Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gracious Gifting

You'd expect someone who writes a blog about what's happening in the Northwest to be up on what's happening around town, but I sure get surprised a lot. Downtown shops? A complete mystery to me. Shopping in the Pearl? Haven't a clue.

So when I wandered into a fascinating little shop in Multnomah Village called Indigo Traders and was taken with the mix of pottery, soaps, scarves and bedding it carries, I shouldn't have been shocked when owner Samir Naser said they'd been open for seven years. But really, had it been that long since I'd taken a stroll through the shops in the neighborhood?

While he made me a cup of complimentary Turkish coffee roasted for them by Mudd Works Roastery (he also offers shoppers mint tea), I browsed the beautiful Pashmina wool wraps (left) he imports from Turkey. The intricately embroidered pillows, wall hangings and table runners he carries are made by the women of the Palestinian Embroidery Society of Jordan (PESJ). The Society was founded by Indigo Traders to preserve the art of traditional Palestinian embroidery and provide an opportunity for Palestinian women refugees living in Jordan to learn business skills while earning an income.

Samir is also an accomplished cook and the shop has started carrying food products from Canaan Fair Trade, an organization based in Palestine that is working to empower rural communities, educate farmers about sustainable practices and support them as they convert to certified organic production. Products include olive oils from the Nabali tree, native to Palestine, that produces a light, fruity oil and the more robust, pungent oil from the Rumi tree, brought to Palestine by the Romans. You'll also find za'atar, a combination of sumac and wild thyme, as well as capers, olives and couscous. I also understand that Samir offers occasional cooking classes, so I'll keep you posted as those are scheduled.

Which all goes to show that it's good to venture outside your usual haunts. There's a lot to discover out there!

Details: Indigo Traders, 7878 SW Capitol Hwy. in Multnomah Village. 503-780-2422.


EcoGrrl said...

Thanks for the recommendations... I only think of the Village as where Marco's has been for years (yum breakfast)...will have to cross the river one of these days!

Kathleen Bauer said...

It's a pretty cool little neighborhood…and don't miss Topanien and Annie Bloom's Books down the street!