The new Basics Market gives Portlanders access to an innovative grocery store offering ample resources devoted to healthy living. Located at 5035 Northeast Sandy Boulevard in the Hollywood neighborhood, the 7,500-square-feet, multifaceted space aims to be a center for dietary wellness, by not only providing locally-sourced ingredients for customers, but also the know-how to construct wholesome meals in their own homes.
“We’re truly reinventing grocery,” says Basic’s general manager, Michael Wolff, who brings more than two decades of natural foods retail and leadership experience to the table. “We’ve built a small format concept that integrates a market, nutrition classroom and discovery kitchen under one roof with a mission to increase access to foods at peak nutrition.”
One third of Basic’s footprint is devoted to culinary and nutritional education. Anyone can take advantage of a variety of daily, free cooking lessons and health programming, as well as in-store nutrition specialists. “We believe when people cook at home, they’re fixing more than dinner. They’re taking their health into their own hands,” says Wolff. The store shares the building with The Portland Clinic, located just upstairs.
Shoppers can expect to browse ingredients organized at meal stations, crafted around rotating recipes from the mind of executive chef and creative director Fernando Divina. As the executive chef at Oregon Health Sciences University, Divina taught workshops for patients and staff. Now, he seeks to share his insight with the whole Portland community, exemplifying the company’s philosophy of nourishment from the ground up. “Shelves are stocked with a diverse, curated selection , prioritizing affordability and featuring local and national brand favorites,” says Divina. “Our goal is to help more people cook great food at home. This is among the most honorable opportunities for me to engage with my community.”
From top to bottom, Basics is built with the intention of fostering well-being beyond its immediate surroundings. Together, founder Chuck Eggert’s family farms and other environmentally-friendly agricultural operations comprise a growing network that supplies Basics with many of the high-quality meat, poultry, eggs, produce and dairy goods. Those relationships emphasize best practices regarding soil health, animal welfare and seasonal rhythms – a dedication to excellence that translates to what ends up on consumers’ tables.
The seeds for Basics’ success have already been sown in a city like Portland, where residents are passionate about sustainability and farm-to-table programs inspire numerous restaurant menus. Creating greater access for all people to seasonal and regional ingredients, and recipes created with those foods, is central to Basics’ mission. Down the road, Basics Market has plans to expand with two additional locations, further connecting the populace to the region’s best agriculture bounty on a day-to-day basis. A Tualatin store may open as early as winter 2018, with a Beaverton location launching sometime in 2019.
A well-rounded team of entrepreneurs, gastronomic experts, ranchers and health professionals are all in on this enterprise and the community is already reaping the benefits. Basics manages a mini-market at Concordia University, where students, teachers and employees, both there and at nearby Faubion Elementary School, can have access to healthful provisions and household staples. “The store is part of an integrated effort to close the opportunity gap and ensure that every child can fulfill their potential,” explains Wolff.
The flagship store invites customers to join a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 15th. “What’s important to all of us is fostering health and connections in the store, around the table and at the farm with the end result of building stronger, healthier communities,” says Wolff. “We hope people stop by to get a feel for the store, take a tour, experience some of our classes, and more.”