A publication of the Cedar Mill Business Association
|Volume 4, Issue 3||
|Carl LaForce developed the recipe for this cioppino, available daily and filled with fresh seafood|
One of the new managers is Carl LaForce, General Manager. Carl came down from Seattle, where he had run a Metropolitan Market location for a couple of years. Prior to that he had been a food buyer for six years for Associated Grocers’ Thriftway. “This store really felt familiar to me, because years ago I had run Larry’s Market, and this store was built as a copy of that one,” he mentioned.
One of the first changes you'll notice in the store is the exceptional assortment of cheeses available in the case next to the deli. Bill Evans, one of the new hires, is the Cheese Steward. He has a “Cordon Bleu” degree from Western Culinary Institute, and has presided over the transformation of this part of the store. “We purchase almost all our cheese in the original big wheels and then cut and package them ourselves. It ensures a much fresher product and lets us offer a wider variety of cheese,” Evans says. The selection includes European, American and local Pacific Northwest cheese. Helpful signs identify cheese varieties and give information about their origin, content and use.
Bales wine selection has always been pretty good but it has become an even more important part of the store with the addition of the Wine Steward Steve Gale. Another Cordon Bleu graduate, Gale has his Sommelier certificate. He formerly worked at a Zupan’s market. He’s on hand to help customers make selections and is happy to provide special orders for that important dinner or party.
Bales continues to get fresh produce, meat and seafood from northwest suppliers. This is one of the main things that sets them apart from the big corporate groceries in the area. “We still send our trucks out to Hood River to get peaches, apples and pears,” Carl mentions. Miller says, “The competition in our markets are, for the most part, the big guys, and they do a good job but they are directed from their corporate offices on what products to buy and where to get them, and this is driven largely from cost. They are owned and operated outside of Oregon where we are a local company made up of individuals who grew up or spent a significant amount of time in Oregon. All we do stays here.”
|Boar's Head deli meat and cheese are worth a try!|
One of the first changes Carl LaForce made when he arrived was to bring in the Boar’s Head line of deli meats and cheeses. This top-quality line comes from a demanding company. “They made us change the way we did some things before they’d let us sell their product,” mentions Miller. “And it was all for the best.” Although the line is expensive, LaForce points out that it is economical because the flavorful products go a long way. “You can make a turkey sandwich with about half the turkey you’d normally use, and it tastes better. It’s because they don’t pump water into their products.”
While there’s no big remodeling project being planned, some areas will be reorganized. “We’re planning to mix the organic foods back on the shelves next to the regular foods. This should make it easier for the shopper to find things and to compare products for contents and value,” says Miller. “We strive to have at least 100 organic products in the store at any time. We think that combining organic and local products with traditional grocery items will make a better shopping experience,” he continues. They may put housewares and seasonal goods in the space next to the Post Office, that is currently occupied by the organic foods.
The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229