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Friday, May 27, 2011

Portland's Ethnic Grocery Stores: A Gap in the Diversity Aisle

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

In its annual publication titled “Devour 2011, a Hungry Shopper’s Guide” the Williamette Week recently identified 39 “world” or ethnic groceries in Portland, inadvertently exposing a huge gap in the diversity department.

None of these targeted markets feature American Indian foods, even though these foods sustained communities here for millennia and Portland is home to the ninth largest Native American population in the nation.

The WW article states: “There are those who say Portland lacks diversity, that it is little more than a playground for overeducated, underemployed white people, and that the city will never, for all the mayor’s talk of internationalism and manufactured weirdness, outgrow its white-bread personality…. Those people really need to spend more time shopping, because if it is all fair to judge a city’s diversity by its grocery stores (and it is!), Portland is far more cosmopolitan than a walk down SE Hawthorne Boulevard might lead you to believe. In the course of writing this guide, we sampled goods from every continent, amid shoppers speaking dozens of languages, and unfailingly discovered foods we’d never encountered before. The cultural riches of this city are boundless (italics added).”

The city is a long, long way from ever outgrowing its white bread personality, but that is another topic.

The WW researchers “sampled goods from every continent, amid shoppers speaking dozens of languages, and unfailingly discovered foods we’d never encountered before. The cultural riches of this city are boundless (italics added again).”

Yet, there is no Native American market…hmmm….

The sampling of goods…hmmm.

Shoppers speaking dozens of languages…hmmm….

Foods never encountered before…hmmm…..

“The cultural riches of this city are boundless”…hmmm….

That last one is something of a stretch, but there is a plan forming to create a Native American grocery in Portland, with the assistance of the Portland Development Commission, under its “Grocery Store Initiative”, and here’s an opportunity to find out how boundless the cultural riches of this city are…and to fill that gap in the diversity aisle.

Stay tuned on this one….


Here’s the Devour 2011 list, categorized as published:


Asian

G Mart

Caribbean/African

Caribbean Spice

Dutch

Dutch American Market

East African

East Africa Market

East Asian

An Dong

East Indian, Fijian

Fiji Emporium


Eastern European

Anoush Deli
Good Neighbor

Ethiopian

Awash Market
Merkato Ethiopian Music and Food

Greek

Foti’s Greek Deli

Indian (East Indian, like from Asia)


Apna Bazaar
India Sweets and Spices

Italian

Marinotti’s Café and Deli

Japanese

Anzen
Uwajimaya

Latin American

Dashen International Groceries (Central American)

Mediterranean


International Food Supply
Zaky Grocery

Middle Eastern


Barbur World Foods
Bazaar International Market

Mexican

Amigo’s
Fruteria el Campesino
La Tapatia
Mercado Don Pancho
Su Casa Imports
Tienda Santa Cruz
Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon

Middle Eastern

Pars International Market

Pacific Islander

Island Foods

Pan-Asian, Chinese

Fubonn

Pan-Asian, Korean


H Mart

Russian

Roman Russian Market

Southeast Asian

Oriental Food Value

Thai


Lily Market

Vietnamese


Hong Phat Vietnamese Market
Nam Phuong Market
Thanh Son Tofu

Vietnamese, East Asian


Thanh Thao Market



Link to Devour 2011:

http://www.wweek.com/portland/flex-246-devour_2011.html

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