The newly remodeled De Soto Building in Kerns will become home to Providore Fine Foods, a collaboration of independent food vendors, including Pastaworks, Arrosto, Little T American Baker, Flying Fish, The Meatmonger and eco-florist Emerald Petals.
As owners of Providore, Kevin de Garmo, Kaie Wellman and Bruce Silverman bring decades of grocery, food and design experience to the marketplace. Kevin de Garmo is the second-generation owner of Pastaworks. His wife, Kaie Wellman, is a fifth-generation Portlander and creator of the popular eat.shop guide series. Bruce Silverman is a Whole Foods Market grocery veteran.
Peter de Garmo and his partner Don Oman founded Pastaworks in 1983, featuring fresh pasta, European wine and cheese, specialty dry goods and local produce.
“My father was a true pioneer of Portland’s culinary community and opened one of the great European-style markets in this country,” said Kevin de Garmo. “He was the first to introduce Portland palates to European delicacies like Prosciutto di Parma and Jamon Serrano.”
In 2013, Peter de Garmo retired from the business and his son Kevin, who has been involved with Pastaworks since operating the cash register on its opening day – his 16th birthday– took over daily operations of the stores.
“The transition will be bittersweet since we have three decades of memories in the original location,” said Kevin de Garmo. “But, we are all eager to share the new space and to offer our customers a fantastic shopping experience. And more parking!”
“Providore Fine Foods will be a modern marketplace with Pastaworks as its anchor tenant, along with other like-minded, deeply knowledgeable, passionate local purveyors,” said Wellman.
“Transitioning Pastaworks from its original location will allow us to continue bringing our customers a high-quality, unique food and wine experience with added conveniences such as on-site parking, eat-in dining options, and an event space for wine tastings, cooking classes and food-related events.”
With exposed brick walls and high wood-beamed ceilings, the historical 1919 DeSoto building once housed the Alexander Chrysler, Plymouth, and DeSoto automobile business, which Alton Alexander opened in 1938.
The 6,500-square-foot renovation will feature an open marketplace design, a large parking lot, massive garage doors for al fresco dining options and a larger production kitchen to expand Pastaworks’ wholesale pasta program and prepared foods.
“Providore will be a unique shopping experience in Portland following the City Market NW model,” said Wellman. “Pastaworks pioneered this model in 1991 at City Market NW, and we are excited to open another marketplace concept with a group of fantastic food purveyors.”