By Jennifer Petrie, Contributing Writer

Small business Shu BrewThis month, Erika Shumaker, business Co-Owner of ShuBrew LLC talked to 5th graders at Minadeo Elementary School providing them professional advice about starting a business in the Pittsburgh area.  Shumaker told her story about starting ShuBrew, a restaurant and brewery located in Zelienople, north of the city, as a young adult.  Shumaker reminded students that starting a business can happen sooner than you think especially with the help of crowd sourcing campaigns to provide start-up funds. She described the rewards of bringing your dreams and vision into reality through hard work and persistence.

Students were asked what kind of business they wanted to start and several students eagerly described wanting to start a candy-shop, bottle-rocket company, a local Italian eatery, and a homeless shelter.  Shumaker also discussed the significance of local restaurant operations to local tax revenue, the environment, and community development.  She encouraged students to think about the importance of brand, local food and community, creativity, sustainability, and social media technology when a starting business. Shumaker told students to think about the ways local businesses can help sustain and support a healthier community. The students also built a healthy sustainable snack to eat using local herbs, mozzarella, and tomatoes.

This event was part of Squirrel Hill Urban Coalitions’s community outreach with Minadeo K-5, aiming to connect the elementary school to local businesses for career development and community partnership. It was made possible through a mini-grant from the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council (CRC) and Vibrant Pittsburgh. Past events include “Exploring Lunar New Year in Asia and in Pittsburgh” and “the World of Google and A.I.” This outreach will continue into the fall with an event bringing Minadeo students to Phipps Conservatory for hands on learning about bio-diversity and ecology.