any means, it also doesn’t always go as imagined or planned. (This has been especially true for me probably for about the past two years.) Sometimes we get to a point, before we hit a breaking point where we finally have to figure out what brings us any type of happiness… I was outside thinking one day when I thought, what is simple that makes me smile that makes me proud of myself?  Gardening…it’s such a small part of my life, but it was something that I knew that I enjoyed and wanted to learn more about. It all started with me planting small things from time to time, year to year. Nothing crazy, just mosty container gardening. Last year, I started to add a few perennials around the yard. This year, I decided early this summer that I wanted to take a basic gardening class. I was interested in creating a good soil. (Money is always tight, and always seems to be an issue and holds me back from many things. I researched and found a reasonably priced class and decided to register for it.) It was probably one of the best decisions and investments that I have made in a long time! I was so excited to attend! (I was the student that got there early and sat in the front row! A little nerdy, I know, but that’s okay in my book, haha!) This class was wonderful and I looked forward to attending it each week! Sure, you can read, watch YouTube videos, and learn online, but it felt really great and did me a world of good to take an hour for myself a week, with no interruptions, and educate myself in a roomful of individuals with the same interest as me. 

This experience gave me the confidence to expand and fill my backyard with new and old favorites of plant, flower, and vegetable varieties.  I felt that it wasn’t a waste of money because I at least had a little bit more confidence and knowledge now that I could take of care of these plants.  It’s the best feeling waking up, looking out your window and admiring the shapes, colors, and beauty these creations of nature provides us.  Also, there is fun in picking and cooking with your own herbs and vegetables!  It’s a hobby that I love and continue to learn more about!

Now, back to the Mother Earth News Fair Review! (Sorry for the long explanation and venting!) So knowing what I did from attending the event last year, I was kinda in (nerd mode) again and researched the fair weeks in advance. I looked at their website, printed out maps, calendars, and schedules for workshops. I also researched some of the speakers and got my highlighter ready for what I was interested in!

Unfortunately, I did not have time to participate in any of the workshops while working, but the research still paid off because as I took a break on Sunday, I was able to make a beeline and gather information from the booths that I knew I wanted to visit. One thing that I appreciated that Mother Earth Fair did was keep vendors in a similar set up from the year before. That way if you do have limited time, you can make sure that you hit up your favorite booths if you remembered where they were set up from the year before.

Seven Springs was a great location! It was gorgeous up there! The weather cooperated and we had chilly mornings and beautiful days! I would take that drive in the morning any day.  Such a burst of refreshing air, with leaves starting to change colors…Beautiful!!!  The venue was packed with people who varied from locals to visitors from various states. The pictures from the workshops were also filled. If you love gardening and sustainable living, this is one event that I highly suggest you go visit!

There are Mother Earth News Fairs held in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, and PA. Some of my favorite booths that I visited this year were: Funky Fresh Family Farms, Farm to Table Western, PA, The Gardener’s Workshop, Sow True Seed, Mockingbird Meadows Farm, Metalledwith, The Bookstore, Fruition Seeds, Mother Earth’s Natural Organic Root Cider, (I’m not sure if it was this or the Fire Cider that I had from the Herb Angel, but I noticed a huge improvement in my sinuses over the next few days without having to take anything for them.) I’m anxious to plant my Marshmallow seeds that I purchased from Herb Angel. Sacred Plant Traditions was another booth that I enjoyed. The lady working the Harris Seeds booth was so friendly and she hooked me up with free purple carrot seeds! I’m also looking forward to learn more about the PA Women’s Agricultural Network and see what they have to offer and how I can educate myself in the future through their workshops.

The 2017 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs was a success for the booth that I worked for, as well as a whole for the entire fair. I could’ve definitely spent 3 days learning new and different things each day, as well as attending workshops or taking it day by day to spend time at vendor booths and have time to talk to them and generate connections and network. Thanks, Mother Earth News for a great fair at Seven Springs! I’m already looking forward to attending next year!

Here are some pictures of me before arriving to the fair and our vendor booth at the fair.

National Mead Day-August 5, 2017

Mead Day

August 5, 2017

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Today is National Mead Day! You are probably either thinking what kind of day is she writing about and why, or you may be saying, “I love Mead! I’m glad this day is getting some recognition!” Currently, and for over a year now, I’ve been working for a new, local meadery in Pittsburgh. My experience there ranges from production work, administrative work, to organizing, planning, and staffing for festivals and events, as well as setting up and working them. You may remember me writing about KingView Mead back in November, when I wrote a post about supporting small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday. KingView Mead celebrated their one year anniversary this past May! You may learn more about KingView Mead as a company, as well as our give back; first in the nation, “Mead for Bees” program. The website is: www.kingviewmead.com.

Some of you may be wondering, “What is Mead?” Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, water and yeast. 51% or more of the alcohol must be fermented for this honey wine to be categorized as a mead. This delicious drink has many variations such as Traditional, Melomel: by adding fruit or fruit juice, Braggot: by adding hops, Metheglin: by adding herbs or spices, Cyser: by adding apples or apple juice, or Pyment: by adding grapes or grape juice.

Are any of you getting married anytime soon? If so, you may want to include this traditional wedding drink as your beverage of choice! Mead is the original wedding drink. It was given to newlyweds way back in ancient times to drink for an entire month to promote fertility and happiness throughout their marriage. This is also how the term “honeymoon” came about.

Now, after an explanation and some of my connection to mead, I’d like to share with you a little bit of background and history on National Mead Day. In 2002, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) observed the first Saturday in August as Mead Day! The tradition has been carried on over the years. This year, Mead Day will be observed today, on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

The AHA, started Mead Day to generate friendships of mead makers and to create and increase awareness about the oldest fermented beverage to others. It was a day which mead lovers would gather friends and family and create a batch of mead together. Others celebrate it by having competitions, sharing or comparing recipes, dressing up to enjoy the delicious beverage sometimes known as “honey wine” or just meeting up to discuss the craft of mead making. Mark your calendars for August 5th this year. Go outside, reconnect yourself back to nature, and have a drink or two of mead!

As craft beers are popping up, meads are now becoming more popular. Laws in PA have been changing and you may be seeing more of mead in beer distributors, wine & spirit stores, as well as bars and restaurants. If you’ve tried a mead before, and haven’t liked it, don’t turn it down the next time you see it somewhere. This delicious beverage can taste differently each time you try it. Remember, bees pollinate many types of flowers, therefore, the honey they make does not always have the same flavor. A few honey varieties for example could be: Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Lavender, Buckwheat, and there are many more. When these different types of honeys are used, it also can change the taste of the type of mead you are drinking!

Are you a mead lover? If so, what are some of your favorite meads to drink? I’d love to hear from you!  Raise your glass, and “Cheers” to Mead Day!!!