How Green Can We Go?

Made In Oregon is so green! And, now we’re taking an even greener step to improve our environmental impact with introduction of an eco gift shipping box. Currently, we’re testing a custom-designed eco gift box that could replace our most popular green gift box, and ultimately, could eliminate the use of 8,000 shipping cartons annually. That’s green savings of 34 trees annually and enough BTUs to power an average home for one year.*

The Eco Gift Box with outside shipping panel.

Our intention is to improve our overall footprint as well as save costs. Of course, it will mean lower labor costs, but it also cuts down on waste and the energy of using more materials like water and wood.

Development and design of just the right shipping-worthy eco box was a year in development. The hard work resulted in a lightweight, one-piece corrugated box made of recycled materials that includes a removable mailing panel, and is capable of withstanding rigorous handling. The box’s exterior displays an attractive graphic treatment of scenic Oregon. The inside flap tells a little about Made In Oregon and of the fine products within.

Made In Oregon hired FedEx to evaluate the prototype’s durability during shipping. Packed with breakables and a few other products, the eco gift box underwent a series of pre-shipment tests to simulate FedEx air and ground shipping environments. It passed with no product damage.

It took several iterations to produce an appealing gift box that’s sturdy and functional for our customers. Made In Oregon began testing the eco box in January on selected gift box orders. We expect 70 percent of our gift packs will use the new eco gift shipper once our process is fully operating.

 

*This list of green impacts provides the industry average data from the Environmental Network Paper Calculator in a relatable format. All calculations are based on EPA data and reflect the environmental impact of the annual production of this box in 2012.

Sentimental Socks

With news that the Port of Portland will replace its 20-year-old carpet throughout the Portland International Airport has come a surprising sentimentality from locals. Hometown travelers appreciate the peculiar, even “weird” part of Portland’s identity. In this case, the removal of the bright teal, albeit heavily trampled on, iconic carpet from our award-winning airport.

Leave it to a local entrepreneur – Jeremy Dunn of The Athletic – to salvage our sentimentality by designing lively teal socks and teal tee shirts embellished with the iconic carpet pattern on them. Who could have imagined his seed of an idea would take off as it did.

PDX Carpet and Matching Socks

In record time, PDX Airport Carpet Socks and tees reached a cult status that completely surprised Dunn. He initially made a small run of shirts just to sell to friends, but soon couldn’t keep up with the orders.

As he recalls, “I went to sleep and woke up with over a hundred [shirts] sold.”

The socks are made of cushy, moisture-wicking fabric on the foot, and a six-inch cuff. The practical unisex sock design means he and she can share a pair. They are designed in Portland, made in the USA, and available at MadeInOregon.comat our three airport stores and most of our mall stores.

As for the airport carpet, Port officials won’t roll out new carpet for another year, and it will take until 2016 to complete installation. They don’t quite know how they’ll dispose of miles of the old carpet, but commemorative options are being looked at.

Until then, Oregon travelers can simply wear a bit of home-sweet-home wherever they go.

Portland Trail Blazers Deconstructed

“Blazermania” has broken out across Oregon with our own Portland Trail Blazers playing through a winning season. Keep your fingers crossed, and root for the home team. For fans in need of a primer, we offer a few fast facts.

Trail Blazers Bloom Big in 2014 Season

Team record.  As of this writing, the Blazers were 12 – 3 on the road this season, the second-best road record in the NBA, and 25 – 7 overall.

Team logo.  The team’s “pinwheel” logo is a graphic interpretation of two five-on-five basketball teams lined up against each other. One side of the pinwheel is red; the other side is silver.

Nickname. “Rip City,” in reference to the home city’s nickname. The term was coined by the team’s play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely to describe the ball ripping through the net during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 18, 1971, the Blazers’ first season.

Team colors. Red, black, silver and white. Home uniform: Red, black and silver blaze strip on white. Road uniform: Red, white and silver blaze strip on black.

Team mascot.  Blaze the Trail Cat, a two-tone silver-colored mountain lion.

Workplace.  Up until 1995, all home games were played at Memorial Coliseum when the team moved to the Rose Garden Arena. The home court was renamed Moda Center in 2013.

Fan shop.  We can’t seat you courtside, but we can get you outfitted for the game. Our Trail Blazer’s Fan Shop has tee shirts for adults and youth, ball caps and beanies. Visit:  http://www.madeinoregon.com/Portland-Trail-Blazers/ or stop in at any of our nine mall and airport stores to gear up.

 

MERRY MERRY AND HAPPY 2014!

Merry, Merry to All and A Happy 2014!

During this holiday season,

We reflect on those who

Have made our progress possible.

 

The growers, ranchers, fishers, brewers and chefs

Who bring good, locally-sourced foods to our shelves.

The artisans, crafts people, designers and builders

Who bring Oregon’s best practices and products to market.

To our loyal customers – locally and worldwide.

Our staff at Made In Oregon stores and www.madeinoregon.com

Forgive if we’ve left anyone out. You are in our thoughts.

 

It is in this spirit of gratitude, we say simply, “Thank You.

And, best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season!”

 

– The Naito Family

 

 

Holiday Worthy Gift Baskets

Make a list. Check it twice. We’ve taken the guess work out of holiday shopping every year since 1975. With every creative way possible, Made In Oregon has fashioned food and wine gift baskets that appeal to homegrown palates.

The Executive Gift Basket

Our gift baskets are stocked with award-winning Oregon Pinots, craft microbrews and boutique roaster coffees, and fine foods like farm fresh marionberries, hazelnuts, gourmet truffles, wild caught sockeye salmon. And then warmly presented in our signature green and gold gift boxes, or at times, in decorative tins. We could go on.

But, instead you might like viewing a video showing some of this season’s gift basket selections. Our stores General Manager Candace Vincent, who was interviewed on KATU-TV AM Northwest program this morning, is your host.

Click here to view: AM Northwest interview

‘Tis the season for gift baskets. See our large selection at www.madeinoregon.com or stop by any of our nine mall and airport retail outlets.

Happy Holidays!

Vendor of the Month: Moonstruck Chocolates

Moonstruck Chocolate has accomplished much in the 20 years since it took root in Portland, Oregon. The initial idea was to craft exceptional chocolates that presented a full sensory experience to the customer, i.e. gourmet chocolates that not only tasted incredible, but tempted with appealing hand decorated designs.

Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe on NW 23rd Street

But, the Portland chocolatier is so much more. Moonstruck is known for its proprietary chocolate recipes with a local focus, bringing food flavors from the Pacific Northwest to discerning palates – local berries, peppermint, hazelnuts, craft coffee and spirits. Over the years, Master Chef Julian Rose, one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Chocolatiers of 2009, has assembled an impressive collection of melt-in-your-mouth, signature truffles.

Moonstruck has diversified a bit since it’s beginnings. Today, you can sip a mug of Moonstruck Chocolate hot cocoa or an espresso drink handmade for you while you peer through vast food cases of confectionary eye candy, any one of which you might enjoy during your own quiet truffle moment with your drink at one of their five Chocolate Cafes in Portland and Beaverton.

Distillers Truffle Collection

You’d no doubt find some of Moonstruck’s new styles in those cases. Namely, truffles from its specialty Oregon Distiller’s Collection which features spirits from five of Oregon’s finest craft distillers. And, a Holiday Cocktails Collectionwith liqueur-infused ganache centers reminiscent of holiday cocktails, like the divine Hot Toddy, Mulled Wine and Hot Buttered Rum drinks of old.

Moonstruck has added to its holiday collections this year two styles of super-sized chocolate bark – Oregon Peppermint White Chocolate bark and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond bark – as well as the classic Mr. and Mrs. Claus truffles, Peppermint Patty Snowflake, Holiday Gifts Collection truffles all hand-dressed in bows, and others.

‘Tis the season to give and to indulge, and Moonstruck Chocolate has done its very best to captivate you with every delicacy possible. Visit www.madeinoregon.com or any of our nine retail stores where you’ll find many of the goodies the kitchens at Moonstruck Chocolate has labored to bring you.

Vendor of the Month: Willamette Valley Vineyards

Discovering a good Oregon Pinot. “It’s wine’s version of love at first sight.” – Rick Dyer, South Carolina. Willamette Valley Vineyards 2013 Oregon Pinot Noir Contest Winner.

 

Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) produces award-winning Pinot wines. The Turner, Oregon, winery is renowned for its use of sustainable practices of “growing and vinifying its grapes.” Their popularity and appeal is nationwide, actually international, if you factor in an online presence and a Top Winery of the Year award in 2011.

Willamette Valley Vineyards select wines

Most recently, winery owner and founder Jim Bernau was named recipient of the American Wine Society 2012 Award of Merit, the society’s highest honor, which recognized his substantial contribution to the wine industry. WVV is a leading producer of Oregon certified sustainable wines, most notably their selection of Pinot Noirs.

WVV received double honors in 2011 by two leading industry publications, Wine Press Northwest for Oregon Winery of the Year, and Wine & Spirits magazine, as Winery of the Year from the Top 100 Wineries of the World annual award designation.

It took Bernau decades of determination and “extraordinary people” to bring WVV from the humble, old pioneer plum orchard he bought in 1983 to one of the region’s leading wineries. Imagine vast acres of prime Willamette Valley hillsides buried in scotch broom and blackberry bushes to be cleared. Row upon row of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris starts to be planted. And, multitudes of vines to be hand watered with thousands of feet of hose. WVV’s toil and devotion for love of the grape eventually earned them yet another title as “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Needless to say, we’re a huge fan of WVV wines, which consistently are the top sellers at Made In Oregon stores and online. Among the almost dozen varieties of WVV wines we carry, three are 90+ quality rated by Wine & Spirits, The Wine Advocate, and The Pinot Report:  the WVV Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, the Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir, and the WVV Elton Pinot Noir.

If you’re not familiar with WVV’s exquisite wines, let us introduce you. Browse here or stop in at any of our mall or airport stores. You can also email our wine steward at swelch@madeinoregon.com if you have questions about any of our Oregon wine selections.

Das Oktoberfest

It began as a celebration marking the 1810 marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria, but today it’s a 16-day festival that runs from late September through early October. In Munich the festival is called “der Wiesn.” In most places, though, it’s called Oktoberfest, and it’s the time to consume mass quantities of German-style beer, indulge in potato pancakes and strudel, dance the polka, and cheat on your diet with sausage and sauerkraut.

Build your own flight of beer!

Probably the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the Northwest is just one hour south of Portland, in Mount Angel, Oregon. The tiny community, known mostly for the Mt. Angel Abbey nearby, was settled by German pioneers in the early 1800s, and is reminiscent of the Bavarian country side. They know old-world tradition, and the four-day folk festival would rival any Wiesn back home. Four days of oompah bands, yodeling, craft booths, stage shows, and arts displays. Oh, did we mention the biergarten, weingarten, and alpinegarten with 50 food chalets?

MadeInOregon.com this week gives a nod to the annual Oktoberfest festivals worldwide with an appropriate and fun beer special. The timing is perfect. Lovers of the German-style beers or craft microbrews can build a flight of select beers, that’s a case of 12 pints, and we’ll have your package delivered to your doorstep via FedEx ground FREE of shipping charges. Mix or match your beer styles; it’s all the same to us. CLICK HERE to view select beers.

Now here comes the fine print. This special applies only to beer purchases made online through madeinoregon.com. And, unfortunately, this deal does not apply to our customers in Hawaii, Alaska or internationally.

 

Wild Friends Make One Happy Accident

Wild Friends Nut Butters were created by two twenty-something college pals, Keeley Tillotson and Erika Welsh, in their University of Oregon dorm room one gloomy Sunday afternoon. The two students were out of the student’s staple, peanut butter, and neither wanted to make a grocery store run in the rain. Their kitchen cupboards were virtually bare except for “a bag of raw peanuts, a brand new food processor, and two squirrely minds.” They made their first batch of homemade peanut butter, and a happy accident was born.

Honey Pretzel Peanut Butter

Fuel by their success, the Wild Friends began to experiment. “As creative chefs, we were not content with leaving our freshly-made peanut butter as just plain or crunchy. So we began adding every conceivable ingredient from our pantry. We sprinkled in cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, coffee, coconut…the list went on and on.”

The end result was an exotic array of peanut and almond butters that were launched at Made In Oregon and other local food retailers in 2011: Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Coconut, Sesame Cranberry, Honey Pretzel, Chocolate Sunflower Seed, Vanilla Espresso. Yum!

Next the new entrepreneurs took their nut butters to Shark Tank Season 3, the ABC TV show of “angel investors” who listen to pitches by start-ups like Wild Friends. Keeley and Ericka went into the Shark Tank seeking a $50K investment for a 10% share in Wild Friends Nut Butter. Wild Friends accepted The Sharks’ counter offer of $50K for 40% of the company, but after doing some due diligence, decided to go it alone without help. Their products were already doing very well in local grocery stores, and were poised to be distributed nationally. Producers also received a lot of inquiries after the show aired in 2012.

Keeley and Ericka’s “happy accident” has since been featured in dozens of national food magazines and articles. They left college to take Wild Friends Nut Butters to the next level – a household brand.

Wild Friends Nut Butters are made with all natural non-GMO, non-dairy ingredients, sweetened with agave, and are gluten free and kosher. Look for Wild Friends Nut Butters by the jarful, and also in clever single-serving packets (10 per box) – great for snacks – available at any of our nine stores or at http://www.madeinoregon.com/Wild-Friends-Nut-Butters/.

Vendor of the Month: Little Bay Root

Whose clever hand is behind those microscopic words outlining the Portland Oregon White Stag Sign T-shirt? Or, the intricate design of Sasquatch hunched in Forest Park overlooking Portland below? Or, the bold Heart Portland Mug?

Oregon Camper T-shirt design

His name is Brian Duvall, owner of Little Bay Root, and he is Made In Oregon’s August Vendor of the Month. Duvall started Little Bay Root in 2008 after almost a decade as art director at a northwest apparel outfitter. His passion is Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Many of his designs were developed in response to the patriotism locals have for this corner of the country, and their preference for locally-made products. Duvall, a designer by training and profession, is a good listener too. He observed the local market, tuned in to the local buzz, and produced playful, locally-themed designs that have become super trendy.

White Stag sign redesign

One of his most hip ideas was to adapt the iconic White Stag neon sign into a Portland Oregon – Old Town image made up of hundreds of words – from the state mushroom to city nicknames – and link them together in the shape of Oregon. The White Stag T-shirts and ephemera were an instant hit. Duvall may very well be responsible for rejuvenating the Sasquatch legend with his sketches of the hairy ape man skulking in Forest Park, or night riding across a full moon on his bike. Bigfoot sightings are everywhere now, so it seems, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.

Customers often ask about the origins of the company name to which Duvall explains, “It’s a play on words. Staffers of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush used to refer to Portland as Little Beirut because of protesters he encountered during his visits. Hence, a little….more playful name. Welcome to Little Bay Root, aka, Portland.”

T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, bumper stickers, mugs and other merchandise is produced here in Portland and Hillsboro. And, of course you can shop for Little Bay Root products at madeinoregon.com and at any of our nine retail stores.