PORTLAND, Ore — September 16, 2021 — Classic Foods, Portland’s premier distributor of specialty foods and fresh artisan pasta, has opened a retail outlet store in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The shop at 817 NE Madrona Street is located in the company’s manufacturing and distribution facility, and is open to the public Thursday through Sunday each week.
Outlet shoppers will choose from a wide selection of premium dried herbs, whole and freshly ground spices, a selection of gourmet oils and balsamic vinegars, artisan cheese, nuts, and a wide assortment of locally produced foods, ready-to-eat meals and fresh pasta made on-site. Classic Foods was inspired to open a retail outlet during the peak of the pandemic-induced home baking boom.
“People were calling us up last summer, looking for flour and yeast for home baking,” recalled Greenberg. “We weren’t really set up to be able to accommodate those requests from individuals, but we don’t like saying no, and we felt like we have an obligation to make foods available. So we decided to clear a retail space and share our inventory with the general public.”
Classic Foods is a familiar name among Portland’s top restaurants and specialty grocers. For nearly 40 years, the company has been delivering some of the world’s finest ingredients to hundreds of area restaurants that have given Portland its reputation as a top food destination. Owner Jake Greenberg has scoured the world in order to curate a collection of the very best oils, vinegars, herbs, spices, cheese, and specialty ingredients in Portland. In addition, Classic Foods also crafts proprietary spice blends for restaurants like McMenamins and Deschutes Brewing and sausages sold by Tails and Trotters and New Seasons Market. Most remarkably, the company makes fresh pasta from scratch daily.
“I stand behind the exceptional quality of every product we offer,” says Greenberg, “but our fresh pasta is something I’m especially proud of. This is pasta like your Italian Nonna made, crafted with simple, fresh ingredients and 30 years of experience.”
The pasta that Classic Foods produces in their 45,000 square foot production facility makes its way into restaurants and stores across the Portland Metro Area. The company produces private label pasta for New Seasons Market, as well as other local specialty grocers. And now, thanks to the opening of the retail outlet, home chefs have access to these ingredients for serving to friends and family.
Outlet shoppers looking for fresh pasta can choose from long noodles, like bucatini, pappardelle and spaghetti, and bronze die-drawn extruded shapes like penne and rotini. The filled pasta selections vary depending on the season, but cheese tortellini and ravioli are always on the menu. Right now, shoppers may also find caprese ravioli, wild mushroom ravioli, or the perpetually popular butternut squash and gorgonzola ravioli. Frozen, ready-to-bake options include housemade lasagna, Oregon cheddar macaroni and cheese, and stuffed manicotti.
“If you’ve had an oval-shaped ravioli in a Portland restaurant, I can almost guarantee that we made it,” continued Greenberg. “We have the only oval pasta die around here, and we provide some really fantastic local restaurants with seasonal ravioli filled with fresh vegetables and top-shelf cheese.”
Since 1984, Greenberg and his long-time crew have been building relationships with growers, brokers and food producers around the globe to fill its product catalog. Now, as a wholesaler with all its services under one roof, Classic Foods is able to offer highly competitive prices in its on-site outlet. The retail shop stretches along one side of the renovated art deco building that the company has called home since 2010. The renovation converted an old box-making factory into a modern food production and distribution facility that is built to LEED Gold standards, and preserves the charm of the original art deco design.
Classic Foods Retail Outlet is open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. Shoppers who show proof of having received the COVID vaccine will receive 10% off their purchase. Online ordering and curbside pickup are available, and shoppers in the store will be required to wear masks, as per the current state and local guidelines.
About Classic Foods
Founded in 1984, Classic Foods has been providing the world’s best artisan ingredients to the finest restaurants, hotels and specialty shops in the Pacific Northwest. Founder Jake Greenberg got his start with a line of low-salt soup bases, and soon added herbs, spices and specialty items to the lineup. In 1991, Greenberg bought his first pasta-making equipment, and Classic Foods has been distributing its own fresh pasta ever since. In 2010, the company moved its headquarters from Northeast 21st Avenue in Portland to a 1932 art deco building with a rich history in the Woodlawn neighborhood, after renovating it to LEED Gold standards. Classic Foods is an active participant in its community, giving back by supporting local schools, nonprofits, and community events.