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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Small Biz Spotlight: Standing Chimney

In the middle of nowhere, on the way to everywhere...

Standing Chimney is a store, a gallery, a destination located on a farm dating from the mid 1880's. A visit to Standing Chimney is a unique shopping experience. Open on the first Saturday of each month (unless otherwise noted), Standing Chimney offers the works of over 30 Lawrence County-based artists and producers, most of whom are located within 7 miles of our store. 90% of the merchandise is either locally or American-made. The other 10% are carefully selected products from around the world that fill a special niche.

In addition to the extensive line of hand-mixed and hand-packaged baking mixes by Mary Mac Bakehouse, Standing Chimney also offers fresh-baked breads, gourmet dog treats, local teas and coffees, numerous fiber and textile products, useful and decorative wood and pottery items, blown glass and hand-smocked ornaments, as well as an assortment of oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings and painted items.

If you're planning a "stay-cation" or just taking a country drive, stop in and visit. Have a sample scone or muffin, a cup of complimentary tea or coffee, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere.

... And don't forget to throw the ball for Luke (pictured below), he's looking forward to it!

Visit Beth and Mary at Standing Chimney on:
  • Black Friday, November 27, 2105 between 11am and 7pm,
  • Small Business Saturday, December 29, 2015 between 10am and 4pm,
  • Saturday, December 4th between 10am and 4pm to get some of your holiday shopping done.
Eat Local, Shop Small!







Saturday, November 7, 2015

Small Biz Spotlight: Tupelo Honey Teas

I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Danielle Spinola, owner of Tupelo Honey Teas and The Tea Loft, truly a hidden gem, located in an industrial plaza along Route 8 in Allison Park, Pennsylvania.  Danielle reached out to us about collaborating on a project and extended an invitation to visit her retail loft and participate in a Custom Tea Blending class.  The pictures you will see below were taken during the class - a significant portion of the class is spent smelling and tasting different herbs and other ingredients that make up a loose leaf tea blend.  

Please take a moment or two to read the following and visit the Tupelo Honey Teas website to get to know Danielle and her business - it can provide you with a wealth of knowledge about the general wellness and healing properties of tea.  And, if you are one of the many people who understand the importance of supporting your local, independent small businesses, you will absolutely fall in love Tupelo Honey Teas.  In addition to their own line of products, they feature and sell handmade goods by other local artisans (like honey, jewelry, origami, and pottery) as well as books by local authors. 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and as Danielle always says "Bee Well. Drink Tupelo Honey Teas".

Eat Local, Shop Small!


Tupelo Honey Teas is the dream child of Danielle Spinola. Danielle’s nickname since the time she was born is “Bee”. Given her nickname, the fact that bees are very vital to plants and honey and tea are a perfect combination, Danielle found it fitting to choose a honey name for her business venture. Tupelo Honey had the perfect ring to it. Contrary to most people’s initial thought, there is no honey in the tea itself, but adding it is highly encouraged.

Always a tea drinker, never a coffee drinker, Danielle was ecstatic to visit Shanghai China in early 2002. Since that trip to the Far East, she dreamed of starting up an Asian inspired tea business. It wasn’t until after the birth of her second child in 2007 that she was able to officially start the business.

From a very young age, Danielle remembers being fascinated with the healing properties of herbs. Danielle’s mom, aunt, and grandmother serve as big inspirations to her. They all practice holistic healing when possible. Danielle’s love of herbs and her new-found passion of bringing delicious, organic and fairly traded teas to Pittsburgh were the perfect marriage. Born from that marriage was the concept of Tupelo Honey Teas.

After years of running the bizzzzzzness by herself, Danielle needed to bring on someone to help. Rocky had come to a tasting and was interested in working at Tupelo Honey Teas. It turned out he was the perfect fit into the business. His passion for tea, knowledge about the product and his inventive nature have breathed new life into Tupelo Honey Teas.

In the fall of 2013, Tupelo Honey Teas expanded into a full studio space we lovingly call The Tea Loft. This space serves as not only a funky, artisian shop where you can grab a cup of tea and visit with a friend, but also a space where you can find the most unique gifts for the tea drinker in your life. We do all of our blending out of The Tea Loft, so if you are lucky, you will get to see tea blending in action!

We also host a variety of events, parties, nights out, etc at the The Tea Loft, including but not limited to Knitting and Crochet nights, Book Club, Tastings, Food and Tea pairings, Tea Leaf Readings, and Tea Blending Classes. Check out The Tea Loft’s site for more information!



Tupelo Honey Teas is a mostly organic, fairly traded tea company located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our goal is to obtain the best teas from organic sources. When organic is not available, we try to make sure the tea we are purchasing is at least fairly traded. We strive to bring the best-tasting teas to our customers by purchasing from multiple companies. This means our cost to operate is greater than most tea shops, but we feel providing a quality product is more important than a “bottom line.”

In forming the identity of Tupelo Honey Teas, our original intention was to be different by focusing on Asian teas. Most tea houses are Victorian in nature offering etiquette, white gloves, dainty cups and saucers, tiny sandwiches and so forth. We aren’t fussy people and so this type of tea house did not fit our personality. We think tea should be something one enjoys however they feel most comfortable. We want to focus more on learning about the teas and how they go from grower to cup than a single style of tea service. We realize all forms of tea should be appreciated and with that in mind, we celebrate all forms of tea.

After much soul searching, we decided Tupelo Honey Teas is more of a global company encompassing all forms of tea. As such, you will see that our company has teas from all over the world. We never stop searching for rare and unknown teas that people in obscure places in the world use for health benefits. After all, herbs are the original medicine.


In almost every culture around the world, tea is an important part of society. It is used for medicine. It is the center of rituals. It is a sign of hospitality. It is used as a way to connect individuals. It is an extension of food, health, love and friendship. The United States is quite different. Most people in this country only drink tea when they are sick. Why? Because that is what their mom or grandmother did.

Tupelo Honey Teas is attempting to change this perception because tea should be a part of everyone’s day. We really want people to experience tea in all of it’s glory. From the initial smell of the leaves to the meditative process of bringing the water to temperature to the point where you inhale the steam as you take your first sip. Tea is not only good for your body but also your soul.

People always say, “I don’t like tea”. But the truth is tea is unlike any other drink. Tea is different because almost any leaf, root, or fruit can make a tea. What people discover when working with Tupelo Honey Teas is that it isn’t that they do not like tea, they just haven’t had the right tea for their taste buds. Finding the right tea for your personality is so important in the quest for good tea. We believe everyone is a tea drinker even if they do not know it yet.


We accidentally started blending teas when a local coffee shop wanted tea from us. Danielle stayed up all evening before her big meeting with the owner trying to figure out how she could be unique. Offering custom blended teas was one way she could keep Tupelo Honey Teas competitive with big companies. Born from that one meeting was the custom blending side of the business, which is the most fun and exciting part of Tupelo Honey Teas. Since that first client, we have been blending for coffee shops, brides, baby showers, and more.

If you are interested in having a custom blend done for you, your event or your business, please contact Tupelo Honey Teas.



Friday, August 28, 2015

"Straight Whiskey" by our buds over at Pennies, Pints, Pittsburgh

Click the image above to find out why Wigle Whiskey's straight whiskey release is such a big deal for Pittsburgh...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Braddock's Pittsburgh Brasserie New Menu Tasting

The four-course dinner will include a Chef's welcome
and is priced at $40 per person which includes
appetizer, salad, entree and dessert,
with optional wine pairing available for an additional $25

Braddock's Smash cocktail:

Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh lemon, simple syrup,

seasonal berries, bitters

Course 1, Huitres:

east coast oysters, citrus mignonette, hot pepper jam

Course 2, Tuna Tartare:

avocado, preserved radish, harissa orange mignonette

Course 3, "Tasty" Duck A L'Orange:

roasted cauliflower, favs beans, candied orange,

bourbon orange glaze

Course 4, Bouillabaisse Rouille:

walleye, mussels, shrimp, potato, rainbow carrot,

celery, grilled bread

Course 5, Pot-Au-Feu:

six-hour brisket, potato, spring vegetable fricassee, jus

Course 6, Grilled Chicken

Basil Pesto Risotto:

ricotta cheese, lemon zest, tomato fondue,

coddled egg, snow (served in a glass jar)

Course 6, Grilled Chicken

Basil Pesto Risotto:

ricotta cheese, lemon zest, tomato fondue, coddled egg, "snow"

Course 7, Arugula Salad:

faro, crisp apple, candied onion, bacon lardon,

citrus mignonette

Course 8, Peach Cobbler "Pie"rogi
(August's 'Pierogi of the Month' feature):
peach cobbler filling, mascarpone whipped cream,
cinnamon ice cream, warm bourbon caramel drizzle