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"Awesome Pittsburgh" Helping To Support Entrepreneurial Ventures

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Dana Launius and Maria Graziani are co-owners of Healcrest Urban Farm in Garfield.

Organic herbs and fruit from the site of a long abandoned strip mine are blended in their herbal tea.

"We have 18 varieties of herbs that we grow, culinary and medicinal," Graziani says. "We use citruses, and we use dried apples from the farm, so we try to make a complex flavor just with the herbal teas."

This summer, Healcrest Herbal Tea will be used in popsicles, as well. But Launius says the transition from the cup to the stick is a pricey proposition.

"We wanted an ice cream cart," Launius said. "To get an ice cream cart, it's pretty expensive, so we needed a little help in doing that."

Help came in the form of a thousand dollar grant from an entrepreneur support group called "Awesome Pittsburgh." Ten trustees donate their time, and their money, to benefit projects they deem worthy.

"Everybody puts in a hundred dollars every month," says co-founder Mike Capsambelis, "and we give a thousand dollars to the idea that we think is the most interesting, the most inspiring, the most creative, or the most impactful."

Trustees have funded a variety of ventures in their first year of operation. Like herbal popsicles.

"Now we are researching our ice cream carts," says Launius. "We're going to be able to make a purchase very soon."
For more information, log on to Awesome Pittsburgh's web page:

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