New Allentown shop offers holistic health for pets

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Althea Seeds shows an herbal supplement that her store carries to aid in a pet’s health.
Althea Seeds shows an herbal supplement that her store carries to aid in a pet’s health. - (Photo By Stacy Wescoe)

Is your cat a picky eater? Is your elderly dog having trouble with his joints? Maybe you just like to spoil your parrot.

Whatever your special pet-nutrition needs, The Dining Dog Healthy Pet Market aims to have the answer.

Owned by Althea Seeds and Risa Krohn, The Dining Dog in Allentown is a different shop for pet lovers and their pets.

The shop defies an easy explanation. It has dry and canned pet foods and treats that many pet stores carry. It specializes in natural and organic options.

But there also is a bakery and kitchen where pet owners can buy freshly made homemade dog treats, parrot loaf for birds or chicken cacciatore for cats.

“We can make just about anything,” Seeds said.

For pets with kidney problems, allergies or sore joints, there also are herbal and vitamin remedies that can bolster the treatment a pet may be receiving from a veterinarian.

“I heal animals through nature,” Seeds said. “I’ve learned how to take real food, grow it in the garden, cook it up and bring the pet back into balance.”

Seeds said she is an animal lover and has long worked with rescue animals, when she learned many of the natural and holistic therapies that can be used to improve the lives of animals.

She hopes the store in the Dorneyville Shopping Center at 3245 Hamilton Blvd. in Allentown will be a place where people can find healthy alternatives for their pets.

For more information, visit www.thediningdog.com.

The owners of the former Stratus Restaurant, which was Mezza Luna before that, are hoping the third time is a charm with a new name, theme and menu.

A grand opening was held March 14-15 at Chicago Restaurant and Nightlife.

Co-owner Dave Gubitosi said that with Stratus, he and business partner Eugenio Orona were trying to target a more upscale crowd in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered community.

“Unfortunately we kind of narrowed ourselves too much,” Gubitosi said.

The new restaurant will be more in line with the offerings when the restaurant was Mezza Luna, and will have Chicago-style food such as deep-dish stuffed pizza and hot dogs on the menu.

He also is bringing back nightlife that he hopes will have a broader appeal with karaoke nights, disc jockeys playing ’70s, ’80s and ’90s music and a Latin night in the newly renamed Club Gravity at the establishment.

“We’re still open to everyone. We open our doors to everybody, but we’re trying to spread out the appeal more,” Gubitosi said.

Chicago Restaurant and Nightlife is at 1179 Airport Road in Allentown. For more information, call 610-776-2090.

Green Hills Manor, the personal care community on the campus of The Heritage of Green Hills, in Reading, has opened a new memory care unit.

The unit is being promoted as an affordable option for people in eastern and central Pennsylvania who are in need of care for dementia or dementia-related Alzheimer’s disease.

The memory care unit accommodates 12 residents in private or semi-private bedrooms.

An open house for the new unit was held March 13.

After teaching English to foreign language speakers, two professors are now looking to bring a new culture to people in the Greater Lehigh Valley by offering fresh Egyptian cuisine.

Until recently, both were full-time professors. Now, husband and wife team Tim and Hala Rihan-Bonner of Bethlehem are pursuing their dream – to start a mobile food truck business.

“We decided to reassess our lives,” said Hala Rihan-Bonner, now a part-time professor at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem Township. “We both realized as much as we loved education and working with students, we just realized we weren’t doing what we set out to do when we started these careers.”

Tim Bonner, formerly director of English as a second language at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, echoed her sentiments, noting that late last year they developed a business plan and bought a 26-foot long truck.

“We decided it had to be both of us,” said Bonner, now an adjunct professor at Lehigh.

Both will still teach part-time, but the new business is their full-time concern.

To build awareness for The Taza Truck (taza stands for “fresh” in Arabic), the Bonners have two teaser billboards in Lehigh County – one at the Route 22 and Interstate 78 split and another at Route 22 near Airport Road – anticipating their March 22 launch.

On that day from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., the truck will be at the Six-Pack Shop parking lot at 1635 Broadway in Salisbury Township across from KidsPeace.

“Our plan is that every day of the week we will be in a different location,” he said.

So far, locations include Upper Saucon’s Stabler Corporate Center near the Promenade Shops in Center Valley, Kutztown University, the industrial park by Route 100 in Upper Macungie Township and festivals such as Mayfair Festival of the Arts in Allentown in May and the Allentown Fair in August. Other potential locations include a spot at Musikfest in Bethlehem and Garlic Fest in Easton.

A locator map on the company’s website, www.thetazatruck.com, will show patrons where the truck will be each day from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Bonners also will use social media to promote their locations.

“One of the challenges we are going to face is food trucks being associated with greasy food,” Hala Rihan-Bonner said.

She said her food will be made fresh daily, and include Egyptian recipes adapted from her mother, including foul (a dish with fava beans, spices and other vegetables served with fresh pita or pita chips), arnabit (lightly fried cauliflower with tahini sauce) and red lentil soup. The truck also will feature homemade meats, including Egyptian fried chicken and kofta (a type of breaded meat patty), along with hummus, cheeses, desserts and many gluten-free options.

“If this goes as we project, we are hoping that in the following year, we’ll put out another truck and another after that,” she said.

Tim Bonner noted that the more food trucks in the Lehigh Valley, even from competitors, the better they all do.

“The food truck culture has exploded in large cities; it’s just a different mindset,” Hana Rihan-Bonner said. “This is how we are hoping to build the food truck culture in the Valley. There’s a huge population that’s craving that.”

Down the road, they would like to work with culinary students from local colleges and possibly host a food-truck festival in the Valley.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle on .

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