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Penn Hills

Colteryahn, Carrick Dairy District hope to build on debut event

| Thursday, July 7, 2016, 1:15 p.m.
Keith Walters, a dairy farmer from Slickville, poses with his red and white holstein, Firey. A resident of Slickville, Keith once owned over 60 cows.
Maranie Staab | For the Tribune-Review
Keith Walters, a dairy farmer from Slickville, poses with his red and white holstein, Firey. A resident of Slickville, Keith once owned over 60 cows.

Two cows stood just feet from Brownsville Road in Carrick as children stopped by to pet them, ate fresh ice cream and met Pennsylvania dairy royalty along the curb of the city street.

The Carrick Dairy District, a project years in the works to revitalize a section of Brownsville Road near the city's last remaining dairy, debuted June 30 with a milk-mustache contest, cow-milking demonstrations, cheese samples and ice cream for all.

“It's great to see this type of change,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto told the crowd gathered to celebrate.

A pavilion on property owned by South Hills nonprofit Economic Development South is just the start of the Carrick Dairy District, said Deputy Director Stephanie Miller. In upcoming weeks, Colteryahn Dairy, the last dairy located in Pittsburgh, will paint its building with cow spots and events will be planned in the area to bolster interest.

“The bigger picture really is to start to create a destination area, to start to create interesting, vibrant things along the corridor,” Miller said. “It's a way to sort of elevate what's here.”

Funding for the project came from the Hillman Foundation, Urban Redvelopment Authority, the City of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The total project, including sidewalks, was about $430,000.

The long-term plan is to bring added retail businesses into the area, including a fresh market and restaurants, Miller said.

“We want Brownsville Road to be more than just a place that you drive through. We want it to be a destination,” said Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak.

At the pavilion, activities will help to highlight dairy in the area, Dairy District Manager Kelly Joyce said.

Plans are underway for a grilled-cheese-off competition to see which local restaurant can grill the best grilled cheese and a “build Carrick's largest ice cream sundae” competition, Joyce said. She's also planning a Bhutanese/Nepali market and concerts at the venue.

The Carrick CitiParks farmers market relocated to the street next to the pavilion and will move inside once the pavilion gets electricity this year, Joyce said. The market is held every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m.

During the market, CoGo's has a trailer where it sells fresh Colteryahn products, made right across the street.

“It's awareness. So many people haven't heard the name Colteryahn,” said dairy owner and CEO Craig Colteryahn III, who said he hopes this lets people know about his company's milk.

“It's just really a great thing for the community,” said Becky Gallagher, marketing coordinator for Colteryahn, as she showed off products like its “The Burgh” line. “Hopefully, it will help people recognize the importance of dairy.”

Colteryahn has been in Carrick since 1917. Yet often people drive past and don't even know it's there, Miller said.

“Their first question is, where are the cows?” she said.

There are none. The milk is brought in from area farms for processing at the Carrick center.

Miley Sibert, 8, of Carrick, said her favorite part of the event was the cows. Although she really liked the ice cream too.

“I'm as city as they come. This is different,” her dad, Bob Onstott, 42, said. “But she loves it. I just want to see what they'll do with it.”

Evelyn Zimba, 49, of Carrick, said she hopes the Dairy District serves as a way for residents to get to know one another.

“It's what Carrick needs,” she said. “A lot of city children don't see farm animals in the city and with this they get to understand what it's like on a farm.”

For Zimba, it's also important that the Dairy District is a safe destination.

“Carrick's reputation hasn't been the greatest. The farmers market here is more visible and it's safer. It's right here on the main drag.”

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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