New Seasons Market
January 5, 2008  |  Restaurants
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New Seasons Market “Seven Corners” store in SE DivisionWhat’s to Love: This is not only a great place to get groceries, but has become one of our favorite places to eat; thus, that’s why it’s in the restaurant section of this site. In my opinion, Portland should be very proud of New Seasons Market. In many ways, it epitomizes the Portland spirit of independence, supporting local businesses, the organic lifestyle, sustainability, and community building. When we were thinking of moving from Portland, New Seasons Market was probably the place we’d miss the most! We’re there nearly everyday – I know people in my local store, and they know me. It feels like a big family there.

Lots of people bike to New SeasonsNew Seasons Market was started by a group of people dissatisfied with Wild Oats’ corporate take-over of the Portland grocer “Nature’s Market.” I find it ironic that Wild Oats is now in the same position being purchased by Whole Foods. I like Whole Foods, but it’s not a Portland company. Their commitment is to the Whole Foods Mission, which is NOT to support local/Portland-area-growers first. They want to maximize profits for the Whole Foods chain, which is based in Austin, TX.

New Seasons works with local growers, local artists (they routinely display their work in the stores), local products….local-anything! It’s also a place where I feel like I can actually make comments that will matter to the management. I could probably write a book on all the good things about New Seasons, so let’s get to it!

Lunch! If you want to avoid fast food or non-organic/natural food, simply head to New Seasons. Unfortunately, many people are discovering the same thing, and it gets crowded at almost any store. Their “Signature Sandwiches” are my personal favorite – I usually get the grilled steak sandwich, or the salmon sandwich, but they have a brisket sandwich and a pulled pork as well. All of these are excellent and reasonably priced.

The Caesar salads are great with grilled chicken , salmon or steak. The ace-in-the-hole for most people is the “hot wok,” which was a great idea! Grab a metal bowl, some garlic, some ginger and load up on the fresh vegetables (many organic) – finish it off with a mound of rice noodles, and you’re in business!

We love their “Sourdough Sandwich” loaf for bread – it’s perfect! The folks at the meat counter are always helpful if you need some inspiration, and the people who work the check-out lanes are so nice to my family. They are always quick to offer my son stickers and big smiles. I’ve never had a bad experience inside a New Seasons’ store. If I did, I know I could tell someone, and it would be handled swiftly and professionally.

I really need to stop this love fest, but it’s one of our favorite Portland businesses. There are just so many things to love about New Seasons including their free community education classes, which cater to young Naturopaths trying to attract new patients. If you need a nutritionist to give you a tour of the store, no problem! Okay…I’m done!

Caveats: It’s a great store, but if you want a parking space at the Seven Corners (Division store) location…good luck! Parking is always an issue at popular destinations, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but parking at the Division store or in Sellwood is difficult. As stated above, the lunchtime at the Seven Corners store is VERY busy. The entire deli area is often filled-up with high school students. This translates to longer wait times.

Website: New Seasons Markets

Distance from Portland: 9 stores and counting!

Recommended Ages: N/A

Parental Stress Factor: Low to Medium – Depends on how busy the store is, and of course, the amount of the final bill!

Physical Difficulty: No problem getting around these stores.

Family Fun Factor: Too tough to answer…for most of the families I know, shopping at New Seasons is a family affair, and the kids are pretty excited to go. My son loves going to New Seasons, pushing the carts, ordering food, getting stickers, using the automatic-flush toilets and paper towel dispensers, etc! Some parents dread taking their kids shopping with them. For us, it’s just what we do.

Pet Friendly: Yes…they are good to folks with dogs. They provide decent areas to tie-up your dog with water bowls.

Weather Considerations: N/A – The southeast stores (Sellwood and Seven Corners) are perfect biking destinations.

Insider Info: If you’re in a hurry, email your order straight to the deli – it’s on their website under “Deli Orders.”

My favorite stores are the original Sellwood store and the Division (Seven Corners) store. The staff members at both locations are exceptional. However, if you want a slightly more mellow shopping experience, and more parking, check-out the “Mountain Park” store in Lake Oswego. Sometimes, we do our “big, weekly-shop” at this store.

Outside New Seasons Market “Seven Corners” store on SE DivisionFamily Tips: Your children will love clamoring into their special shopping carts for kids. If you can get them to stay inside these carts for more than 5 minutes, will you please share your parenting tips with all of us? We’ve used some food items, but even that doesn’t last too long.

Technorati Tags: dining with kids in Portland, family food, New Seasons Market Portland, organic food, sustainable, local growers

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