You can chalk up at least one local one culinary victory to the pandemic: Classic Foods, one of Portland’s leading specialty restaurant distributors, is now open to the public.
This week, the shop at 817 NE Madrona St. began welcoming shoppers looking to stock their home pantries with products you’d normally find only in industrial kitchens. The outlet is located in the company’s manufacturing and shipping facility—where last year’s locked-down consumers clamored for goods, as everyone became intimately acquainted with their own stovetops.
“People were calling us up…looking for flour and yeast for home baking,” owner Jake Greenberg related in a press release. ”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.”
Shoppers can choose from an impressive array of premium dried herbs, whole and freshly ground spices, artisan cheeses, and a selection of gourmet oils and balsamic vinegars.
But what Classic Foods is perhaps best known for—and what is likely to draw crowds looking to replicate their favorite restaurant meals—is its fresh pasta. Every day, the 37-year-old business prepares, from scratch, long noodles and chubby, stuffed casings that then make their way into eateries across the city.
“If you’ve had an oval-shaped ravioli in a Portland restaurant, I can almost guarantee that we made it,” Greenberg said. “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.”
The 45,000-square-foot factory also crafts proprietary spice blends for the likes of McMenamins and Deschutes Brewery, as well as sausages sold by Tails & Trotters and New Seasons.
Anyone who’s long grown tired of acting as home chef during the pandemic will be relieved to learn that there are plenty of ready-to-bake options available at Good Foods: everything from lasagna to stuffed manicotti to mac and cheese oozing with Oregon cheddar.
“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.”
For now, the outlet is running a pandemic special of sorts: Anyone who shows proof of being fully vaccinated gets 10% off of their entire order.
EAT: 817 NE Madrona St., 503-234-9387, classic-foods.com. 10 am-6 pm Thursday-Sunday.