The Upper Crust Italian Market

    • ss pittsburgh the upper crust italian market

Mark Kennison was raised in an entrepreneurial family; his father founded and built a successful franchise business. In 2013, Mark decided to follow his dreams and follow in his family's footsteps. He saw an unmet need for a market offering high quality meats and cheeses, as well as high quality grocery items. The historic space he found in downtown Washington had room to expand the business and also have a gift shop with a bakery and coffee shop.

Kennison grew up in Washington, Pennsylvania and also attended Washington and Jefferson College in the area. He opened the business not only to bring fresh and quality products to his hometown, but also because he sees it as a bigger step to help re-invigorate Washington’s main street business district. The business offers high quality products which cannot be found unless residents are willing to drive to Pittsburgh’s Strip District or board a plane to Italy. Their offerings include homemade pasta, Italian desserts, aged cheeses, and finely cured meats, as well as the gift shop and bakery items.

Kennison was referred to the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by a local lender. The SBDC assisted him by critiquing his business plan and assisting with financial projections.

Kennison was successfully approved for $50,000 worth of financing from the Washington County Council on Economic Development, a local micro-lender. He has successfully launched the business, The Upper Crust Italian Market, and is on his way to seeing it grow.

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