Its name may be a nod to the beauty of simplicity, but the new Basics Market is shaking up the traditional grocery store concept in the Northwest. Set to open in Portland, Ore., in early fall, Basics Market will be a small format store that connects with regional agriculture and local manufacturers with a stated goal of helping to nurture people’s health and well-being.
The natural market was started by Chuck Eggert, an organic farmer and founder of natural food company Pacific Foods, who is keen on combining health and wellness and making locally grown foods more accessible to shoppers. Eggert is bringing in culinary experts and mentors, including Executive Chef Fernando Divina, a sustainable sourcing advocate and former executive chef at Oregon Health & Science University.
In addition to offering convenience-oriented meal stations in the store, Basics Market will have a unique approach to culinary education, with daily classes on basic cooking techniques and healthy lifestyles and tours of local farms.
Other farm-to-table—by way of farm-to-grocer—store concepts are changing up the competitive foodscape in other parts of the country. Another example is Oakes Farms Market in Naples, Fla., which touts its daily shipments of fresh produce from nearby farms and its outdoor cafe and areas like on-site salsa and guacamole stations. Oakes Farms is set to open another concept, Seed to Table, in the coming months, which will include a second story mezzanine with a high-end dinner restaurant, as well as a smoothie bar and burger station.