Market aims to be community centered space


Photos by Alyse Horn
Pear and the Pickle opened on April 13, 2016.

By Alyse Horn

Pear and the Pickle, a café and market in Troy Hill, chose its name as a nod to the neighborhood’s history.

Early in the 19th century, Troy Hill was mostly farmland that was once home to Benjamin Herr’s Orchard, and it was said his pears were delicious. By 1850, the neighborhood was evolving from farmland into an industrialized community that was home to many factory workers that included pickle packers from the Heinz plant.

Alesix Tragos and husband Bobby Stockard opened the shop in April 2016, two weeks after the birth of their identical twin boys Jack and Oliver.

“This past year has been a whirl wind,” Tragos said. “The community has really embraced us; we would not be where we are without the Troy Hill residents and the entire Pittsburgh community.”

The café has become a focal point in the neighborhood by hosting Saturday suppers and also by sharing the space with local up and coming restaurants like Baby Loves Tacos. Rollin’ BBQ holds a Friday night
popup at the market and Tragos said they have also partnered with Driftwood Oven and Roudabout Brewery in the past.

The rooftop deck at Pear and the Pickle.

“Starting a restaurant is not easy, and if we can provide a space for someone to get their name out there and get food into people’s mouths, I think it’s all good karma,” Tragos said.

Recently, the café has started Bobby’s Burger Night from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday’s as a gesture to Bob’s Burgers. Tragos said the menu includes a rotating specialty burger, such as the Grand Brie Burger, and specialty milkshake with fires. Vegetarian burgers are also an option.

Pear and the Pickle have also hosted Saturday Suppers in the evenings that vary between family style meals or individual courses. Tragos said her husband sets the menu and tries to use locally sourced meats and vegetables that correlate with the seasons, and they are planning to add more suppers to the calendar in the future.

Tragos said the café and market have created a dedicated customer base in the neighborhood, but also outside of it. A lot of people come to visit the shop that have never been to Troy Hill before, or stumble across it while visiting another part of the neighborhood like Scratch Food & Beverage or Spaces Corners.

“We are part of a community of businesses that, really, I think we all depend on each other’s success,” Tragos said. “It takes a village and we are really happy to be part of that community.”

It is worth mentioning that Pear and the Pickle has also been named for having one of the best breakfast sandwiches in Pittsburgh. If yinz haven’t already, consider making the climb up Rialto Street to try one for yourself.

The Local Marketplace Section is supported by PNC Community Development Banking with funding from the PNC Foundation.

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