by Kristen Cloud/staff writer
“Changing” might be the most appropriate word to describe the Oregon marketplace. From unique store formats to expansions and more, The Beaver State already is seeing signs of transformation early in the new year.
Local and health-driven segments take stronger hold in Portland
Local Choice Produce Market
Local Choice Produce Market debuted in Portland’s downtown Pearl District in January. The “farm-to-fork” farmers market-style store opened in a 10,000-s.f. former auto garage building on Northwest Everett Street at Ninth Avenue. It is owned by Don and Georganne Sader.
The Saders consider food from Oregon and Washington local, buying meat from ranchers in Klamath Falls, root and leaf vegetables from growers in the Portland suburbs and fruit from orchards in Washington, according to The Oregonian.
“We wanted to have a straight line between food and the consumers,” Don Sader tells the newspaper. “We thought we’d be raising the bar. Then we thought we were creating a new bar. Then finally we realized, we weren’t doing anything new; we were going back to the past.”
The new store includes a coffee bar, smoothie bar, floral department, full kitchen, microbrew on tap, wine from the bottle and soup at the deli, which boasts a chef, as well as other amenities.
Local Choice provides another option to shoppers in the area, whose choices include the likes of Whole Foods Market, TraderJoe’s and Safeway.
Green Zebra Grocery
Another original format make its debut in Portland and comes from experienced grocery executive Lisa Sedlar, former CEO of Portland’s New Seasons Market, who left the company last year in order to develop Green Zebra Grocery. New Seasons is a minority investor in Sedlar’s new venture.
The first two Green Zebra stores are expected to open this fall in the Woodstock neighborhood in southeast Portland and the Kenton neighborhood in north Portland. The stores will feature local produce and meats, healthy prepared meals and select grocery items; the selection coincides with the company’s name.
“The name Green Zebra came from the tomato variety that grows particularly well in our region,” Sedlar tells The Oregonian. “I wanted the name to be memorable, fun (even fanciful) and relate to our local food shed. I think Green Zebra Grocery accomplishes all three.”
The Oregonian reports that while Green Zebra’s offerings will, in many ways, look like those of her former company, Sedlar plans to stock some traditional convenience store-type staples like Gatorade and Doritos.
New Seasons Market
Meanwhile, New Seasons has signed on to join developer C.E. John Co. to revive the 16-acre, mixed-use Con-way site in northwest Portland. The grocer, now being led by Wendy Collie following Sedlar’s departure, will convert an old 28,000-s.f. freight warehouse at 2170 NW Raleigh St. into a full-service market featuring thousands of home-grown products and homemade foods, an on-site butcher, organic bakery, wine and wellness departments, and its trademark offering of organic, fresh, seasonal produce, flowers and gifts.
New Seasons, which currently operates 12 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area, will be part of the first phase of the Con-way master plan and will anchor the new Slabtown Marketplace development, which includes 17,500 s.f. of additional shops and restaurants. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013, with a grand opening planned for spring 2015.
“Announcing this store is rewarding in so many ways,” says Collie. “We’ve been participating in shaping the vision for what this site could bring for the community, and we’re excited about the opportunity to serve all of northwest Portland’s neighborhoods—old, new and emerging. Soon, many of our customers in northwest Portland will be able to walk, bike or take the streetcar to do their shopping at New Seasons, instead of driving across the Willamette River or over the West Hills.”
“One of our goals for Slabtown is to create a neighborhood where the community can access places and services within an easy walk or quick pedal,” adds Tom DiChiara, VP of development for C.E. John Co. “A grocer will serve as an anchor to this community and we know that New Seasons Market will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood as a proven community favorite and for their ability to bring local, healthy foods to the heart of Slabtown.”
The store, being designed by a joint venture between GBD Architects and Holst Architecture, will showcase the existing wood trusses, large saw-tooth skylights and free-span day-lighted space of the old warehouse. The store’s entry will front a 40-foot-wide pedestrian plaza linking NW Raleigh Street to NW Quimby Street. The landscaped plaza will feature a boardwalk decking as well as outdoor seating, merchandising and events.
Walmart aggressively hits Oregon with Neighborhood Market concept
Larger retailers, such as Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, are expanding in Oregon as well.
In Beaverton’s Raleigh Hills community, a Walmart Neighborhood Market opened at 8235 S.W. Apple Way—the location of Zupan’s Market from 1973 until it closed in 2009—on Jan. 16. The Beaverton Valley Times reports that, at 25,000 s.f., the Apple Way Neighborhood Market is a smaller version of the 42,000-s.f. store that opened last May at 17275 N.W. Cornell Rd.
The newest store, which has about 70 part- and full-time employees, offers products from local companies such as Beaverton Foods and Reser’s Fine Foods, all flagged on the shelves with “Oregon’s Own” banners. Along with a full line of groceries, the store’s deli features a “grab-and-go” section with rotisserie chicken, fresh-baked pizza and standard deli sides. Outside the store’s pharmacy, a Solo Health station provides automated personal health assessments, including tests for vision, blood pressure and body mass index.
Additionally, the Apple Way store keeps intact the store architecture of the former Zupan’s, in which large wooden beams support a high cathedral-like ceiling.
Beaverton’s second Neighborhood Market store comes after Walmart debuted its first West Coast Neighborhood Market in West Linn, Ore., last May. Since then, Neighborhood Markets have opened, in addition to Beaverton, in Gresham and Lake Oswego. In November, Walmart announced its plans to soon open a Neighborhood Market in Springfield’s Gateway community.