Local and organic; two words that Portlanders are quite fond of using. However, at Local Choice Produce Market, the newest family-owned grocery store in the Pearl, local is the word that carries the most meaning. Owners Don and Georganne Sader had a dream to open a market that was filled solely with products that were grown, made or distributed locally. The market’s proximity to Whole Foods is slightly ironic, but the Saders are not trying to stir up any trouble; they simply want to offer shoppers a choice. The premise is simple: provide customers with produce, meat, seafood, dairy, wine, beer, coffee, and other select items (like Jacobsen salt or Salt & Straw ice cream) that come from Oregon or Washington. When local is not possible, as is expected in the dead of winter, Local Choice will source organic items from local suppliers or family-owned distributors. Their promise is “local first, certified organic second.” And the Saders do not take the term loosely; they’ve created the Happy Farmer Certified Local program to “legitimize the word ‘local’ and provide 100% transparency.”
Not only do we stand behind the mission of Local Choice, but we also love the physical space. The 10,000-square foot
location used to be an auto body shop, as evidenced by the garage doors that will roll up in the warmer months, while providing an excellent source of natural light in the meantime. The white walls and high ceilings make Local Choice feel more like an open-air market in France than the typical grocery stores we’ve become accustomed to. You could seemingly spend all day at the market, with a Farmatherapy bar serving fresh juices and smoothies (we got the #5 juice with beets, carrots, lemon, ginger and pears—so good); a wine and beer area with a great happy hour; a café serving Coava coffee, Steven Smith teas and baked goods from local establishments like Tula Gluten Free Bakery and Kim Boyce’s Bakeshop; a prepared foods section that rivals some of the best we’ve seen and a deli to grab a sandwich with a cup of soup on the side.
Local Choice is not going to be a one-stop-shop if you need items like toilet paper or baking soda, but it’s a worthy alternative to some of the big box grocery chains to stock up on local produce and enjoy a meal or beverage made with some of the best ingredients that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Local Choice Produce Market
830 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209
Written by: Lauren Kodiak