Scores of celebrants squeezed into the deli seating area of Northeast Broadway’s newest grocery store and “broke bread” to help New Seasons Market open its fifteenth store at the beginning of its fifteenth year. The November 12th ceremony was punctuated by the Grant High School Pep Band and Beverly Cleary’s Fernwood Campus Orchestra. At the same time, some of the first residents of more than 200 leased apartments in six newly constructed buildings on the old Albina Fuel property were moving in as finishing work continued on several parts of the project.
Among the speakers at the Market opening was store manager Jon Rich, a mid-west native who migrated to Portland and joined New Seasons in 2006. Rich was asked to open the market at Northeast 31st Avenue and Broadway after overseeing a successful opening of New Seasons Progress Ridge Market in Beaverton. “Our store is a reflection of the neighborhoods it serves,” Rich said, “and we’re especially proud of our juice bar, the first in any New Seasons Market.” Ryan White, who graduated from Grant in 1991, is a grocery buyer for the Market who said he would be “seeking new, exciting products.”
The 29,000-square-foot Market holds approximately 10,000 items and is the first New Seasons Market in a multi-use facility. Directly above the Market are three floors of apartments, and below the market is retail and resident parking. Public parking is also provided on the same level. The new store will employ 190 clerks, butchers, bakers and other skilled workers. About 75-percent of these will come from other New Seasons Market locations and the remaining will be new hires.
Rich beamed as he described his colleagues as a “rock-star team ready to serve customers and become a cooperative partner with community organizations.”