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Bella Bambini Cello and others making Coraopolis a craft spirits town

| Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 4:42 p.m.

This past September, Bella Bambini Cellos opened up on Fifth Avenue in Coraopolis. With Cobblehaus Brewing Company and 180 and Tapped Brewery, Coraopolis is not only becoming a craft spirits town but a town on the resurgence.

“We've had waves of new businesses opening in town and the icing on the cake has been Cobblehaus and Bella Bambini Cellos,” says Stacey Christe, co-founder of the Coraopolis Business Association. “They are bringing people in from the outside and giving them a reason to come here.”

Bella Bambini Cellos is the brainchild of Jim Breen and his granddaughter Brittany Breen. Jim, now retired, was in the steel business and found himself traveling to Italy a lot. While there, he learned how to craft limoncello and when back in the States he started making it and gave it away as gifts to friends during the holidays. The demand has grown so much the duo decided to go commercial.

They chose the name Bella Bambini, which is Italian for beautiful babies, because Brittany received this nickname as a small child while traveling in Italy with Jim. The name has stuck with her throughout the years and made sense when they wanted to open an Italian-American liquor business.

In addition to the classic Italian lemon liqueur, Bella Bambini Cello is producing orangecello, blueberrycello, and pineapplecello. All products are crafted by hand and made with purified water, pure grain alcohol, sugar, and locally sourced fruits and set for 30-days to ensure quality. Bella Bambini Cello is always working on new flavor combinations and set to debut in November is caffecello made from fresh ground coffee.

They chose Coraopolis as the home of Bella Bambini Cellos because of the redevelopment that is happening in town. Not only has the local legislation been very welcoming, but Jim lives in the neighborhood.

To tackle the business end of things, Jim and Brittany added a third partner, Mike Quinlan, who has been Brittney's friend for more than 10 years. Jim and Brittany produce the products and make sure it states superb while Mike's there to make sure the proof of alcohol is accurate, as well as tackling social media, record keeping, and accounting.

Being novices in the craft distillery industry, the trio sought mentorship from Kim McLaughlin of McLaughlin Distillery in Sewickley Hills, who showed them how to proof, gauge, and helped them with the proper business paperwork.

Sarah Sudar is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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