The Center of Harmony Celebrates Earth Day, Will Welcome New Wine Cafe

Bottles and Barrels and Rustic Acres Winery will open inside the center in June. Plus, learn more about Just Pam Custom Horse Show Apparel and Consignments.

Blue spruce trees “liners” courtesy of grocer McGinnis Sisters and wildflower seed packets from Core 3 marketing consultants were among the giveaways as

The event featured vendors—including silverware recycled into art by MK Kreations of Kittanning and vegan pastries from Pittsburgh’s Vegan Goddess—and eco-conscious activities for children. There also was a "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" yard sale and a cookout.

Keeping in mind the cool spring weather, Mike Omstead handed out samples of homemade warm, mulled wine—and more is on the way.

Along with fiancée Heather Simmons, Omstead, of Zelienople, is opening Bottles and Barrels and Rustic Acres Winery inside The Center of Harmony. The venue will be a satellite location for the Butler-based Rustic Acres Winery and feature wine-tastings and cheese platters in its café. There also will be a retail section of the store that will sell wine-making and homebrew beer kits, gift basket, wine accessories and more.

With a rustic interior under construction that will reflect its winery roots, Bottles and Barrels also will have an outdoor deck where customers can hang out and sip their selections. The venue is slated to open June 9 and Omstead, an engineer who has long been making his own wines, said people in the community already are inquiring about it.

“There is nowhere really to go right now for an outdoor café or a wine bar,” he said. “The reaction has been very positive.”

Another new addition to eco-friendly —which holds a community center, space for wellness seminars and retail shops—is Just Pam Custom Horse Show Apparel and Consignments.

Opened March 31, the store features custom creations designed and sewn by Pam Johnson of Butler. The shop also sells consignment items from the horse world.

Johnson, who began sewing when she was 12, said she started making the custom clothing close to a decade ago when her daughter, Aleksandra Johnson, began riding in quarter horse competitions.

The flashy outfits riders wear during the competition—which are designed to draw the judges’ eyes—often come with a high price tag. Johnson noted one of the first outfits her daughter, now a student at Slippery Rock University, picked for a competition cost about $4,000.

“It was something we could never afford, so I made her something,” she said.

And a business was born.

A fan of reality show Project Runway and an avid Vogue reader, Johnson said she takes her cues on the designs from the fashion world. When customers ask for a custom creation, Johnson presents them three hand-drawn possibilities and then works with clients to make outfits that fit like a dream—and ride like one too.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. 

Although the day was hampered at bit by the —not to mention the Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup hockey playoffs—Josh Meeder, who cofounded The Center of Harmony with partner Dana Lowers, said the event was a success.

Attendees also were encouraged to bring their old televisions, computers, monitors, stereos and other household electronics to the center. The items will be recycled through eLoop LLC, a Pittsburgh-based sustainability group that specializes in hard-to-recycle items. Meeder said several tons of electronic items were collected at the event.

“We did a ton of recycling,” he said.


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