Dining out at your local grocery store... yes; grocery store
Updated: Feb 19
One of the biggest hidden advantages of moving to Portland was the diversity of localized home grown businesses. Not just restaurants, but co-ops, neighborhood markets, artisan shops, vintage stores, and then the places that blend the categories. I am here today to talk about the way they've innovated the neighborhood grocery store.
The American grocery store grew up as a very structured model. Aisles of products sorted into departments meant quite specifically to take home and cook in your own kitchen. I've been across the country and I've seen every kind of grocery store you can imagine. The way that grocery stores are evolving is extremely exciting to me.
Here in the Pacific Northwest there is a grocery store company that is really innovating the marketplace. It's called New Seasons Marketplace and not only do they have products that are comparable to that of Whole foods, but they are providing partnerships for local artisans and a community space to gather.
I visited their Woodstock location today and found that I could use a dish instead of a to-go container for my salad bar and go upstairs and enjoy a craft beer on their dining patio equipped with a warm fire, patio furniture, and a great view of downtown Woodstock. The beertender even mentioned that they have live music and other events up there.
There was a talented street musician rocking surf rock while the sun was shining bright for a rare winter appearance. There were families with children enjoying fresh from the farm food and a sunny patio deck and couples sipping on local Oregon wine. It was an unbelievably pleasant lunch.
I do believe we should make a trend out of this style of grocery store and embrace the New Seasons model "to build community through good food." CUhl Food stands behind this model and is founded on the exact same principals.