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🗣 Locals to Know: Meet Katie Geise, food taster, goat fan and advocate for Pittsburgh’s fantastic farms.

Today’s Locals to Know feature is sponsored by Harvie.

Tell us about your work—your job and/or any volunteer work. 

I’m a sourcing manager for Harvie, a grocery subscription delivery service that emphasizes Pittsburgh-area producers. We make it easy to discover new businesses, shop sustainably, and connect with your community.

As a sourcing manager, I spend my days growing partnerships with producers, tasting everything from pretzels to water kefir, and bringing all of that great food to our members. Left on today’s to-do list: sample a new skyr from northern central PA, find us a sustainable source for tinned fish, and send an order to one of our producers for a new fresh pasta that sounds incredible.

Dry and bottled goods stacked neatly in a pantry.
A sample of some delicious local goods from Harvie. Yum!

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh memory? 

Too many to choose. Last May, I got married at Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy, whose creamery I used to manage before coming to Harvie. Because we had a small group, we got to pull out every Pittsburgh stop: seasonal food from Dianoia’s Eatery, cake from La Gourmandine and locally grown flowers from Catchfly Gardens. Hard to beat seeing my nearest and dearest dressed to the nines surrounded by a herd of dairy goats.

Pick a favorite local outdoor experience. What is it? What’re we doing? Who’s going with ya?

Anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t shut up about pickleball for all of 2021. It’s America’s fastest-growing sport! There’s a regulation-size pickleball court in Verona and at Blue Slide Park. You’ll find me there, cracking jokes with pals and forgetting to keep score.

What’s your favorite local Instagram or TikTok account and why?

Instagram is an important tool for me to stay connected to the food scene here in Pittsburgh. Too many great accounts to name, but Niko Ambeliotis (@nikothebaker) from Mediterra is a stand-out. We work with so many incredible producers at Harvie, but it’s a special gift to be able to distill your story into effective social media.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Living in Upper Lawrenceville, I have the excellent privilege of two of Pittsburgh’s finest in walking distance: Pusadee’s Garden and Allegheny Wine Mixer. Can we consider it one meal if I start off with Pusadee’s khao yum salad and pork belly hung lay, cross the street for AWM’s rotating cheese and wine recommendation (always go on recommendation!) and come back home for a Leona’s ice cream sandwich from my freezer? (Editor’s note: totally.)

What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can our readers help you with it?

Are you a new producer or do you have a tip about a great new food product made here in Pittsburgh? Give me a holler! Our project at Harvie is simple but ambitious: make Pittsburgh a world-class city to be a farmer or food producer. Part of that project is actively laying the groundwork for new businesses to start or a small operation to take that next step in growth. Food is one of those wacky industries where a greater diversity of businesses helps everyone—a rising tide lifts all boats, as they say.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Like the rest of the world: getting out and seeing people again. I’m looking forward to walking farms, touring production facilities—you know, actually petting goats!

Interested in being featured and want to share your own cool project in the ‘Burgh? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TI Locals to Know 2022” and you just might  see yourself in a future newsletter.