Portland Brands Are Taking Over the US

From coffee to haircuts, local businesses go big.

By Stephen Phillips February 27, 2018 Published in the March 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

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You can eat at Little Big Burger in North Carolina. You can buy Poler camping gear in Laguna Beach, California. You can get your hair cut at Bishops in Evansville, Indiana. Yes, we love our “local” makers and merchants—but so, it seems, does the rest of the country. A wave of homegrown Portland brands is taking it to the national and global stage.

“Portland is exporting authentic, disruptive brands,” says Paul Dickson, principal at the Meriwether Group, which has helped the likes of Dave’s Killer Bread, Stumptown, and Voodoo Doughnut expand beyond the Rose City. “This is resonating with consumers far and wide.”

Whatever “this” is, America loves it.

Click for a full-size, annotated version of the above map.

6 Portland-based biggies:

Ace Hotel Started in Seattle, but long based in Portland, the hip hotelier is now in eight other cities, including London and New Orleans.

Salt & Straw Reimagining ice cream all the way down the West Coast, one Arbequina Olive Oil scoop at a time.

Bishops From Arizona to Atlanta, Portland’s original punk-rock barbershop (with beer while you wait) is practically everywhere.

Stumptown The brand that put Portland on the coffee drinker’s map has shops in five US cities, often riding along with the Ace Hotel.

Little Big Burger Diners in Charlotte, Eugene, and San Diego can munch on the Portland-born “mega slider.” Coming soon: Little Bigs in Austin, Seattle, and more.

Hanna Andersson From humble origins as a husband-and-wife duo working out of their Portland garage, this kid clothes company has retail shops in 29 states.

Some Portland brands that distribute far from home:

  • Dave’s Killer Bread
  • Egg Press
  • Jacobsen Salt Co
  • Leatherman Tool Group
  • Nutcase Helmets
  • Olympia Provisions
  • Queen Bee Creations
  • Shwood Eyewear
  • Sock It to Me
  • Steven Smith Teamaker
  • Woodblock Chocolate
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