Brenda Crow sees herself as a food curator, and much like a good art gallery owner, hers is a refined skill. “I’ve tasted many versions of the same food so I can confidently tell someone what is the best,” says Crow. After 13 years sourcing food in Europe for the renowned gourmet market Dean & Deluca, Crow started to notice amazing foods coming out of her home state of Oregon. “I’ve traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe, and the quality of food in Oregon is top-notch,” says Crow, who also recognized the difficulty of small food producers in getting their products into the hands of consumers. Thus the online market Food Shed was born.
Each product on Food Shed from sausages to sea salt must pass Crow’s rigorous taste tests, and the result is a store full of delicious delights with no disappointments. Since opening for business in December 2010, Crow’s purposely small selection includes 14 Oregon food producers including Monmouth’s Freddy Guys Hazelnuts and micro-producer Spella Caffe from Portland. Every item also includes a mouth-tingling description of the product and detailed recipe and food pairing ideas.
With such attention and love given to each item, Food Shed manages to entice foodies and non-foodies alike through sheer food enthusiasm. This is exactly Crow’s goal. “It’s important that everyone who buys something from the site comes back and wants to try something new,” she says. And, no doubt, it will be delicious.
Brenda Crow loves Olympic Provisions’ Saucisson D’Arles sausage. “The flavor is absolutely dreamy,” says Crow. “Rich, meaty and purely porky with earthy back notes and the subtleties of a good cheese.”
Ayers Creek Farms red currant jelly: A subtly sweet all-organic jelly with currants grown in Gaston.
$7.95; Pastaworks in Portland.
Fifty Licks ice cream: This hand-made ice cream features flavors such as maple bacon, Stumptown coffee and House Spirit’s Slabtown whiskey.
In a pickle
Sassafras Kitchen watermelon rind pickles: The chefs at Sassafras use Oregon-grown watermelons for a peppery, tangy twist on a traditional Southern hors d’oeuvre.
Sweet Vegan Delight vegan red velvet cookies: These sandwich cookies, aka “wookies,” are all vegan, including the cream cheese filling.
Two for $6.00; sweetvegan.etsy.com
Long brewing IPA: Extremely small-batch beer made in Newberg and served at The Allison Inn & Spa.