Travels from the Strip to Millvale
    John Tarallo, owner of Steel City Salt.

    John Tarallo, owner of Steel City Salt.

    For the past four years, Steel City Salt Company has occupied space at 21st and Penn alongside Mon Aimee Chocolat in the Strip District. Proprietor John Tarallo says it began with a four-foot table and has grown to two massive tables of salts, rubs, and spices. John is “an avid cook and spice guru” who wanted to help others expand their thinking about food and salt.

    When asked why the Strip, John replies, “I love the Strip! It’s the people you meet from around town and around the world.”

    “My great-grandfather was a huckster at the produce terminal in the Strip during the 1920s,” John recalls. (A huckster was a man who came around with his cart of vegetables.) He says his great-grandfather began with a horse and buggy and saved enough to buy a pickup truck and to eventually open a produce store in Lawrenceville on Ligonier Street.

    With beginnings as a street vendor, not too unlike his great-grandfather, John and his family own and operate Steel City Salt Company. They pride themselves on quality and exceptional service. They hand-fill orders to ensure quality, integrity, and freshness. John says there are many locals and out-of-towners who shop at Steel City Salt. The company has a website (steelcitysalt.com) where you can order online. “We do a lot of shipping,” comments John. “We have a lot of repeat customers.”

    Steel City Salt’s street-corner display in the Strip.

    Steel City Salt’s street-corner display in the Strip.

    Steel City Salt Company sells smoked salts such as alderwood, hickory, and mesquite. Additionally, John searches near and far for the best salts he can find. You can even find a video on their Facebook page of a recent trip to salt ponds in Peru. Some examples of their imported salts are Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt, Cyprus Flake Salt, Peruvian Pink Salt, and Trapani Sicilian Sea Salt. Where Steel City Salt Company really does well is in their “small batch blends, infusions, and fresh ground spices.” Their best sellers include Black and Gold blend, Fleur de Sel, Lemon Lime Salt, Malt Vinegar Salt, Tellichery Peppercorns.

    Steel City Salt has just opened a second storefront and headquarters in Millvale. This location provides room for growth and more room for products, and gives the company space for production and a place to fill the needs of the growing e-business.

    Steel City’s salty new Millvale location.

    Steel City’s salty new Millvale location.

    The Millvale location’s hours are: Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to their salts, rubs, and spices, Steel City Salt offers local foods such as specialty mustards, pickles, and jams. The business is located in the heart of Millvale at 206 Grant Avenue.

    John Tarallo proudly states: “I love teaching people about salt!” And even though Steel City Salt Company has a new location in Millvale, John says, “We will carry on in the Strip District. The Strip runs through my veins!”

    Elizabeth A. Kunz is a freelance writer specializing in feature writing and fundraising development. She resides in Wexford with her husband, Dan, and two children, Thomas and Stella.