New Seasons Market Seven Corners
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Arguably the largest supporter of local food stuffs simply because it's the biggest, New Seasons Market has grown to 12 Portland-area stores in as many years. Back in 2000, the self-proclaimed "friendliest grocery store in town" began with the core mission of creating a store that was "friendly, fun, neighborly, and supportive of sustainable agriculture," and to this day, New Seasons takes "pride in supporting local farms, ranches and other small businesses."
Beyond buying from local food producers, New Seasons' size implies higher profit margins, thus allowing it to support the community in other ways than solely selling the 868,659 pounds of potatoes from 12 local farms it sold in 2010. New Seasons donates 10 percent of its after-tax profits to local nonprofit organizations, and in 2011, those grants totaled over $65,000 focused on "three key areas: feeding the hungry, educating our youth, and improving our environment." New Seasons also aids Loaves & Fishes, Meals On Wheels, and countless youngsters by donating "100 percent of the profits from certain Northwest-grown, organic apples and pears" to local schools. There's plenty more to New Seasons' mission and practices (download the 2012 Sustainability Report), and you can even request a donation for your organization or event. Chris Young, 4/19/2012