New market brings the basics and more
On a city corner where you once sat down to a hearty meal of sausages and sauerkraut, you can now pick up your own local pork sausages to throw on the grill and ferment your own tasty kraut.
Basics Market is the brand-new tenant at the corner of Northeast 50th and Sandy Boulevard in the Hollywood district, where the iconic Der Rheinlander restaurant served up classic German food for decades.
Like New Seasons, Whole Foods and various neighborhood co-ops, Basics focuses on hyperlocal seasonal local produce with attention to customer service and quality.
But Basics sets itself apart in a few key ways:
• Nearly everything in this 7,500-square-foot market comes from farms, ranches, creameries and greenhouses that Basics owns and operates, within a small radius outside of Portland. "I like to call it 'our ecosystem,'" says store manager Erin Leiker.
"We want to make it easy for people to know more about where their food comes from and how to cook it. For us, health starts on the farm – we call it nourishment from the ground up."
The meat counter features locally sourced cuts of pork, poultry and beef from farms that prioritize animal welfare and sustainable practices, including the founder's own chicken and eggs from Aurora Valley. Their own meat processing facility, warehouse, animal feed mill, alfalfa farms and bottling facility complete the picture, eliminating the middle man as
products are delivered daily from farms around the Willamette Valley.
A coffee bar by the entrance features espresso drinks from Nossa Familia Coffee, a Portland roaster with a direct-trade model and an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility.
• Basics is serious about connecting the dots between nutritious foods and health. While the market occupies a portion of the space, a large adjoining space is devoted to a nutrition classroom and "discovery kitchen," with state-of-the-art cooking facilities that will host classes and interactive demos that are free and open to the public.
Yes, in a city where these types of classes can get pricey, Basics' expert mentors will teach everything from knife skills and egg cookery to understanding food labels, how to make bone broth and and breaking down a whole chicken. (Register for classes in advance on the market's website or call the store at 503-432-8910).
• One of the first things shoppers will notice in the store is that displays are organized around meal stations that will rotate every week with new recipes. A sign and recipe card will showcase a recipe, such as Willamette Valley caldo, a spin on a rich soup filled with local produce and other staples that are conveniently arranged to pop into the shopping cart.
Check it out:
Attend the Basics Market grand opening, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5035 N.E. Sandy Blvd., basicsmarket.com. Enjoy housemade cobbler and ice cream, tour the store, enter contests and ask meet the market's nutrition and culinary mentors.