Umbrella Café looks to fill vegan- and healthful-food niche in Downtown Pittsburgh | On The Side | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Umbrella Café looks to fill vegan- and healthful-food niche in Downtown Pittsburgh

The venue is a collaboration between Om Nom Bake Studio, Soup Nancy’s and Savsanna Juice

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Karla Schroeder, of Om Nom Bake Studio, whips up a batch of Little Nebbie cookies - PHOTO BY THEO SCHWARZ
  • Photo by Theo Schwarz
  • Karla Schroeder, of Om Nom Bake Studio, whips up a batch of Little Nebbie cookies

Since opening last month, The Umbrella Café has received a warm welcome to Downtown, partly by filling the need for vegan options. 

“We try to do more than salad,” says Karla Schroeder, of Om Nom Bake Studio. Offering cookies, pastries and other baked goods, Om Nom is one of three providers under the café’s umbrella. The other two are Soup Nancys and Savasana Juice.

 “It’s a collaboration. I knew that I couldn’t do it myself,” says Linzee Michalcin, of Soup Nancys. “We also try to use local people’s stuff and promote them as much as possible.”

Adds Steve Bland, from Savasana, “All of us started cooking for our friends, and … we really enjoy cooking for people.”

All three brands got their start at the Pittsburgh Public Market, a Strip District business incubator. “We were all able to cut our teeth on small-business skills,” says Matt Schroeder, the other half of Om Nom. “The Public Market was a great way for us to develop our customer base. We have a lot of loyal customers.” 

So far, Umbrella’s lunch specials have included prosciutto-fig grilled cheese on multigrain bread, cream of spinach and artichoke soup, and vegan Chinese vegetable soup.

“We’ve got a focus on vegan options, but that’s not all we do. We’ve got pretty responsible portion sizes and healthy options,” Matt says. “I say ‘healthy,’ but today we also have short ribs with mac-and-cheese.” 951 Liberty Ave., Downtown. www.theumbrellacafepgh.com


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