Crowdfund These Pittsburgh Food Startups NOW!

5 Kickstarter projects that deserve your patronage.

Photo courtesy of Naturi


Do NOT talk to me about this potato salad Kickstarter. Suuuuuure, the whole thing is ironic and all, BUT there are so many food projects out there that are way, way, way, way (should I keep going?) more worthy of your hard-earned dime. Food startups and projects that feed us, give us pleasure and (gasp!) maybe even make the world a better place.

In our fair city alone, there are — and have been — a number of entrepreneurs who have sought support from YOU, dear consumer, to fund their dreams and missions. We all know about the record-setting Superior Motors, its Braddock neighbor The Brew Gentlemen, Crested Duck Charcuterie and La Dorita’s Dulce de Leche liqueur, to name a few. But there also are smaller, homegrown food startups that were made possible by your support, such as The Jarosinski Farm Project and The Heritage Seed Company. They are all proof that we have each other’s backs.

But what I think about when I see people open their wallets for potato salad projects (yes, I know irony can be funny, but not to the tune of $50,000 and counting) are the projects that did not reach their goals and very much merit our attention. Farm Truck Foods — a project that would have brought fresh produce to food deserts via a food truck — comes to mind.

SO. With that thought in mind, I would like to present five projects that need and deserve your support. Let’s make sure they make it and keep the Pittsburgh food movement going.

The Market Kitchen
– Currently at 26% of $10,000 goal. 14 days to go.
The Market Kitchen is a commercial kitchen space for food entrepreneurs. We’ve all heard about our arcane food production laws, and there is a dearth of kitchens that food entrepreneurs can work out of. The Market Kitchen at the Pittsburgh Public Market is a 24-hour commercial kitchen with multiple stations that will be available for rent to budding food entrepreneurs. This project will make sure our supply of small-batch, amazing food keeps coming. What’s not to like?

Deadlock Brewing – Currently at 7% of $30,000 goal. 15 days to go.
I know Pittsburgh is in the midst of a boom of microbreweries. WELL AND GOOD. The more, the merrier. I can cliché this to death. Keep the breweries coming. Bonus? Veteran-owned. Don’t let this one get away because I want some of that QUANDARY, a Korean rice beer, and The Angry Pilgrim, a spiced sweet-potato beer. And don’t fret, beer snobs. For you, we have The Catch-22, an Imperial IPA with stats you’ll love: 8.5% ABV, six varieties of hops and a whopping 117 IBUs.

photo by Laura Petrilla

Healcrest Urban Farm Tea Pops. Currently at 2% of $6,500 goal. 15 days left.
I wrote about Healcrest Urban Farm’s out-of-this-world tea pops here. Healcrest is a grassroots urban farm that has been focused on vacant-land reclamation and environmental sustainability. It is the only grower in Pittsburgh to focus on medicinal and culinary herb production. And the group makes good use of these herbs in many ways, including my favorite – tea pops. Get a load of these flavors: strawberry knotweed, roasted peach and lavender, black mintea fudge, watermelon oregano, plum chai, pear and lilac cream, apricot and sage blossom. Fund this because why oh why would you deprive the world of these flavors?!?

Pittsburgh CommEx Currently at 1% of $3,500 goal. 18 days left.
“PGHcommEx envisions a place that provides things like a production kitchen, refrigeration, dry storage, cooking oil disposal, [gray] water disposal, a place to recharge batteries and perhaps even office space from which you could manage your business. Many cities have mobile food commissaries and require food truck operators to utilize them. As of now, there is nothing like this in Pittsburgh.” Why fund this? Three words: MORE FOOD TRUCKS.


Naturi Organic Greek Yogurt – Currently at 18% of $15,000 goal. 32 days to go.
Grass-fed, organic Greek yogurt that uses only the best local, artisanal ingredients. Started by engineers and scientists who simply got tired of over-engineered, over-scienced food, if you know what I mean. Back to basics, true, GOOD Greek yogurt. Made right here. If you are going to consume dairy, make the best, most sustainable and humane choices. This is one of them.

Categories: Brazen Kitchen