Launch Millvale: Food Incubator

A 12 month program for social enterprises and creative projects to research, test, and implement plans

while activating an equitable community vision.

Launch Millvale is an urban food systems lab, where a crop of socially focused entrepreneurs create new opportunities around food security and employment

Why Millvale?

The launch program supports leaders from around the regional food system, Ecodistrict 2.0 graphicbut we’ve chosen Millvale as our host site for good reason. Fresh food access and hyperlocal production is a central part of a community vision for sustainability. The EcoDistricts community planning process, led by renowned Pittsburgh firm evolveEA, brought together citizens, neighborhood organizations, businesses, and local government to develop a unified vision for a fresh food hub. Social enterprises who participate in Launch Millvale are not only incubated with the resources and learning content critical to their success, but are placed in the context of an engaged, supportive community

Read the Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot 2.0 Full Report to learn more about how New Sun Rising is helping activate this community plan.

Meet the Teams

Tupelo Honey Teas

Tupelo Honey Teas was founded by Danielle Spinola in 2007, and has been sharing her unique and lovingly blended teas with the Pittsburgh region ever since.  Always exploring new horizons for her business, Danielle is looking to grow her existing business while planning for a new cafe in Millvale.

Three Rivers Grown

Three Rivers Grown began in 2014 by taking a different approach to strengthening the food system by helping farmers get their produce to market by connecting farmers directly with wholesale markets, supermarkets, and to other businesses.  Nathan Holmes and Abby Long also support the supply chain logistics required to support small to medium sized family farms within a 250 mile radius around Pittsburgh, and bring fresh, healthy produce to the businesses and people of our region.

Steel City Soils

Steel City Soils closes the loop in our group by recycling food waste and creating only the highest quality compost for use at urban farms. Owner Jeff Newman is applying what he has learned from six years in the compost business, and is growing his enterprise to provide even more compost for additional farms and communities.


The creative team of Jen Saffron and Paul Labrise are busy crafting their latest adventure.  Sprezzatura will create a warm, comfortable third space with affordable, delicious home cooked real Italian food.

Millvale Food Hub

The Millvale Food Hub will be a place where Millvale residents and visitors can access healthy foods and connect with regional producers. The Millvale Borough Development Corporation is developing a place where people can learn about local food initiatives and be a part of a productive and equitable food system.

The Gardens of Millvale

The Gardens of Millvale is a volunteer-led community garden that has provided growing, volunteer, and educational opportunities in this food desert since 2010.  The team of Denise Rudar and Stephanie Davis lead the Gardens of Millvale and they look to establish sustainable operations, create job opportunities, and connect growers with local businesses and Millvale’s new food hub to strengthen the local food system.

Plated Trade

Plated Trade is a new style food service from Chef David Bulman, cooking up locally sourced and prepared meals directly to consumers in non-traditional community settings, such as their homes.

Pittsburgh Urban Growers Cooperative

What if small urban farmers formed a cooperative business to make them more financially competitive and sustainable? Maria Graziani of Healcrest Urban Farm, Marisa Manheim of Grow Pittsburgh, and Dawn Plummer from the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council are convening a group to research, explore, and form a farmer member-based urban grower’s cooperative to answer that question and make it happen.

Plenty WIld

Plenty Wild is a social enterprise that takes locally sourced fruit and creates value added products to strengthen the local food system. Proceeds from Plenty Wild sales will support the Oakland Community Food Pantry and Community Human Services, and all efforts are being made to incorporate job creation, volunteer engagement, and community health education components into the Plenty Wild business plan.

Farm Truck Foods

Farm Truck Foods bridges the gap between farmers and community members through access to whole, nutritious, affordable and local foods in a way that engages and unites neighbors.

We invite you to join New Sun Rising and Millvale’s Community Equity Group to explore what makes Millvale GREAT, and how to carry our greatness into the future:

1. Discovery Cafe – February 13, 2016

2. Dream + Design Cafe – April 2, 2016

3. Destiny Cafe – May 7, 2016

Brian Wolovich

Launch Millvale Pod Manager

New Sun Rising

Leah Lizarondo

Food Social Enterprise Catalyst

Brazen Kitchen, 412 Food Rescue

Heather Manzo

Agriculture Marketing, Business & Community Development

Penn State Extension

Scott Wolovich

Executive Director

Launch Hilltop Pod Manager

New Sun Rising

The Launch MODE Program

New Sun Rising provides a unique, collaborative experience for early stage concepts and fresh ideas. Our focus on social enterprises + innovative non-profits puts the emphasis on impact as much as finance, defines success by founders not funders, and believes that context is as important as content.