In 2016, local nonprofit Ecotrust quietly opened the doors to Redd West, a block-size property with a massive warehouse tucked away in Southeast Portland. Since then, the Redd has housed 5 small businesses in an effort to aid the ever-growing farm-to-table movement. They include Soupcycle, Foodcorps, New Foods Kitchen, and Wilder Land & Sea. All utilize B-line, an urban delivery company also headquartered at The Redd that shuttles food to 150 Portland businesses and grocery stores via bicycle.
“The Redd was really designed to be the front of the house and the back of the house of the regional food system,” says Doe Hatfield, Communications Director for Ecotrust. “The goal is to engage, to inspire, to bring the public in to learn about key issues and recognize the strength of their enthusiasm for local food”.
Now, The Redd enters its second phase with Redd East—a colossal, 33,000 square-foot indoor and outdoor event space that Ecotrust hopes will raise awareness of local producers and the importance and ease of incorporating Portland's regional food system into daily lives. The space was renovated using FSC-certified wood and Port Orford cedar gifted by the Coquille Indian Tribe. Originally built as an ironworks in 1918, the building now sources a third of its energy through a rooftop solar array.
In 2019, Ecotrust hopes to lure 70,000 visitors to the Redd “campus” to educate the public about their food, all the way from seed to plate. The Redd East's outdoor and indoor event spaces are equipped with a demonstration kitchen, boardroom, vast main hall, and even larger patio.
“The Redd is a result of research, vision, and collaboration of tremendous amounts of partners, talent, and resources,” says Hatfield. “For us, it’s a celebration of connection”
This Saturday, the Redd will host an all-ages grand opening party with a silent disco, eats, and five kitchen demos, ranging from shucking skills with Olympia Oyster Bar to making chin chin, a Nigerian pastry. In addition to a smörgåsbord of food, 14 vendors, such as Nineteen27 S’mores Co, Durant Vineyards and Jupiter Hotel, will have experiences and items up for raffle.
Sat, March 2, 12–5pm, 831 SE Salmon Street, $25