This Saturday a pop up market place in Morningside hopes to offer a taste of what that neighborhood has to offer, and to demonstrate a model co-op still in the works.
In conjunction with the Morningside Area Community Council’s Fall-O-Ween Festival, Talia Piazza has organized a Pop-Up Co-Op that will transform a vacant storefront into a café for the day, and a streetscape filled with vendors. She hopes it will allow residents and visitors to imagine what a vibrant businesses district could look like in the neighborhood.
It’s the type of transformation Piazza’s new pop-up initiative wants to have in budding commercial districts throughout the city.
“We want to try to expose you to that, and open your eyes to the possibilities of opening a business in a place like Morningside,” Piazza says.
The pop up market is part of a project that was awarded funding through Awesome Pittsburgh, a local chapter of the Awesome Foundation, which distributes monthly $1,000 grants to projects and creators. Piazza’s project was one of two selected for the first round of grants in Pittsburgh.
Piazza’s goal is to open a permanent co-op in a neighborhood, like Morningside, that has the infrastructure and potential to become a vibrant district. The co-op will offer small businesses shared space to sell their goods, to pool resources, while cutting the costs of rent, promotion and marketing, and other necessities that can be prohibitive to first-time business owners.
Piazza, who works fulltime for the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development, also plans to open a storefront for her bakery.
“Coming from community development, if I open up a business I want it to be able to contribute to a neighborhood,” Piazza says. “And I think if we can get other small business people to think like that we can make real changes in neighborhoods”
This Saturday, October 20th, the event will take place at Greenwood and Chislett, in Morningside, from noon to 4 p.m. A vacant storefront, at 6908 Greenwood Street, will become a café for the day, stocked with baked goods from Piazza’s own Baked PGH, and coffee drinks from Simpatico Espresso.
Costumes are encouraged for the Fall-O-Ween Festival, which is a family and kid-friendly event.
Participating in the market place will be Garfield Farms, offering their locally grown greens herbs, and salad mix; Lenny’s Produce; LaScola’s Italian Ice; Union Project Ceramics, and more. Live music throughout the day will be provided by The Beagle Brothers and Ben Shannon.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Talia Piazza