Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Providore Fine Foods Collects City's Best Purveyors

Hawthorne Boulevard was a run-down stretch of pavement lined with dilapidated buildings when Pastaworks first opened in 1983. But the rent was cheap and the neighborhood was ripe for reinvention, so business partners Peter de Garmo and Don Oman, inspired by a pasta shop in Boston that de Garmo had wandered into, decided to open a European-style food emporium. Within a year other businesses began flocking to the street, and what started as a whim began looking like a genius move as Portland's food scene started taking off.

Josh Alsberg (l) and Ken Fisher of Rubinette Produce.

So more than 30 years later, when Pastaworks' owners, Peter's son Kevin de Garmo (top photo) and his wife, Kaie Wellman—Oman sold his share of the store and founded Casa Bruno, one of the city's top-rated wine distributors—announced that they were closing the shop and moving it to Northeast Sandy Boulevard, neighbors were aghast. But in what may come to be seen as another whip-smart move, the new shop has taken residence in a former car dealership on an up-and-coming, close-in stretch of Sandy that in years past was known for its drug dealers, dive bars and ladies of the night.

Lyf Gildersleeve of Flying Fish and Meat Monger.

Like the original Pastaworks, this new incarnation, renamed Providore Fine Foods, is a collection of some of the city's best food purveyors, including, of course, Pastaworks itself:
  • Rubinette Produce: Known as a true produce geek, Josh Alsberg was lured away from Food Front Co-op by the opportunity to open what he conceives of as a daily farmers' market. Josh is well-regarded for his relationships with the area's top farms, so you'll find produce sourced from local farms like Deep Roots Farm, Gathering Together Farm, Stone Boat Farm and others.
  • Flying Fish Company and the Meat Monger: Lyf Gildersleeve started his Flying Fish Company on Hawthorne five years ago, marketing sustainable, local seafood out of a rolling trailer. Like the original, this outlet will also be featuring whole fish and adding a daily oyster bar for your delectation. The Meat Monger is a new endeavor featuring local, sustainably raised pork, beef and lamb.
  • Little T Baker: Tim Healea's loaves are among the best to found in this gluten-friendly town, and his were at the top of the list when Providore came knocking. Also find his breakfast pastries to enjoy alongside an Illy espresso.
  • Emerald Petals: Hilary Holmes' eco-friendly, botanical flower shop is committed to the "slow flower" movement with organic, locally sourced flowers and arrangements.
  • Arrosto: Rotisserie chicken is all the rage, and the Pastaworks team has designed this Mediterranean-style rotisserie chicken to satisfy the take-out crowd or dine-in noshers. Head to the walk-up window for chicken and sides like they have in Italy.
Details: Providore Fine Foods, 2340 NE Sandy Blvd.

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