Since 2009, Edible Portland, a quarterly magazine published by Ecotrust, has recognized businesses and nonprofits in Oregon and Southwest Washington with the Local Hero Award for high standards in social and environmental practices, food sourcing, regional economic impact, and commitment to promoting a resilient food system.
This year, thousands of you cast your votes in six categories — Farm, Restaurant, Food Artisan, Beverage Artisan, Nonprofit, and Retailer. Congratulations to this year’s Local Hero Award winners, who we announced and celebrated at a raucous party on June 12, 2014. Learn more about each winner in the Fall 2014 issue of Edible Portland, which you can pick up at Ecotrust (map), where we have an exhibit featuring illustrations of the winners through the end of September; at locations throughout the Portland metro area; and by subscribing.
Beverage Artisan: Nossa Familia Coffee
Nossa Familia Coffee is a family-owned company that understands the importance of true vertical integration, from growing the crop to processing the product to selling the beverage. They are also dedicated to building relationships within their industry and educating drinkers about their coffee. Founder Augusto Carneiro takes pride in having the friendliest espresso bar in town. He trains his baristas not just to make and serve great coffee – mainly sourced straight from his family’s farm in Brazil – but also to be coffee ambassadors and educators. “If someone walks into our Espresso Bar knowing nothing about coffee,” he tells them, “that’s the best thing that could happen. Then you have an opportunity to educate them and to be their coffee hero.”
Nossa Familia Coffee Espresso Bar
811 NW 13th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
Farm: Sun Gold Farm
Sun Gold Farm is a family farm that successfully transitioned its farming practices from conventional use of pesticides and fertilizers to reliance on crop rotations to build organic matter. Owners Charlie and Vicki Hertel were born dairy farmers and didn’t imagine doing anything else until environmental concerns about the location of their dairy along the banks of a creek forced them to sell their cattle and radically change the face of their family farm. Today, they are dedicated to a 500-member CSA program and are beloved vendors at many regional farmers’ markets. On long days, when the weeding gets especially gruelling, Vicki says, “I think back to my granddad in his seventies on his knees pulling weeds, and if he could do that, then I can too. We just think back to them and how proud they’d be of our farm now.”
Visit Sun Gold Farm at eight Portland-area farmers’ markets.
Retailer: Linnton Feed & Seed
Linnton Feed & Seed is a farm and garden supply store that has been open since 1946. Under the current owner, Dan Cadmus, who took over the store in 1997, the store experienced a shift from a chemical-heavy outpost to one with a vision for sustainability. Cadmus bringing with him a lifelong knowledge of farming and animal husbandry and is known for his openness to share his knowledge. “My absolute favorite part of the job is the people,” says Dan. “I’ve got kids coming in now who I remember when their mothers were pregnant with them. We’ve got older people who have been trading here for 40 or 50 years, and their parents before them … I love that.”
Linnton Feed & Seed
10920 NW Saint Helens Rd
Portland, OR 97231
Dekum Street Doorway
728 NE Dekum St
Portland, OR 97211
Food Artisan: Tabor Bread
Tabor Bread is a neighborhood bakery that is helping to revitalize a local grain economy by sourcing directly from farmers, milling whole grains in-house, and baking breads in their wood-fired oven that have unmatched nutrition, freshness, and flavor. “There is a whole vocabulary around bread and grain that people simply don’t have,” says general manager Annie Moss. “Grains are different – they have different flavors, characteristics and levels of freshness. The questions that people ask often lead to conversations and education.”
5051 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215
Restaurant: Side Yard Farm & Kitchen
The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen is an urban farm, supper club, and catering company all in one that is dedicated to a hyper-local foodshed, collaboration and education. The urban farm located in the northeast Cully neighborhood supplies produce to 15 area restaurants as well as its own pop-up supper club. Owner-operator Stacey Givens has become beloved for the jaw-dropping, multi-course, family-style meals she cooks out of a small kitchen truck. The ingredients for these nomadic suppers are sustainably farmed, ethically raised, and sourced from within two miles of the farm. “I think we’ve gotten more popular because of the clear commitment I have to growing and creating on urban acres while involving the community as much as I can,” says Stacey. “In the summer I am in the dirt just as much as I am in the kitchen. Most people choose one career; I have chosen two because I see no other choice – it’s a passion, not a job.”
Nonprofit: Portland Fruit Tree Project
Portland Fruit Tree Project is a nonprofit that increases equitable access to healthful food. It has been a leader in community education and has collected nearly 200,000 pounds of fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Before Portland Fruit Tree Project began eight years ago, thousands of trees in Portland produced massive amounts of fruit that went neglected, unharvested and ultimately wasted. But in other areas of the city, residents lacked access to fresh, healthy foods. The founders have paired this local surplus with local need. Says harvest leader Noah Jenkins, of working with volunteers to pick fruit, “It always amazes me how well and how quickly a group of perfect strangers gels into a team.” Through every component of their work, Portland Fruit Tree Project is strengthening community.
Register your tree, join a harvest, or take a tree care class with Portland Fruit Tree Project.
Meet the Nominees
Stay tuned for your opportunity to nominate a local food hero in 2015.
Sponsor in 2015
In June 2014, we hosted 300 people at Ecotrust for a celebration where Nell Newman announced the Local Hero Award winners and we feasted together. To find out about sponsoring the 2015 event, contact Megan Foucht at email@example.com.