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|Articles - October 2013|
|Monday, September 30, 2013|
As I write this, Feast Portland, the city’s flagship food and drink festival, is one week away. This “celebration of Oregon bounty” features butchery competitions, infused vodka tasting panels and an all-star culinary lineup: Thai food guru Andy Ricker, the Portland Meat Collective’s Camas Davis, Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton and many others.
Here at Oregon Business, we love pork belly and kale salad as much as the next person queuing up for a $5 “farm to cone” at Salt & Straw. But in this issue, we say goodbye to all that. Instead, we spotlight another side of Oregon food culture: the convenience store industry, a retail category best known for candy, cigarettes and nacho-cheese sauce of dubious origin.
As writer Jonathan Frochtzwajg discovered, the convenience store sector is booming, with homegrown chain Plaid Pantry ranking as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the country last year.
The popularity of “c-stores” throws a wrench into Oregon’s foodie machine. But the industry is also paying attention to national culinary trends, with some stores starting to incorporate healthier or locally procured food-and-beverage options, such as organic produce and, in the case of a Bend chain, beer growlers and kombucha on tap.
In a web exclusive, Frochtzwajg also explores the convenience store as a possible solution to food deserts, with the local c-store morphing into a neighborhood market providing residents in areas devoid of grocery stores with critical access to real food.
Along with the grittier side of food culture, we pay homage this month to small manufacturers who make less-than-glamorous bolts, brake pins and scuff boards — the kinds of products that keep the state’s construction, transportation, food processing and power-production fields running smoothly. As writer Christina Cooke reports, these small manufacturers are also an economic driver, with Portland manufacturers employing 11% of the metro area’s workforce.
If there is a theme to the October issue, it’s Oregon’s yin and yang: Behind every sexy mobile app startup is a stoic materials manufacturer, and behind every Feast Portland is a new Plaid Pantry waiting in the wings. It’s a duality I’m well aware of. For lunch today, I indulged in poached organic chicken and rice from the renowned Nong’s Khao Man Gai food cart — “cutting-edge cuisine,” raves Travel + Leisure — followed by M&Ms culled from the desktop stash of our own in-house convenience purveyor: Oregon Business associate publisher Betsy Hand.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO
By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
By Kim Moore | OB Editor
The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL
Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?
Friday, August 22, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
When business intersects with family, a host of situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
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Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
How George Fox has become one of Oregon's largest private universities.
Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Lane Powell Shareholder William T. Patton has been appointed to the board of directors for Cascade AIDS Project, an organization that provides educational services and outreach to thousands of Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS.
Fifty-one Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2015; of those selected, 23 lawyers are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.
Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.