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BUSINESS UPDATES | Penguin City delivers first shipment to West Virginia

Also among today's business updates: Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber; PolishYoungstown; Kravitz Deli; Valley STEM + ME2 Academy; El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant; Your Mobile Cosmo; and Soft Touch Furniture.

YOUNGSTOWN — Penguin City Brewing Co. on Friday delivered its first shipment of beer to Wine & Beverage Merchants in Weirton, W.Va.

Penguin City met with Wine & Beverage Merchants in 2019, and the contract was finalized this summer.

“We talked with Wine & Beverage Merchants in the fall of 2019, and due to COVID, we had to wait. We are thrilled to move forward and get Penguin City Beer into another state and start expanding our market,” Aspasia Lyras-Bernacki, co-owner of Penguin City, said in a news release.

Penguin City Beer will be distributed throughout West Virginia.

It also will be distributed to other Ohio markets in 2022 when the brewer operates out of its new facility, which will open in the winter. 

Penguin City purchased a 20-barrel brewhouse with four 60-barrel fermenters plus two 60-barrel conditioning tanks and a 3.5-barrel pilot system from Deutsche Beverage Systems at a cost of $550,000. It will more than double its capacity.

“The tanks are on their way and should arrive in our warehouse early November,” Richard Bernacki, co-owner of Penguin City, said. “We are anxiously anticipating their arrival so we can put our plans and creative ideas into action.”

Melissa Maiorano joins regional chamber

YOUNGSTOWN — Melissa Maiorano has joined the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Economic Development team as manager of workforce development. 

Maiorano, of Boardman, will lead the regional chamber’s JobsNow program — a partnership with JobsOhio’s “Ohio To Work” initiative and regional partnerships with educators and training organizations — while working to support the workforce needs of the chamber’s business members. 

Maiorano previously was a regional pharmacy technician specialist with Rite Aid Pharmacy, where she recruited, hired, trained and developed pharmacy technicians for 20 stores in the Youngstown region to ensure that each associate remained in compliance with the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy guidelines and met educational requirements to be certified in the state.

“We are thrilled to have Melissa join our team,” Sarah Boyarko, the regional chamber’s COO and senior vice president of Economic Development, said in a news release. “She understands the importance of her role and has the ability to take the chamber’s workforce services to the next level.”

National Pierogi Day-Youngstown event planned for Friday

LIBERTY — PolishYoungstown will host its seventh annual National Pierogi Day-Youngstown event from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Kravitz Deli, 3135 Belmont Ave.

The deli will offer dine-in and pickup of a variety of pierogies, as well as other Polish food and beer. The event will also feature Polish music and a virtual pierogi-making demonstration by Sip & Pinch.

For more information, call 330-759-7889.

Valley STEM + ME2 accepting applications for 2022-23 school year

CANFIELD — Enrollment is open for incoming ninth- and 10th-grade students interested in applying to the Valley STEM + ME2 Academy for the 2022-23 school year.  

The school is housed at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center campus, 7300 N. Palmyra Road. 

The school’s mission is to prepare students with skills necessary to compete in the global economy while nurturing the characteristics of discovery, invention, application and entrepreneurship, a news release states. The school has a STEM designation from the Ohio Department of Education.

For more information or to schedule a private tour, contact Jessica Cene, marketing coordinator, at 330-729-4000 or

To apply, click here.

3 Valley businesses to have ribbon-cutting ceremonies

Three Mahoning Valley businesses are having celebrations this week and will have ribbon-cutting ceremonies. 

Here’s what is planned:

  • El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, 1738 Boardman-Poland Road, Poland, will have a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday. El Vallarta serves authentic Mexican dishes, including a diverse menu of burritos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and more. The restaurant also offers steak, chicken and seafood choices. The restaurant opened at the Poland location March 31, 2014. Another local restaurant is located at 3101 E. State St., Hermitage, Pa. The owners opened their first restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2003. In 2006, they moved to the Cleveland area and opened a restaurant in Strongsville.
  • Your Mobile Cosmo, 1912 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday. The mobile salon offers an alternative to the traditional salon, providing an opportunity for people who didn’t have access to professional services previously, a news release states. “There will also be classes for young girls and boys available soon, because [whether] we know it or not, talent is not capped by age,” owner Kanisha Teeter said in the release. “I started doing and cutting hair when I was 11 years old. Community outreach is mandatory right now, and I look forward to doing my part.” Your Mobile Cosmo can be contacted at 330-787-7911.
  • Soft Touch Furniture, 1560 S. State St., Girard, will celebrate its warehouse expansion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday. Soft Touch Furniture is a family-owned and operated business that has been making commercial furniture for more than 45 years. The store recently finished construction on a new backstock material warehouse. Soft Touch Furniture stocks thousands of yards of commercial-grade fabric, vinyl, leather and recycled leather, and the backstock material warehouse is open to anyone.
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