Lawrenceville’s Market House is a place for donuts, chocolate, books, jewelry

Most people are familiar with coworking spaces for business operations and organizational meetings and offices.

People rent a part inside a larger area for a short period of time, like a month or two or three.

The Market House in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh was inspired by this concept – just for stores.

Eight out of nine places are currently occupied in the old Mellon Bank.

A grand opening was held on Thursday.

“All the vendors are really happy,” said Brian Mendelssohn, 45, owner of The Market House with his brother Irwin, 49. “We’re trying something new here. It’s about accessing a point of sale where you have your own location. It’s an approach to shared coworking spaces.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

Bacon and maple donuts at Oliver’s Donuts inside The Market House, a former Mellon Bank building in Lawrenceville.

The flagship store is Oliver’s Donuts, owned by the Mendelssohn brothers.

Daily options are Chocolate Sea Salt, Lingonberry, Vanilla Frosting, and Maple Bacon. New seasonal flavors about to launch include Lavender Lemon and Pink Pistachio.

At a recent media event, Alex Shewczyk, who lives in Friendship and works in Lawrenceville for BikePGH, said chocolate sea salt was his favorite.

All are cake donuts.

“It’s both salty and sweet, but really all the flavors sound good,” she said. “In these uncertain times, it’s a way to help other businesses grow. All this space is so encouraging for the neighborhood.

They collaborated on the donut recipe with pastry chef Erika Bruce of Squirrel Hill. Bruce owns Le Beau Gateau through Chatham University’s Center for Regional Agriculture Food and Transformation.

“The donuts are really good,” Bruce said at the media event. “I think we found some tasty combinations.”

Donuts can be complemented with coffee from Elementary Coffee Co. in Harrisburg. The shop is named after Brian Mendelssohn’s cat, Oliver. The feline died in December 2020 at 17 years old.

“On the last day we dropped it in the store,” Mendelssohn said. “It’s a way of remembering Oliver, who was an amazing pet.”

The brothers also run a bookstore which is two in one. Material Books features many local authors who have written about Pittsburgh architecture, film, photography, and history. The Scholarly Worm features children’s books.

“Children’s books are really good books,” Mendelssohn said. “I read them every day to my one-year-old daughter.”

The brothers’ company is Botero Development, which includes Fulton Commons, a coworking kitchen space in Manchester, north Pittsburgh. They often redevelop historic properties.

The two, who live in Lawrenceville, grew up in South Florida. In 2014, they purchased the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.

“We are so excited about this neighborhood and wanted this space to be available for people here,” said Irwin Mendelssohn. “It’s about supporting local businesses and helping them grow.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

Bloomfield artist Emi Driscoll poses for a photo inside Black Cherry Design, where she works. The store is owned by interior designer Lauren Piasecki of Stanton Heights and is located in the Market House in Lawrenceville.

He helps Black Cherry Design, owned by interior designer Lauren Piasecki of Stanton Heights. She said the Market House is a perfect place in a neighborhood with so many big businesses.

“It’s such a cool opportunity to have a retail store and sell pottery, jewelry and artwork as well as do some interior design work,” Piasecki said. “A lot of the items are made locally. There are vintage pieces and merchandise from other smaller manufacturers across the country.

Piasecki employee Emi Driscoll, an artist, said working at Black Cherry Design is a way to connect and showcase local artists.

“It will be fun to take this journey with other artists,” she said.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

Chocolatier Daniel Stevey of Green Tree owns Fat Cat Chocolates. Flavors range from strawberry milkshake to cinnamon toast crunch and peanut butter cookie. The store is located inside the Market House in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Chocolatier Daniel Stevey of Green Tree owns Fat Cat Chocolates. Her husband, Art Germer, designed the colorful and fun packaging. Stevey said people buy with their eyes.

“I focused on childhood nostalgia for sweets such as Strawberry Milkshake and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cherry Pie and Peanut Butter Cookie,” Stevey said. “I love this space for all of us artisans.”


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

Storehouse Neutral, located inside the Market House in Lawrenceville, sources products from small businesses across the country. Items include home decor, jewelry, accessories, and apparel.

Erin Smreklar of Dormont, owner of Storehouse Neutral, said the shorter rental terms sold her on the space, especially for a small business. It’s so much better than having to sign a lease for a year or more. It sources its products from small businesses across the country. Items include home decor, jewelry, accessories, and apparel.

“I look for unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind items,” Smreklar said. “This concept is wonderful because it drives traffic to all of our businesses.”

Emily M sells magnets and stickers.

And Authentically African by Moa offers Ivory Coast items such as handbags and jewelry, some of which were made here.

A restaurant is planned for the lower floor later this year.

The stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Oliver’s Donuts will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through mid-February.

Some will have other schedules throughout the week.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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