Posts Tagged ‘Penguin Point’

More Penguins In Pittsburgh

April 5, 2012

Move over Pittsburgh Penguins players – even with the playoffs just around the corner there are some new penguins snatching some attention in Pittsburgh. The National Aviary in Pittsburgh recently welcomed two African penguin chicks that were the first to hatch at the aviary in late February.  The aviary held a celebration called the “Hatch Party” for the chicks last Friday where the chicks made their first public appearance and guests were able to participate in different penguin-friendly activities. The chicks are the offspring of Sidney and Bette, two of the 12 penguins that live in the aviary’s Penguin Point exhibit. Tribby, who was named after Penguin Point exhibit sponsor Trib Total Media, hatched Feb. 26. The other chick, whose name is being auctioned to the public, hatched Feb. 29. Guests who came to celebrate the birth of the penguins at the Hatch Party were able to meet the two chicks and learn different facts about the species of the bird, as well as participate in games and other activities. Among those activities was a live penguin painting done by one of the 12 fully-grown penguins. Attendees were also able to bid on another painting done by the penguins and a signed Sidney Crosby jersey. During the Hatch Party, many of the aviary personnel walked around and shared facts about the species. Steve Sarro, director of Animal Collections at the National Aviary, was in attendance and informed the guests about the penguins and new chicks. Sarro explained that the chicks were raised by their mother and father for about three weeks and are now being hand-raised by the expert penguin trainers on staff until the end of the summer. “We want the chicks to understand that we are caretakers and food givers to them, and that they should not be scared of us,” Sarro said at the Hatch Party on Friday. Sarro said that at birth the chicks weighed a little below 2 ounces and now weigh about 3.5 to 4 pounds. Once fully grown, the chicks will weigh about 6 to 8 pounds. Although they will grow rapidly to the adult stage, the chicks will still find some difficulty once they join the rest of the penguin colony in the exhibit, but in the meantime they are being kept company by some penguin chick stuffed animals from Penguin Place. “The chicks will be the low man on the totem pole for a while,” Sarro said. “They will learn their place in the hierarchy real quick.” Another aviary employee who enlightened guests was Maria Fusco, a senior biology major at Point Park University.Fusco is an intern at the National Aviary and has interned there since the fall semester. Fusco said the aviary has had an air of excitement around it since the chicks hatched. She said there was no official announcement to the employees about the chicks hatching, but word quickly spread to everyone, and the excitement began. Fusco hopes that the word will spread as quickly to the public and that there will be an increase in attendance to come see the chicks. “Now is a really great time to come to the aviary,” Fusco said at the Hatch Party on Friday. “It’s a unique opportunity to see birds, like the new penguin chicks, that aren’t even native to this country … you don’t have to travel across the world to see them.” The aviary staff may have been excited to see the chicks, but the excitement was not limited to them. One of the guests, Chelsea Prior, 27, was a first-time guest to the National Aviary but has always been a penguin lover. “I have always been interested in the National Aviary,” Prior said at the Hatch Party on Friday. “I always wanted to come, and this event gave me a chance to see when it’s less crowded than usual.” Prior was enthusiastic about seeing the chicks and other birds for the first time and expects to come back to visit the aviary often. “I totally want to come more to watch the penguin chicks grow,” Prior said. “I am a part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and I plan on bringing my sister to see them.” Another guest, Kira Walters, 30, who came with Prior to the event also wants to watch the penguins as they continue to take steps in maturing from their newborn stage. “I think it’s interesting that they act like little human babies with how clumsy and wobbly they are,” Walters said at the Hatch Party on Friday. The public can now see the new African penguin chicks daily at the National Aviary. For more information, visit

Penguin Chick (right) with penguin plush from yours truly.

Newest Pittsburgh Penguin

March 27, 2012

There’s a new Pittsburgh Penguin, but it’s not what you think.  This little guy is a baby African penguin and his tiny black eyelids grew heavy after downing his 11th smelt. Big brother Tribby managed to gulp down 16 of the small fish before he, too, conked out in his handler’s lap. “Oh, yeah, he’s out,” said Chris Gaus, lead penguin trainer at the National Aviary in the North Side, as Tribby’s head fell on his chest. “All right, buddy. Back to bed.” The aviary welcomed two new family members: a pair of African penguins hatched here last month. Tribune Total Media, which sponsors the aviary’s Penguin Point exhibition, won naming rights for Tribby, hatched Feb. 26. The second, unnamed chick emerged from his egg on Feb. 29; aviary staff for now call him Little Guy. The first penguin chicks to hatch at the aviary, they already show personality, said Steve Sarro, director of animal programs. “They’re both a little feisty — a little attitude, and very inquisitive,” Sarro said. “Tribby is very calm. The second one is a little bit younger, and he’s just trying to figure out what’s going on.” Tribby and Little Guy spent three weeks with mom, Bette, and dad, Sidney, named for, you guessed it, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. The babies live in a cooling incubator in Sarro’s office, where staff members hand-feed them three times a day. “It’s always a blast hand-raising chicks,” Sarro said. “We have them sit on our laps; we have people come over and interact with them. That helps them (learn) their job in education, to be an ambassador for the wild.” The global wild breeding penguin population has dwindled to fewer than 50,000, down from about 1 million less than a century ago, Sarro said. The birds are considered an endangered species. Several factors are killing penguins, including oil pollution, commercial over-fishing, human disturbance and climate change, Sarro said. Some researchers predict that unless changes occur, wild penguins will die off completely in 15 years, he said. “We’re very good at breeding them in captivity,” Sarro said. “But they should be in the wild.” Trib Total Media’s chief operating officer, Jennifer Bertetto, an aviary board member, said the company wanted to get involved with Penguin Point — and with Tribby — because it believes in the aviary’s message of “conservation and education.” People can see the newborns for the first time on Friday night during a ticketed event at the aviary. Starting March 31, they will appear at Penguin Point twice daily, at 11 a.m and 2:30 p.m. They’ll enter the exhibit permanently at the end of summer. The chicks weigh about 2 pounds each, and likely will triple or quadruple that weight. They’re still a bit unsteady. Adults stand on their legs and tuck their wings into their sides, but Tribby and Little Guy can manage only brief waddling before collapsing onto crumpled wings.

Penguin Point

February 27, 2011

Penguin Point Franchise Systems, Inc. began as a carhop drive-in on June 6, 1950 by two Stouder families, Wallace and Mary Stouder and his brother Lloyd and Heleta Stouder was only open during the summer.  The present corporation was formed by the two brothers in June 1961 and now operates 14 restaurants in northern Indiana, a catering company, and a restaurant equipment company.

The first restaurant was opened at the junction of State Roads 13 and 15 in Wabash and stills operates today as one of the top units in the chain.  Penguin Point is famous for their Tenderloin sandwich that was developed at this location in the early 50’s by the company founder, Wallace E. Stouder Sr.  Penguin Point has also become widely known for fresh chicken, Idaho French Fries and their double deck Big Wally sandwich.  Quality, Variety, and Service continue to be their focus for growth.

Indiana Restaurant Equipment Corporation was acquired in 1964 and is primarily engaged in engineering, design, and installation of institutional kitchens for schools, hospitals, jails, and nursing homes.  They also have a 12,000 square foot showroom featuring new and used equipment, supplies and gifts for the professional or home cooking enthusiast.

Penguin Point Catering was started in 1968 to provide in-house feeding for special events at factories.  Today, the Catering Division continues with in-house feeding and has developed a strong following in formal events such as weddings, honor dinners, and holiday banquets.  Services are available anywhere in northern Indiana for groups from 30 to 3000, just click on the Catering link for a sample menu.