Saturday, December 02, 2006

Travel Market: New Seasons of Portland

Today, I start a three-day series focusing on my food adventures during my recent trip to Portland, Oregon. (Where I visited my new cute baby niece.) Today I profile two places to shop for food in Portland. One is a specialized regional market called New Seasons, and the second is the Portland Farmers Market.

I know, I'm weird. I'm like my mom, and we both love shopping at big shiny grocery stores. So whenever I travel to different places, especially foreign countries, I love to check out their local grocery stores. Well, Portland isn't really a foreign country, but they have a unique shopping experience in a small, regional chain of grocery stores called New Seasons. This store was started by a group of friends who probably had too much time during dinner one night (and money) and decided to open a chain of grocery stores that focused on fresh, local foods. Portland is among the country's leaders in the Slow Food movement, which focuses on making food with fresh, local ingredients. New Seasons does that in its mission, what you find in the store, and even on the words of wisdom you see on the walls. To me, it was like Whole Foods with the emphasis on organic and fresh. (By the way, Portland has just one Whole Foods between the Pearl District and Downtown that is also quite popular.)

2 comments:

tparr said...

New Seasons was started by ex-employees of a former local chain called "Nature's." Nature's was first bought out by General Nutrition Centers, then by Wild Oats (national chain)- I believe that's the progression of events. At any rate, a few Nature's refugees then started New Seasons. It's a fantastic local gem and we love it!

Chef Ben said...

Thanks tparr for the additional background. I'm not a big fan of Wild Oats ... a bit too granola for my taste. But love New Seasons' spin on things.