Our “Foster Folk” feature makes a spring return with a profile of one of its little gems, Portland Fruit East. And with good timing, too. There’s been a lot of local rumbling about how bad the Foster Fred Meyer can be, specifically in the produce section. So why not let us introduce an alternative: Portland Fruit East. Meet its owner, Andy Bischoff.
Who are you and what is your connection to the neighborhood?
We are Portland Fruit East, and we are the neighborhood family-owned produce and grocery spot. We provide a fun, laidback place for people to shop, where they can really get that personal, get-to-know-your-neighbor feel, while also getting the best price.
Other than fruit (duh), what does Portland Fruit East provide?
We’ve got produce, local dairy products, honey, salsa, canned goods, nuts and dried fruit, along with beer, cider, mead and kombucha on tap, and so much more. We’ve got everything for the neighborhood, and we work really hard to get the best prices to our customers. Our top priority is keeping everything local. We like to know who is producing our food.
How did you choose to live/work on Foster? What are some of the challenges and opportunities to doing business in the neighborhood?
My dad bought the store about 6 years ago from a good friend, and I run this location while my brother runs the Beaverton location. One of the challenges we have found is getting the younger crowd shopping with us. We want to see young people caring about local food too!
Just as Foster is evolving, how do you see Portland Fruit East changing with it?
These are exciting times for our business! Change is good, and we are getting ready to evolve with the area. We recently redid our Facebook, and just got Twitter and Instagram pages – we’re making some jumbo ‘happy fruit’ installments for the outside of the building, painted by one of our guys in the store and I cut them out, making the area a little more friendly looking. We recently did some major renovations to the building by adding garage doors to the front so now the building is all open when the weather is nice. We also have tons of bottled beer in the store, and now we have tons of beer, cider, mead and kombucha on tap. Plus we have tons of starts for your garden! We really just want to see lots of people at the store, having fun and learning about local products.
What are your favorite haunts in the neighborhood when you’re not working?
I don’t know that I could pick a favorite, and I don’t live in the area so I don’t get to hang out as much as I wish, but I always like supporting any fellow Foster Rd business. It hasn’t always been easy out here, but we have a great spirit in this area, and we love our community.
If you had two wishes for Foster, what would they be?
One would be to see more people supporting local rather than chain stores. And the second would be to see everyone in town come to our Let’s Get Local Spring Kickoff! It will be on April 18th from noon to 4pm, and we’ll have tons of local businesses handing out samples, such as humm kombucha, Romero’s salsa and a lot more. Plus we will have a free juice stand hosted by local startup Generation Juice, for anyone that wants to see what this whole juicing thing is about. Check it out here at https://www.facebook.com/events/1599098543668423/.
Oh and don’t forget to like us on facebook!! https://www.facebook.com/Portlandfruiteast and follow our twitter and Instagram for fun updates about the store! www.twitter.com/pdxfruiteast and www.instagram.com/portland_fruit_east.
Cheers! Thanks, Andy