PORTLAND — Forty years ago, Portland native Robert M. Gregg got fed up with hard sticks of butter and came up with an easier way to add flavor to his toast. His soybean invention, Gold-n-Soft margarine, became a staple on Northwest grocery store shelves.
What’s in the tub is still made in Northeast Portland. When the conveyor belts are switched on at 5:30 a.m., five employees work to produce about 50,000 pounds of margarine a day or 200 million pounds a month. That’s about 1.3 billion pounds of margarine each year.
Not much has changed at the site since the 1960s, as plant controller John Tesler can attest. He should know, as he’s been involved with the production of Gold-n-Soft since ‘68. He says the popular one-pound tub is ideal for taking the spread from refrigerator to the table without dirtying an extra plate.
Herb Sigler, vice president of marketing at Ventura Foods, owner of the Gold-n-Soft label, says that staying with what works has been the key to consumer loyalty. “We’ve had a love affair with the folks in the Northwest for four decades now.”
— Colleen Moran