At a mere 7,500 square feet, the new Basics Market, tucked below the big Portland Clinic that rose in the NE Sandy space once home to the Rheinlander, is only about the size of your average Safeway or New Seasons produce department. But the diminutive grocer has an outsize mission: to teach its customers how to eat healthy.
The high-ceilinged market opened quietly last summer, setting itself apart with a focus on cooking demos and nutrition classes. There are groceries, yes, but around a third of the store is devoted to education. There’s a small classroom where a nutritionist teaches free courses about anti-inflammatory diets and immunity boosters. The “Discovery Kitchen” in the next room provides cooking lessons for simple dishes, from hummus msabbaha to roasted pumpkin soup. Recently the store teamed up with the Portland Clinic for a 16-week program pairing in-house nutritionists with patients for health consults.
Owner Chuck Eggert—the cofounder of local broth and soup goliath Pacific Foods, which sold for $700 million to Campbell Soup Co in 2017—is planning to expand to Tualatin and Beaverton. And, yes, both locations are set to be in close proximity to health care clinics.