Rosauers Supermarkets just opened in Ridgefield. As I drove there for this article, I wondered if I would travel all the way from Vancouver to Ridgefield to go grocery shopping.
Huckleberry’s Natural Market, housed in Rosauers, is a store within a store and alone worth the trip. A bulk food section of nuts, dried fruits, and grains hugs the walls of the shop. You can fill containers from spigots of honey and Dr. Bronner’s soap. The bulk section features coffee from Portland Coffee Roasters and tea from local favorite Tea Hunters. You’ll also find an extensive aisle of plant-based meat and cheese and a good assortment of “healthy” snacks.
Ashley Gorman, corporate buyer and merchandiser for Huckleberry’s, carefully scrutinizes all potential vendors by closely examining the product and the person selling it. She looks for things that are on trend, like keto-diet friendly items, and items that she knows customers will want. She looks for clean food with clean labels. Certified organic is a plus, but non-GMO isn’t sufficient to get an item on the shelves. Transparency is important. She likes fair trade, sustainably produced products, as well as local and regional brands.
On my visit, Bob Moore, the spry 91-year-old former owner of Bob’s Red Mill, was in the Huckleberry’s section in his signature khaki beret, bolo tie and red vest. Moore has been a celebrity for natural foods shoppers since he began selling stone-ground flours decades ago. He’s now legendary for selling his business to his employees and traveling around to meet his customers. People waited patiently to meet him.
The meat and seafood department at Rosauers is impressive. There’s an on-site butcher, a rare luxury these days. The clerk I spoke to at the meat department said that for special meat orders, customers should call in the morning and give the butcher a day or two notice.