Barankos PizzaWhen Hazleton native Andrew Baranko and his family wanted to launch a location of their successful deli-style pizza business in their hometown, they found an efficient way to do it using the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator in downtown Hazleton.

Last August, Baranko and his family began making their own version of the cold, square-cut, deli/tavern-style pizza that originated in Hazleton and sold it as Baranko's Pizza at the Hunter's Community Market in Nashville and other pop-up locations in the city. When local family and friends expressed an interest in trying out their pizza, they decided to open a Hazleton location.

Baranko and his team are familiar with kitchen incubators, as they currently use one in Nashville to make their pizza. When they were looking into licensing in Pennsylvania and found out about the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator, they jumped at the opportunity to use it. Baranko worked with CAN DO Director of Economic Development Jocelyn Sterenchock to get settled in the space and found it to be an efficient experience.

“Jocelyn literally made it seamless. I didn't expect to be up and running until March but she really expedited the process and helped us get everything we needed,” Baranko said. “The Hazleton Kitchen Incubator has everything a food business would need to get started. Having all of this equipment and space available helps keep the start-up costs low and allows us to grow and scale quicker.”

Speaking from his experience in Tennessee, Baranko said there are so many benefits to launching a business using a kitchen incubator and he encourages local food-based entrepreneurs to look into the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator.

“There are so many resources that they will have to help them get started through the kitchen. It creates an entrepreneurial community where people just want each other to succeed,” he said. “Starting a business can be intimidating so having something like the incubator kitchen takes a lot of that stress off the table.”

The idea for Baranko's pizza began when Baranko and his siblings left Hazleton and went off to college in Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Their parents would send boxes of deli-style pizza from home and it was a hit with their friends. As they embarked on their own professional careers and moved away from one another once again, they decided to start a business venture to connected and give them a reason to spend more time together.

Baranko's Pizza will begin taking pre-orders online at www.barankospizza.com for pick up on Feb. 25 and March 4. For now, Baranko and his team plan to operate the business out of the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator but hope to eventually have their own physical spaces in both Hazleton and Nashville.

For more information about the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator, visit https://hazletonkitchen.org or contact Jocelyn Sterenchock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..