Sara’s #shoplocal Gift Guide

by: Sara Bozich
December 5, 2017

Still shopping? I am! Fortunately, that’s part of the beauty of shopping local — you don’t have to wait for shipping. Plus, you get to support real people who you may know (or not, but hey — say hi! Make a friend!) and local products.

Huge assist to Intern Jimi for helping me assemble this list. Dive through and take a look. And see what I’m calling the one thing to get that truly impossible-to-shop-for person on your list!

For the one always asking what’s local on tap

If you know they like to #drinklocal, you can’t go wrong with the gift of local libations.

Beer + Pizza = Presents

Pizza Boy Brewing Co.’s crowlers will make any craft beer nerd happy. Pizza Boy usually has around 20 “crowlerable” beers to choose from, and you can’t go wrong with any choice. Pick out three for a custom 3-pack (equal to a six-pack of bottles) — at least one should be an IPA. And make sure your recipient knows to drink these within a few weeks.

If your giftee is local, pair a crowler with a gift card so they can heighten their beer + pizza experience after the holidays, too.

Wine O’Clock

Wine is a classic gift, and The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey can help you “up” your wine-giving with a customized gift basket. Get creative and build a basket complete with a bottle of wine, chocolates, cheeses, and wine glasses.

Put a Pine Tree On It

Choosing the right beer is never easy. Take the hassle out of that decision and give your craft beer enthusiast a gift card to Zeroday Brewing Co. While you’re there grab a crowler or two of their seasonal offerings like Grievance or one of my favorites, DTF Saison, a beer made with an entire Douglas Fir tree.

Tip: Mix n match this with Pizza Boy crowlers for a taste of the Harrisburg area.

Spirit of Spirits

Break out the holiday cheer(s) and give them a bottle of local craft spirits. With the wide range of spirits from Midstate Distillery, Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works, and Eight Oaks Craft Distillers you are sure to find a local option they can use for their favorite cocktails.

Easy: Pick up a copper mug, a lime, and a crowler of ZerØday’s ginger beer for a make-your-own Moscow Mule kit!

For the Busy Bee and Perpetually Undercaffeinated

Booze isn’t the appropriate gift for everyone — and coffeehouses offer a caffeinated alternative (plus more) for anyone who deserves an upgrade on their morning (or afternoon!) pick-me-up.

Elementary Coffee Co.

Market days at Broad Street Market wouldn’t be the same without a drink from Elementary Coffee. Their fresh coffee and seasonal drinks have made them a staple during any market trip. Show a fellow coffee drinker some love with a gift card, bag of beans or one of their signature glass travel mugs.

Wishlist: New camping style mugs from Fennec, available at Elementary.

Little Amps Coffee Roasters

Little Amps’ new freeze-dried coffee makes an excellent gift for the person who is consistently on the move. They come in boxes of six and can be mixed into any beverage for a customizable pick-me-up. Of course, you should also pick up a few bags of beans at one of their locations or from their online store.

Little Amps Freeze-Dried Coffee Combines Quality and Convenience

Other fun gifts to snag at Little Amps: vinyl (yes, records), LA swag like tees and totes, gift cards.

Cornerstone Coffeehouse

You can create a whole coffee-lovers dream basket from treats and gifts from Cornerstone Coffeehouse. Grab some coffee — perhaps a holiday blend, add a selection of delicious pastries and treats, then complete the ensemble with one of their beautiful coffee mugs.

Capital Joe

If you have a state worker on your list, they will love a gift card from Capital Joe. This quiet retreat is located right off Forster St. just steps from the Capitol Complex. They’ll thank you as they relax with a cup of coffee and pastries.

Allegedly, it also boasts some of the best city wifi — a perfect place for your favorite freelancer to check out.

For Good Neighbors, Favorite Friends and Otherwise Impossible To Buy For

Let’s face it, we all fall off of our diets a bit during the holidays. We’re always eating, and holiday treats shoot to the top of the food pyramid. It’s okay to indulge, we won’t tell.


For local sweets, you have to check out the holiday offerings at fudge-o-lutely. With flavors of Egg Nog, Sugar Cookie, Peppermint, Gingerbread, and Salted Caramel it will be hard to pick just one. Don’t worry, fudge-o-lutely knows you want to try them all, so they put together a few samplers.

  • Holiday Fudge Sampler – Try up to four different holiday flavors with this sampler that comes in both one-pound and two-pound options. Mix and match or go all-in with your favorite flavor.
  • Holiday Super Sampler – More than just fudge. Get a taste of pretty much everything fudge-o-lutely offers. It’s complete with your choice of two fudge flavors, Calicutt Spice Co.’s chai hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallow fluffs, two chocolate bark bars, and an artisanal elixir bottle.

Ice Cream

Finally. For the truly impossible to buy for — who doesn’t like ice cream? (Besides my sister, ugh). This is what my dad is getting this year.

Make that ice cream lover happy for months with Urban Churn’s Holiday Gift delivery service. It’s so simple. You just pick the quantity (2 or 4 pints), the duration (3 or 6 months), and the flavors. Just imagine how happy they will be with ice cream right outside their door.

Urban Churn Continues to Grow and Experiment

Spices, Sauces & Nuts, Oh My!

Okay, so maybe we all don’t overindulge during the holidays. For those who choose to live a little healthier, a gift basket from Sarah’s Snacks offers a variety of healthy snacking alternatives.

Choose from baskets featuring just Sarah’s treats or get the Taste of PA Gift Basket with items from local businesses including Torchbearer Sauces, Calicutts Spice Co., and more.

Speaking of Calitcutts, their selection of freshly ground spices not only taste great in your holiday dishes but make great additions to any gift baskets you are assembling. Last year, everyone on my list got an assortment of spices — and their cocoa mix + fudge-O-lutely mini fluffs were the go-to gifts for my UPS and USPS guys.

Both the Broad Street Market and the West Shore Farmers Market, along with any other local markets, are chock full of treats that are sure to delight anyone on your list.

When You Need More Than An Amazon Gift Card

Great Harrisburg Restaurants

Wind down from shopping with a drink at Greystone Public House and grab a few gift cards while you sip. From now until Dec. 24, you will get a $10 gift card for any $50 gift card purchase. Give the second one away, or keep it to treat yourself.

Book Lovers + More

Midtown Scholar is a convenient stop after finishing up at Broad Street Market. Walk through their bookshelves to find a book of interest for that special someone. Scholar also offers gift cards, notebooks, totes, and other fun stocking stuffers.

Making Groceries Hip

A Provision’s Loyalty+ membership is a perfect gift for that 20-something who just moved to the city. The membership is only $35 and includes a kit of reusable containers, discounts on products, exclusive samplings of new products, and much more.

For Moms, Best Friends & Treating Yourself

Whether you’re jewelry shopping or treating yourself to a new handbag, discover the area’s specialty boutiques to find special pieces to give this season.

Downtown Camp Hill is home to so many boutiques it’s easy to pick up everything you need within relative walking distance.

Hostess & Wellness Gifts at Little Bits & Pieces Gift Boutique

Start at Body IQ Life and Little Bits & Pieces Gift Boutique and peruse the shop for that “a-ha” gift for the hard to please person on your list. Find women’s clothing, jewelry, gifts, and a variety of wellness items all in one stop. Don’t stop there — the selection of coffee, candles, and chocolates make for great hostess gifts.

Plus, the Boutique offers private shopping experiences so you can grab your friends (and a couple bottles of wine) and knock off some QT and holiday shopping all at once.

Custom Makeup

Take a short walk across the street to visit Carmina Cristina Makeup Boutique. Here you can pick up any number of exciting lipstick or lip gloss, and makeup from Carmina’s signature line, plus body items perfect for pampering. Carmina also offers a variety of classes throughout the year so you can learn how to apply the perfect cat eye or bold lip.

Tip: Book a special event just for you and your girlfriends! And buy the Vitamin C lip treatment — You won’t regret it!

Jewelry No One Else Will Have

Visit Meeka Fine Jewelry’s new shop located right next to Cornerstone to find one-of-a-kind, high end, artisan jewelry. Every piece is designed by owner Monika or one of eight hand-selected artisans, and each is customizable.

Fashion Finds + More

Don’t forget about the shops at Strawberry Square. A fashionable scarf from Amma Jo can put the finishing touch on any outfit, and Ideas and Objects is full of one-of-a-kind gifts. Of course, Hallmark can be your stop for any holiday cards or last-minute decorations.

Insider Tips to Strawberry Square: Guest Feature

Also worth checking out:

Sassy Jeans & More upstairs at the West Shore Farmers Market — for the uber fashionista. Get fitted for denim and have the jeans of your dreams. I also love their super cozy sweats.

Chemise Collection — new to downtown Camp Hill — this is on my “to check out” list. Clutches, scarves, sweaters and more.

Stash Vintage — These super cool ladies may have closed their brick-and-mortar store but you can score great finds on their Instagram and Etsy shop. I do. Like all the time.

(Psst — look for our boutique shopping guide in early 2018!)

Harrisburg Bike Share Gets Rolling {GIVEAWAY}

by: Sara Bozich
October 30, 2017

Getting around the City of Harrisburg just got a whole lot easier.

The new Harrisburg Bike Share makes getting from one side of the city to the other both convenient and inexpensive.

harrisburg bike share

Harrisburg Bike Share

Have lunch at your favorite eatery Downtown then zip over to your meeting in Midtown while getting exercise and fresh air in the process.

With 11 different locations and a total of 55 bikes to rent throughout the city, there’s sure to be one near you.

Zagster, the company that owns the bikes, has Bike Shares across the country including other nearby locations in Hershey, Reading, and York.

How to ride

When renting a bike, you have two options to fit your needs and budget.

Start by downloading the Zagster app to your phone so you can make quick and easy reservations for your ride. (Make sure you’re in the Harrisburg area to rent the correct bikes.)

Next, you can purchase an annual membership or simply pay as you go.

  • Membership: For only $25 a year, all rides under two hours are free with a $2/hour charge after that. It’s a real bargain if you plan to use the service frequently.
  • Pay as you go: At just $2 an hour, this is ideal if you’re in a pinch to get somewhere quickly, or if you just want to take a ride around the city on occasion.

Finally, to start your ride, just enter the bike’s number into the Zagster app, and you’re on your way.

Once your ride is finished, just return the bike to the nearest Zagster station to end your trip. Each bike also comes with a lock so you can secure the bike at pitstops during your ride.

You must have a Harrisburg membership to rent in the City. Although Zagster has other local locations, memberships do not transfer.

Zagster bikes are the perfect way to check out all the murals that were installed during HBG Mural Fest, create your own Harrisburg biking adventure, and hop from one side of town to the other in a fun way.

The Harrisburg Bike Share is operated by Communities in Schools of Pennsylvania, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. CISPA receives 93% of the profits generated by the bike share to help further their mission of supporting local students to stay in school.

This week, we’re giving away two (2) annual Harrisburg Bike Share Memberships!

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

St@rtup Harrisburg Members Share Why They Cowork

by: Jimi The Intern
July 11, 2017

For more than two years working with, I was void of any kind of traditional office.

I spent hours in local coffee shops with shoddy wifi or trying to work from with a myriad of distractions. Sometimes, I even put in long hours on the chaise lounge in the boss’ office with her dog, Buddy, as my cubicle mate.

It wasn’t working.

Then, we found st@rtup Harrisburg. The amenities coupled with a nearby location in Midtown made it the perfect place for me to work.

How St@rtup Changed the Way I Work

When I arrived, I found myself surrounded by a group of people in the same boat as me. Some needed a place in the city to crack down on work for a day while others sought a dedicated office to run their entire business.

St@rtup members range from freelance working from a hot desk to multi-employee businesses that utilize everything the coworking space has to offer.

Cap Collective

Cap Collective is a local video production company specializing in promotional pieces for small- to medium-sized businesses.

The group transferred from st@rtup’s original location to the current building. Cap Collective currently occupies one of the dedicated offices and two hot desks, operating their entire business from st@rtup’s midtown digs.

How st@rtup changed the way they work

For Cap Collective, the original St@rtup location became a necessity when they got serious about growing their business.

“We came to the point where we had to either go all-in on this or dissolve it,” said Cap Collective co-owner Cody Wanner. “We were just working from home, and it felt like we were working as separate freelancers instead of a cohesive business.”

Cap Collective looked for local office spaces, but nothing fit their budget. Wanner and the other founders were trying to start families, and they needed a place to work outside of the home.

“The biggest thing for us with switching to st@rtup was productivity,” said Waner. “Being around other people who are also working as opposed to being at home with a never ending to-do list and distractions makes it more about work.”

Wanner said even the move from the old St@rtup space to the new spot helped foster more productivity for them because it now feels more like an office.

“Coming into st@rtup now, as it is, you’re entering into a mecca of business,” said Wanner. “It’s an open office, and the space is awesome with a fresh, clean feel. You just feel invigorated to crush it.”


Founder Devon Stank runs SQUAR, along with an intern, utilizing one of st@rtup’s dedicated offices.

“Right now, our bread-and-butter is in web design and web development,” said Stank. “The majority of our clients are small- to medium-sized businesses, and we don’t just work with one type of client. We have a diverse client base.”

SQUAR works with groups from all over the world right from the comfort of their office at st@rtup.

For Stank, st@rtup is not only where he works, but he’s the only member who also lives in the Boas Street Flats located directly above st@rtup.

How st@rtup changed the way he worked

Stank left his job to go on his own in March 2016 and launched The success of that business led him to start SQUAR in March of this year.

“I figured now I needed to take this from a small personal brand to be a company now,” said Stank. “I’m only one person, and I can only handle so much.”

Although he worked remotely with his previous jobs, he knew that it wasn’t for him in the long term.

“I needed to be in an environment where I could interact with people and socialize, but still be in an office so I can focus and work,” said Stank. “st@rtup is an environment that makes me work, which ultimately led me to make the switch.”

Along with the perks like the great internet, coffee, and beer, Stank also said that the networking st@rtup provides is one perk that helps his business grow.

“I’m constantly learning things about running my own business, and it helps that I can go to another business to ask them questions about how to handle different aspects,” said Stank. encourages, empowers, and equips young fathers of unplanned pregnancies to become great dads through resources and mentoring services.

“We’re a start-up in every sense of the word,” said founder Justin Stimpson. “We’re launching our pilot mentor program here in Harrisburg to use it as a testing ground.”

Stimpson’s impetus to start the service came from personal experience.

“I was born out of an unplanned pregnancy,” said Stimpson. “Most of my adult life I have been passionate about doing something creative to stem the tide of fatherlessness in our country.”

How st@rtup changed the way he worked

Stimpson began his passion project from coffee shops and out of the library at Messiah College but quickly saw the drawbacks to working remotely.

He tried working from the previous st@rtup location but didn’t see it as a good fit. Once he saw the new space, he jumped on board for a membership.

Coming to the new st@rtup allowed Stimpson to hire an intern and provide him a desk.

“It also feels good to be able to tell people that you have a space,” said Stimpson. “It’s hard to tell people where you work when it’s out of coffee shops all the time. It’s nice to say we have an office on 3rd Street in Harrisburg.”

Stimpson lives locally, and st@rtup’s location along with the ability to work alongside other growing start-ups was another draw.

“The amenities are great, but for me, it’s more about the intentional collaboration,” said Stimpson. “It’s not just beer and coffee. It’s ZerØday beer and Elementary coffee.”

Stimpson has worked from other coworking spaces but says that st@rtup is just as good, if not better than larger ones.

“Because some of them are so large, it can feel like it’s one company instead of an actual coworking space,” said Stimpson.


Sovierro is a graphic design, web design, and video production company.

“It’s an all-encompassing user experience for a company,” said owner Lance Williams. “I can go through and work on the logo and the identity along with the making the website so it’s all uniform.”

How st@rtup changed the way he worked

Williams started freelancing from st@rtup just a few months ago after quickly realizing that working from home wasn’t an option.

“I have three kids, and getting them to stay out of the office wasn’t easy,” said Williams. “I tried working at home for a month before I made the switch.”

Williams remembered hearing about st@rtup and signed up for a hot desk before ever seeing the place.

“Even if I didn’t have the kids and working from home was quiet, I still don’t think I could do it,” said Williams. “I definitely needed a space to work away from home.”

He tried working from Wegmans and other coffee shops but realized he needed a better space to set up his computer for a day of work.

“Coming to st@rtup definitely changed the way I was able to focus,” said Williams. “Everyone is here because they want to be here. They are all motivated to be here to work and that helps me be excited to work.”

Since almost all of Williams’ work for Sovierro is done remotely, he said the flexibility of working from st@rtup 24/7 is the biggest perk for him.

“Sometimes I’m here until late at night,” said Sovierro. “It’s great that I can get be here late with my own space that is so affordable.”

Other members

This is just a small sampling of the members that make up st@rtup. Each one has their own reason for choosing to work from a high-quality but affordable coworking office space.

Check them out and see who else calls st@rtup home»

Categories: Bloggers, Harrisburg

Race Recap: 2016 Harrisburg Marathon

by: Kelly Leighton
November 16, 2016

They say it takes a village.

I’m not sure if “they” were referring to a marathon, but in this case, it took a village to get me to the finish line of the Harrisburg Marathon Sunday.

I’ve often talked about how much I love the local running community, and Sunday just made my heart grow even bigger, even though I had a rough race.

When I arrived at the starting line Sunday, I was already in a bad place mentally. I tried a new-to-me training plan, the Hanson’s Marathon Method (which I will share my thoughts on in an upcoming post), and I think I was ultimately extremely burned out.

Kelly marathon

Instead of being excited and nervous, I was filled with dread. I had no desire to run a marathon, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I told myself it was just nerves and to fake a positive attitude. At 7:55, I stripped down to my singlet and started near the 3:25 pace group. I was gunning for a PR (sub-3:26:40), and I had put a lot of time and effort into my training.

I kept the pace for the first few miles, but I still couldn’t shake my bad mood.

It was a beautiful, cool fall morning, and there were lots of people I knew cheering, running and volunteering, but it didn’t help. I started playing mental games pretty early on. At mile 4, I thought, “just get to mile 5.” This is a game I usually play after 20 miles, not 4. I was still smiling and waving at people I knew, but I was gritting my teeth. Around the ninth mile, I started to entertain the idea of dropping out. I was still on pace, but I just didn’t want to be running. I wish I could explain it better, but my head was in a very bad place.

I hit mile 10 – still on pace – and soon saw Tim and my friend Amanda, who were cheering together. I just shook my head and gave a thumbs down. Around mile 12, I thought I would make it to the half and then drop out. I just didn’t want to run anymore. I was so mentally defeated. Around this point, my friend Gary was running the opposite way, looking for people he knew on the course. I yelled hello to him, and he asked me if I wanted company. I told him yes, but that I was in a very, very bad place mentally and was most likely going to drop.

He suggested I slow down and take a walk break. I think I growled at him in response.

He kept running with me and talking, and I just grunted in return. Right before the halfway point, I stopped to a walk. “I can’t do this. I am dropping.” I started crying pretty hard. I was so disappointed, so upset, and felt like I was letting everyone, especially myself, down. I was physically fine, my mental state was just terrible. I called Tim sobbing and told him to come pick me up. At this point, my friend Katy, who had run the first leg of the relay, saw Gary and I walking, and she jogged across the street. She asked what was wrong and I told her, and she and Gary encouraged me to run a little, walk a little until Tim got there.

They distracted me enough that we ran an entire mile without me noticing (as my poor husband drove around looking for me), and we then dropped Katy off at the relay exchange. Gary and I soldiered on, and I still wasn’t convinced I was going to finish, as there were 12 miles to go. At this point, we saw Amanda, and I started crying again, and she jumped in and ran/walked with us, and gave me a really good pep talk about getting out of my head and running MY race.

That was when I knew I was going to finish.

Gary and I spent the next eight miles doing a run/walk. Physically, I was still mostly fine, my hamstrings were tight, and my hips were achy, but my head was just so dark. I must have said “I can’t believe this is happening,” a hundred times. Gary entertained me the whole time, telling stories, encouraging me to run when our walk breaks had gone on too long, and asking me to tell him about my dog (my favorite topic). He told me he could hang with me until mile 22, so I texted Tim and told him he was on deck to run me in at that point.

We hit the JCC, and I said goodbye to Gary, and Tim and I began the journey down Front Street. We were walking a lot. I had long stopped caring. However, before we hit mile 23, I realized we could spend the next hour walking, or we could run it in and come in under 4 hours. Once a new goal was set, my mental state started to brighten. We only walked once in the last 3+ miles, up the hill near the Walnut Street Bridge, which we had agreed upon previously. We were easily running low-8 minute miles. It was all in my head.

We hit mile 26, and Tim told me the finish line was mine, and he peeled off. I crossed in 3:55:09, a far cry from what I had hoped and trained for.

On one hand, I am filled with disappointment and frustration. On the other hand, I honestly cannot believe I crossed that finish line. I have never hit rock bottom like this, not even in Boston 2014.

tim kelly marathon

I am eternally grateful to Gary, Katy, Amanda, Tim and all the people who cheered for me and yelled encouraging things at me for being there for me at my worst. There is NO way I would have finished without them. And, ultimately, any day you can run (or run/walk/cry) 26.2 miles is a good day, even if it’s not on the terms you anticipated or wanted.

Categories: Running

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