Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pittsburgh Sweetheart Entrepreneurs 2012, 2-6-12

Positively Pittsburgh Live!
Pittsburgh Sweetheart Entrepreneurs 2012

J. André Weisbrod of Staar Financial and Shonda Lynnette Weisbrod of Etouffee Catering
Lindsay and Adrian Hensley, Cozy Cafe
Vince and Manon La Monica, Celebrity Limousine

Relationships are wonderful and amazing and when you are in love you really want to spend time being together as much as possible. But what happens when that "togetherness" involves business? Listen in as our sweetheart entrepreneurs talk about how they met and the fun they are having as business owners.

Etouffee Catering
Shonda Lynnette Weisbrod
Shonda and André come from very different backgrounds, but are now putting their minds together as they support and help one another in their careers. One knows money, one knows meals, and for these two, that's a recipe for success!

Shonda is originally from Louisiana and when Hurricane Katrina hit, she listened to God and he pointed her North. She made the move to Ohio without a clear plan of what the future would hold. After casually going on MySpace when she was bored, she began talking to André and soon he was driving to Ohio to meet Shonda in person. They instantly connected and now five years later, they are coming up on their first wedding anniversary.

J. André Weisbrod
André is President of Weisbrod Financial Services, Inc. and STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor and advisor to the STAAR Investment Trust family of mutual funds. He is a Pittsburgh-based financial advisor providing individuals, businesses and organizations with comprehensive investment services.

Shonda has recently started Etouffee Catering and is bringing a taste of the South right here to Pittsburgh. She focuses on Cajun food specialties, such as Crawfish Etouffee: a Cajun dish typically served with shellfish over rice and Delectable Jambalaya: a favorite that found its way into Creole cookery in the late 1700's. It is a Cajun/Creole dish made from a mixture of meats, rice and seasonings blended to produce a delicious dish. True comfort food!

These two unique minds blend their complimentary interests together and share ideas for business growth. André helps consult with Shonda on her business plans, but stays away from the actual cooking! And this is a whole family affair. Shonda’s children are a large part of her business, and they too have already been bit with the entrepreneurial bug.

You can contact Shonda at etouffeecatering@gmail.com or call her at 412-992-0652.

The Cozy Cafe
Lindsay Hensley
Ten years ago, Lindsay and Adrian were working at different restaurants in Robinson Township. They were both in a relationship when they ended up meeting one night through mutual friends. They spent the whole night talking, and six months later when their situations changed, they finally began dating.

Just a few months later they found themselves on their way to Charlotte, North Carolina working for Outback Steakhouse, and that eventually led them full circle back to Pittsburgh, when Adrian accepted a job as manager of the Outback Steakhouse at PNC Park.

Adrian Hensley
The happy couple continued to work in the industry and welcomed two sons to the family: Riley and Carson. One fateful day, the opportunity to buy Sue’s Cozy Corner Café came their way and they took the risk and bought it.

They changed the name to The Cozy Café and opened their doors in March of 2011, Adrian acting as Chef and Lindsay a hostess. They worked together to tailor the menu to only offer fresh, homemade wholesome entrees at an affordable rate. The café offers breakfast and lunch, and after 3:00 pm they cater to private events and meetings. The café also caters off-site, bringing their breakfast and lunch creations to outside offices and organizations.

The café’s top selling breakfast item is the breakfast burrito and for lunch, it’s the classic Reuben. All of the bread used in the café comes from Breadworks, located in the North Side and the coffee comes from LaPrima in the Strip District. Both of these companies focus a lot of time and effort on the community, and that’s something Lindsay and Adrian are striving to do, as well.

The couple’s main goal is to make The Cozy Café, truly cozy; a place where guests feel like they are coming over for a meal, as they would to a family or friends house. They also want to help the community by offering this delicious fare at an inexpensive rate. The couple is currently looking to add dinner to their menu, with hopes that will be completed by April of this year.

The Cozy Café is located in the West End, just mere minutes from Station Square at 400 South Main Street. It is open Monday-Friday 8am-3pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. You can contact the café at 412-920-1622.

The Pittsburgh Tour Company and Celebrity Limousines LLC
Vince and Manon LaMonica
Vince LaMonica grew up in New York, but his life brought him to Pittsburgh and he and Manon ended up working together at a little Italian restaurant downtown on 4th Avenue. They found themselves hanging out not only during work, but after, and quickly realized they had the same goals, the same drive, and they already knew they worked well together as a team. After five years of dating they married in 2004.

In 2006 they took a ride in a rented limousine and couldn’t believe how horrible the experience had been. They knew with their devotion they could make it a lot better and they started Celebrity Limousines. They wanted their customers to be top of mind and they bought beautiful sedans, limos, and buses to serve a variety of clientele.

The couple agrees on most aspects of the business, and it’s easy when the main goal has always been to provide luxurious professional service with continued customer satisfaction. With six years under their belt, they are still growing and expanding, providing services for personal and corporate events. There are still spots open for Valentine’s Day!

In 2009, the couple took on a new venture. They felt that every city needed a great tour, especially one on a classic Double Decker Bus. They started The Pittsburgh Tour Company and purchased an antique Double Decker Bus from London. They purchased it in Canada and made the long trek back to Pittsburgh, naming the giant, Martha.

Since that time, three other buses with open tops have been purchased, fondly named Louise, Greta and Esther. The Pittsburgh Tour Company operates Hop On Hop Off tours seven days a week. The tickets are good “all day” and guests can explore the city at various stops and get right back on the bus when they want to move on.

On April 1st of this year, the tour will expand to include new areas such as Oakland, Point State Park and Market Square. The length of the tour has also increased and there are 20 amazing stops to enjoy, no joke! Whether you are a Pittsburgh native, or an out-of-towner, the tours are sure to offer a fun day of sightseeing and shopping in our beautiful city.

You can contact Celebrity Limousines at 412-466-4646 or http://www.celebritylimospittsburgh.com/
You can contact The Pittsburgh Tour Company at 412-381-TOUR or http://www.pghtours.com/  
This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Listen to the show here

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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