Gallery: Local Choice opens to bolster local food scene

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Local Choice Produce Market held its soft opening over the weekend. The store is located 830 N.W. Everett St. in the Pearl District.
Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal

Local Choice Produce Market held its soft opening over the weekend. The store is located 830 N.W. Everett St. in the Pearl District. 

Don Sader and his wife and partner Georganne Sader opened the doors over the weekend on their labor of love: A Pearl District produce and food market that will aim to win over local food enthusiasts from the plethora of local food options in Portland.

Local Choice Produce Market was inspired by the two years Don Sader and his wife lived in Italy, the 6,500 square-foot retail space is a stone's throw from Whole Foods. It employs 65 employees and cost $2 million to open.

"We're not a health food store," Sader said, giving a tour of the market's stations. "We're a real food store."

Like many markets in Portland, including the growing New Seasons Market, Local Choice professes a fierce commitment to local food. Sader suggested that unlike a larger grocery chain, Local Choice's small size will allow the market to make good on that commitment.

To that end, the market has developed its own certification to identify where food comes from. The Happy Farmer Certification as its called is carried by some 20 farmers, ranchers and fishermen to date who agree to provide the market with specific sourcing information.

Sader calls it the "short straight line."

"In Italy," he said, "people eat what's in season and they eat what's local."

The result, Sader said, is not only better-tasting food but a safer food system and a stronger local economy.

To learn more about Local Choice, click through the gallery.

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