The best part of every city are the mom & pop shops that make up the fabric of the community. Small, family-owned businesses are crucial to keeping Pittsburgh unique and vibrant! Here are a variety of great local spots to check out for all of your different needs:

Pastries A-La Carte

Image via Pastries A-la Carte

Pastries A-La Carte is the family-owned “official pastry shop of the Penguins”! The owner began the business when she started baking cakes out of her home. The shop officially opened in 2004 and has only continued to grow.

Check out their array of baked goods for pastries, unique cookies such as cookie push pops and Georgia peach cookies, and classic cookies. One of their most unique and popular cake designs is the ‘Butterflies and Bloom’ design, where the cake is cut open, and decorated with a cascading array of buttercream flowers.

The Farmer’s Daughter

Image via The Farmer’s Daughter

The Farmer’s Daughter is a true treasure in Pittsburgh. Located in the North Shore, and started by Lauren, it is a full-service flower and botanically inspired gift shop that carries beautiful bouquets and treats for all of your various needs. They currently have Easter arrangements available for pickup! 


Whether you’re celebrating a loved one or giving yourself a beautiful gift, you can’t go wrong with one of their flower arrangements.

Paint Monkey

Image via Paint Monkey

Paint Monkey was founded in 2012 by Mary Lou Bradley and Joe Groom. This month, they are celebrating nine years in business. Paint Monkey makes painting fun, accessible, and a great group activity. During this last year, Paint Monkey has pivoted quickly and has a few options to allow you to still create art while being safe.

Currently, the space has shifted into an open studio format, which is great for families that are looking to spend some quality time together. All canvases are $25+tax and are pre-sketched, and make sure that you book through their website. Paint Monkey has also created paint kits to-go that have everything included to create a masterpiece. Order those fun kits online through the website under “Shop Paint Kits”. 

Last but not least, Paint Monkey can still support larger classes via Zoom! They’ve hosted virtual events with corporations, universities, and even for family fun parties. If you’re hoping to book a virtual event, there’s a minimum of at least 12 people, and you can call for rates.

What are some of your favorite local places?

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Sophia Chang

Sophia is a Pittsburgh transplant who has lived in the Steel City for the last 9 years. She's passionate about food, and spends her free time sharing what it's like living (and eating!) as an Asian-American woman in Pittsburgh. You can find her exploring new restaurants, making foodie friends, and trying all the different bubble tea shops in the city.

2 Comments
  1. Love your stories but what about The Pretzel Shop. It’s on the south side and is a mom and pop shop older than everyone you mentioned you should check it out.

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