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|Thursday, August 09, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Give Zupan’s some credit.
Sure, the Vancouver-based chain is expensive. The owners were also a bit late to the locavore, organic, grass-fed game.
But Zupan’s deserves plaudits for moving into the Belmont district in 1995, when the inner Southeast neighborhood was known more for drug houses and social services than its current mix of coffee bars and hipsters. As the Belmont Dairy’s retail anchor, Zupan’s helped lay the groundwork for a widely accepted theory of urban development: that a food emporium can revitalize once languishing neighborhoods.
Back in 2005, pastry shop Pix Patisserie opened on North Williams Avenue, then a collection of mostly empty storefronts. That location closed last week, but as the Oregonian reported, owner Cheryl Wakerhouser leaves behind a thriving neighborhood of restaurants, shops, and cafes. She also has the satisfaction of knowing that Pix helped build the neighborhood.
In OB’s May issue, I reported on Ristretto Roasters' new outpost in the yet-to-be-developed NW Industrial District, “Those are the neighborhoods we want to be in — where people don’t have things,” said owner Din Johnson.
The history of Portland’s thriving neighborhood centers often unfolds as the history of pioneering food and drink purveyors who took a gamble on a location often perceived as undesirable. And yet, not all local grocers and food/drink vendors hew to the less is-eventually-more philosophy. Thus a student of New Seasons’ development patterns might argue that the local grocery chain only moves into communities that are already well on their way to becoming hotspots: Division, Hawthorne, Interstate, and now North Williams.
And despite years of hand wringing over East Portland’s food deserts, many neighborhoods East of 82nd Avenue have yet to attract a single supermarket.
As the O’s David Sarasohn noted yesterday, that market might resemble the Ferry Marketplace in San Francisco, a venue "crammed with cheesemongers, bakeries and restaurants, with a blooming farmers market several times a week, jammed with both tourists and financial analysts escaping the Dow for lunch."
Some parts of Portland are over fed. Others are still deprived. If only Zupan's would move into Lents Town Center. Now that would usher in a new era of urban food innovation.
Linda Baker is managing editor of Oregon Business.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum.
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
An intellectual property attorney by day, 48-year-old Stoll Berne attorney Tim DeJong is a singer and guitarist by night.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.
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