New Seasons to open central kitchen in Portland's Eastside
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Prepared foods in New Seasons Markets stores' grab-and-go cases will soon be made in the company's new central kitchen, which will be built in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District.
New Seasons Market is going central with its next endeavor.
The 12-store grocery chain will establish a central kitchen in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District, designed to take some of the production duties from in-store kitchens and become a testing ground for new recipes.
Construction of the kitchen, which will go into the former headquarters of Tazo Tea at 301 S.E. Second Ave., begins in February. The completed kitchen facility is expected to be completed by September and employ a staff of about 80 workers.
The centrally located site, another example of how the Central Eastside became a magnet for light industrial businesses, is convenient to New Seasons' growing chain of stores. New Seasons store No. 13 was announced in September.
"We’re excited to be a part of the Central Eastside neighborhood, and this site is less than 30 minutes from all of our stores — even in traffic," said Pat Brown, New Seasons' chief operating officer, in a press release. “Deliveries to the stores from the Central Kitchen will be made daily.”
Brown is chairing the operations committee at New Seasons while the company searches for a new CEO. Lisa Sedlar, who led the business through brisk growth starting as CEO in 2009. Sedlar departed earlier this month to develop a healthy alternative to convenience stores.
Jamie Powell, formerly New Season Market's director of merchandising, was named to the newly created position of Foodservice Director and will oversee the central kitchen and expansion of the company's prepared food business.
When finished, the 33,000 square-foot former tea warehouse will sport state-of-the art industrial kitchen equipment including:
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