On Thursday, grocery store loving Portlanders will have a new place to find locally sourced nut butters. That’s because on Thursday at 7 a.m., the Market of Choice in the Goat Blocks, between SE 10th Ave. and 11th Ave. on Belmont St., will open its doors to the public.
The Market of Choice, the fourth grocery store from the chain in Portland, will receive over 60 percent of its merchandise from Oregon suppliers, some of which could be described as extremely local, like Best Friends Honey, which is produced about 20 blocks away from the store. It will also have free parking.
Store manager, Anthony Joss, 37, moved his family from Eugene to be part of the new store, and he’s excited about those super local products, which they’ve sourced with the help of Food Innovation Center, Portland Mercado and Portland Community College, products like Pozole to the People and the aforementioned nut butters.
“There’s so many skilled people around here,” Joss told us, while we toured the store Wednesday, looking at the labels that indicate local products.
He told us that Market of Choice was very conscious of the pricing of local products, hoping to make them not just available but accessible.
The thing he was most enthusiastic about though is the growler fill station at the back of the store, where Grace Schrick, 27, the beverage manager, is opening with an all-Oregon tap list that includes beers from Hair of the Dog, De Garde, Oakshire and Block 15 and ciders from Cider Riot and Alter Ego.
While some people are angry about the development on a lot that used to be home to a herd of goats, the Goat Blocks has been set to get developed for a long time.
In 2002, a warehouse and two restaurants that occupied the space burned down. In 2010, a group of rental goats were brought in to eat the weeds in the then-vacant lot. They were an instant hit.
After the rental goats, a more-permanent herd took up residence and became the Belmont Goats. But those goats were always temporary residents, taking advantage of the lot while it awaited the always-planned development. This complex has been in the works since 2013, when plans were submitted for the development that has now become a reality.
Now, the Belmont Goats live in Lents and their former home includes apartments, an Orchard Supply and a Market of Choice. Soon, Schilling Cider House will open a location there.
But the goats won’t completely disappear. Market of Choice has installed bike racks that stand in front of the store, which are shaped like goats.
You can watch our tour of the store here:
— Lizzy Acker