Hazleton natives using Hazleton Kitchen Incubator to bring their successful Nashville-based pizza business home

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.

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Shared Roots grows with help from THInC

Shared Roots webKrista Schneider, left, and Lauren Youngcourt are using space at the CAN BE Innovation center as a prototype site to test products for garden startup Shared Roots.

A collaboration between THInC partners CAN BE and the Hazleton Launchbox supported by Pasco Schaivo, Esq., as well as Penn State University’s Happy Valley LaunchBox, helped an entrepreneur grow her business from a literal seed into a reality.

After graduating from the Happy Valley LaunchBox, powered by PNC Bank’s FastTrack Accelerator program in the spring of 2021, Krista Schneider, founder of Shared Roots, landed the initial funding she needed to formally launch her business when she won the 19th annual tecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition non-collegiate competition.

At Shared Roots, Schneider takes waste products (spent grain and hops) from the Berwick Brewing Company and upcycles them into biodegradable garden squares made with recycled paper that are pre-seeded and ready to plant. As they decompose, they feed the soil with vital nutrients and organic matter while fending off weeds until the seeds germinate.

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Keystone Ballet Academy to offer yoga for ages 12 and up beginning in January

Emily FIner studio 1Keystone Ballet Academy will begin offering yoga classes for children and adults ages 12 and up on Monday evenings beginning in January at its studio within the CAN BE Innovation Center. Pictured are, from left: yoga instructor Lucy Valente and Keystone Ballet Academy owner and artist director Emily Finer.Keystone Ballet Academy will begin offering yoga classes for children and adults ages 12 and up. Classes will be on Monday evenings beginning in January at its studio within the CAN BE Innovation Center, which is located at 103 Rotary Drive in the Valmont Industrial Park in West Hazleton.

‘Yoga For All’ is for anyone interested in a class that offers a full range of yoga poses designed to stretch and strengthen the body. The class is under the direction of Lucy Valente, who holds a Yoga E-RYT 200 certification and is also certified in chair and gentle yoga. Valente also has experience in teaching beginner yoga, vinyasa flow, vigorous yoga, and meditation.

A single class is $12, a five-class card is $50 and the first class is free.

Emily Finer, Keystone Ballet Academy owner and artistic director, said, “For dancers, stretching is an essential part of a dance lesson and including yoga as part of your training can be very beneficial. Lucy offers her knowledge of yoga to her students with focus on the mind/body connection through safe movement, proper alignment, breathe with intention, balance, and body awareness. One of the main goals of her class is to have students apply yoga holistically by bringing their in-class experiences into their daily lives.”

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Lindsey Barnes launches L&B's Sweet Treats with help from The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative partners

LBs Sweet 1Lindsey Barnes, owner of L&B Sweet Treats, recently launched a new culinary business through support from The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC) partners and using the new Hazleton Kitchen Incubator.When Lindsey Barnes decided to turn her sweet idea for a business into a reality, she found the support she needed to launch her operation through The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC) and the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator.

As with many start-up entrepreneurs, Barnes began L&B's Sweet Treats, which makes a variety of hand-dipped chocolate confections, at the request of family and friends who were looking for desserts for their special occasions.

In fact, Barnes said she initially got the idea for the business while planning her wedding. The unexpected free time she had during the COVID-19 pandemic helped her launch the operation.

“During the height of COVID-19 and businesses being shut down, I started to cook and bake more and found it to be a very relaxing hobby. Then, family and friends started reaching out to ask if I could make treats for birthday parties, showers, or the holidays. I felt so honored to have my treats be a part of their special day.”

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