Two Oakland-Based UPMC Hospitals Achieve Sustainability Designation

UPMC Presbyterian and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC have achieved Silver Plate and Gold Plate designation, respectively, through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program. The hospitals are the 15th and 16th locations to earn designation through the program.

“Becoming designated really gives us a sense of accomplishment. Hospital cafeterias and restaurants do some great things, but don’t always get recognition,” said Robert Franz, retail manager at UPMC Presbyterian.

“It’s nice to partner with organization that will help us reach our goal of helping the environment,” said Sarah Black, retail manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Franz and Black oversee the retail and food services and manage operations at their respective hospitals.

Both locations do incredible things when it comes to green practices. Magee-Womens incorporates freshly grown items into their menu and uses the flowers they grow for their retail shop.

“Magee-Womens uses the help of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to manage our three gardens,” said Black. “We look forward to having two bee hives on our roof in spring of 2018 as well!

“We also like to educate people through our Roots of Wellness program – a hub of information on nutritional, physical, emotional and environmental wellness for staff and visitors.”

The program includes bulletin boards throughout the hospital that display tips and facts to adopt a healthier lifestyle as well as functions in the cafeteria, such as cooking demos and wellness consulting. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s cafeteria serves around 1,200 to 1,500 people per day.

UPMC Presbyterian’s cafeteria, which serves around 3,000 to 4,000 people per day, is partnering with Freedom Farms to help bring in fresh local products every week – from jarred items like honey to fresh produce and local meats.

“It’s things like this that give the hospital’s staff more of an appreciation of what they’re getting on a daily basis at our cafeterias,” said Franz.

Franz and Black highly recommend that Oakland food establishments get on-board with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program to capitalize on the lasting value of functioning in greener and more sustainable ways.

“A lot of the things we were doing were already in the criteria to become designated! We filled out the online application and received our plate level, and Rebecca Bykoski, Program Manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, is always there to answer questions,” said Black. “Oakland really is a foodie city.”

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business. Interested in joining the program? Contact Jonathan Winkler: [email protected]

UPMC Presbyterian’s Summer Farm Markets
Hosted By Freedom Farms

Thursdays starting June 1
11AM – 2PM

Enjoy local produce, jarred products, local meats and baked goods.

Dates held in UPMC Presbyterian’s front entrance green space
along Fifth Avenue: June 22, July 20 & August 24.

All other Thursdays, this will be located outside of the
cafeteria on the 11th floor.

Pamela’s Diner – A Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant


An Oakland staple since 1985, Pamela’s Diner located at 3703 Forbes Avenue is one of the latest restaurants to be designated in the Sustainable Restaurants Program. Landing a Silver-Plate level of designation, owners Tim Blosat and Michele Mazzella are proud to be a part of the “green” movement. “We look forward to using the funds granted to us through the program to upgrade more equipment to Energy Star. Not to mention, Rebecca Bykoski, program manager of Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, was extremely friendly and awesome to work with — she made the process very easy,” said Mazzella and Blosat. Pamela’s Diner recently upgraded their refrigerator system to an Energy Star undercounter refrigerator.

The two also encourage other Oakland restaurants to join the program and get designated. “We strongly recommend the program. Not only for the benefits for the business, but more so for the environment,” they continued.

Pamela’s Diner is also happy to see the returning university students as well as meeting the new ones that come through their doors. “As always we enjoy having the students return. It’s always is a delight to see the empty plate and their smiles of content.”

Pamela’s Diner is open Monday to Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and they welcome you to stop by and try their most popular dish: The Morning After Breakfast Special – 2 eggs (any style), Ham, bacon, or sausage, and 2 of Pamela’s famous (crepe like) hotcakes!

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business.

Sushi Fuku Planning Improvements Thanks to Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program


The Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program, a sustainability performance initiative providing recognition for leading restaurants in southwestern PA, has designated eight Oakland restaurants since its kickoff in September of last year. One establishment in particular already has plans on using its funds awarded through the program to make sustainable improvements. Ting Yen, owner of Sushi Fuku – a Sustainable Pittsburgh silver-level sushi restaurant located at 120 Oakland Avenue – looks forward to installing some newer, greener equipment! “I plan on using the funds to replace our 10-year-old reach-in freezer with a new Energy Star one that uses less energy,” said Ting. “We spend quite a bit on our monthly electric bills – especially in the summer, and improvements like this help.” Ting also plans on purchasing some new strip-curtains for his freezer with the funds.

Ting recommends that all restaurants should jump on board with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program. “This program is a great learning opportunity for restaurant owners on adopting greener choices, not to mention that it helps save money!… Consumers care about sustainability now more than ever, so it’s the perfect time to make improvements,” he continued.

Rebecca Bykoski, Program Manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program, has helped Ting and the other seven designated restaurants in the area make improvements. “Rebecca is very knowledgeable and helpful in the designation process – I learned so much. I wish I had known her years ago when I started!” said Ting.

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Being designated enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business.

Interested? Contact Rebecca Bykoski: [email protected].

BITE Catering

Community Human Services empowers individuals and families to live in stable housing, connect to community resources and build relationships. It’s hard to further garnish an organization that provides so much good to the community, but there’s another part of CHS that shines bright in the world of service. BITE Catering, an affiliate of CHS, not only feeds over 1,800 people a month but also provide vocational opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment in the Pittsburgh region. Tim McLaughlin, Chef and Food Services Supervisor at BITE Catering, has the culinary skills and passion for being a community provider to play a huge role in the realm of caring.

“If I were to describe how it feels to wake up every day and go to work at such a good organization, I would describe it as ‘rewarding’,” said McLaughlin. “The nonprofit world is new to me, and since I’ve started, I’m blown away every day by the level of care all my fellow coworkers show at BITE & CHS… It makes me proud to be a part of it all, and it’s amazing how deeply invested everyone is at both organizations,” he continued. McLaughlin graduated from Culinary Arts at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2005 and has quite the impressive resume having cooked at the Duquesne Club, worked as a sous chef at the Bigelow Grille alongside esteemed chef/restaurateur, Kevin Sousa, and worked as the Executive Chef at Andrew’s Steak & Seafood at the Rivers Casino.

“I’ve worked in fine dining for quite a while, but through BITE Catering, I feel like I’m serving a higher purpose,” said McLaughlin.

BITE Catering will be happy to accommodate any dietary requests including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free diets. Please call us at 412-246-1656 with any questions or to arrange a catering!

BITE Catering Menu