Bob Von Scio was looking for expansion, looking for convenience and looking for Washington.

Heritage Craft Butchers found all three at 243 S. Main St. Von Scio and co-owner Jared White opened a distribution facility/store there a month ago, adjacent to Chicco Baccello cafe and slightly up from the train station. The partners are leasing a space previously occupied by a salon.

Their business, based in West Bethlehem Township near Marianna, specializes in craft meats and charcuterie items. The owners cut, cure, prepare and sell meat selections.

Business has ramped up during the pandemic, and the butchers needed space for storage and from which to distribute their monthly Butcher Bags and weekly Essentials Bags filled with meats and other items.

“Our Butcher Bag subscription program over the past year has grown to the point that there’s not enough space in our (West Bethlehem) shop to store everything,” Von Scio said. But he quickly added that location was a key element to this latest expansion.

Heritage has customers from the South Hills and Washington County, and opening a distribution point in the city of Washington makes it more convenient for them to pick up orders there than to navigate the serpentine roads to West Bethlehem, especially if snow is falling.

Convenience also was the impetus behind the owners opening a second location in Waynesburg in July 2019, to satisfy Greene County customers. That, too, is a distribution/storage site.

The butchers had been distributing bags in parking areas, such as the Main Street Pavilion and Washington Brewing, and at farmers markets. Colder weather is due, so pickups will be at Heritage’s three locations.

For now, the South Main shop is essentially a weekend endeavor, open 2 to 6 p.m. Fridays and 12 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Von Scio said the business has a number of food subscribers, “but anyone can come in and buy limited items” at the Washington shop, including pot pies, steaks and cheesecakes. Heritage Craft Butchers has locally sourced and produced items and those from local vendors, including Elysian Fields lamb.

He is thrilled with the new building, calling it “cavernous” and saying it required “absolutely no renovations. We swept the floors and put in a ridiculous number of freezers and refrigerators.” Black and white photos of bacon, sausages and other meats tastefully adorn the walls.

Heritage Craft Butchers opened for business in January 2019, in a former Marianna bank. Now the owners have a third location, one that is strategically convenient.

“We hope to continue to add to what we have here,” Von Scio said. “It is a very nice location.”

Southwestern PA Human Services

Jeff Burks Mascara established a professional home near his hometown.

After growing up in Speers and graduating from Charleroi Area High School, he landed a job in Charleroi – with Southwestern PA Human Services. Mascara started as a community caseworker in 1975 and worked his way to the top of the nonprofit – literally.

Now, 45 years later, he is on the verge of retirement. Mascara, executive vice president and chief executive officer since 2000, will step down at year’s end. Kellie McKevitt will succeed him in both positions.

“With Jeff’s vision, SPHS has taken tremendous strides forward,” Ken Wiltz, president of the SPHS board of directors, said in a prepared statement. “The organization enjoys an excellent reputation with funding sources, as well as with the people we serve and the communities we work in, due in no small part to Jeff and the team he has led for the past two decades.”

SPHS provides health and human services through a network of nine nonprofits. Those organizations serve more than 70,000 individuals in Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland and Butler counties.

The agency’s programs include behavioral health, substance abuse treatment, homelessness prevention, senior citizen services, in-home aging services, child care and residential care for the developmentally disabled.

Mascara has been executive VP and CEO since 2000.

McDevitt, SPHS’s chief operating officer, has worked in the SPHS system for 29 years. Mascara said of her: “I know Kellie will be an outstanding leader for this outstanding organization.”

She will begin her new responsibilities Jan. 1, 2021.


Mark P. Gannon, MD,

  • has been named chief medical officer of Jefferson Hospital. Allegheny Health Network announced the appointment recently.

Gannon, a South Hills resident, will lead the medical staff and clinical operations at the hospital and its affiliated sites. He came to Jefferson Hospital in 1993 as a general surgeon, and has since held numerous clinical leadership positions there. They include chief of surgery and, most recently, director of Comprehensive Breast Program.

Chong Park, MD, president at AHN Jefferson, said in a prepared statement: “Dr. Gannon . . . will be an outstanding CMO and a passionate advocate for the hospital’s clinical staff, patients and the many communities that we serve.”

Tariq Cheema, MD,

  • has been appointed division director of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy with Allegheny Health Network.

He is a specialist in pulmonary medicine, critical care and neuro-critical care. Cheema most recently was the division’s vice chairman and the director of the AHN Breathing Disorders Center.

He will continue to serve as program director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, medical operations officer for the AHN Medicine Institute, and the division’s lead on research efforts.


Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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