Friendly Street Market – Neighborhood Blog

Today, Susie and I went to the Friendly Street Market, a local little store that sells mostly organic items.

In the front of the store is a quaint café area that serves vegan doughnuts and has an all-organic menu offering a wide variety of foods including homemade pancakes, huevos rancheros and spaghetti marinara. We enter the store at about 6 on a Monday evening but there are still a couple of people sitting around the area at the small tables and chairs. Two women are sitting together in a corner, talking quietly, and a girl is sitting alone with a rather large book.

From the ceiling hangs a collection of maybe 260 wicker baskets – they’re arranged in such a haphazard way that it’s difficult to count, but that’s my estimation. They’re of all different shapes and sizes are there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for them to be hanging there, but they are, adding a bit of quirky personality to the market. Some colorful for-sale paintings by an artist named Sandra Borgeson are placed on the wall.

Art!

In the main part of the market, you can find many local goodies such as cookies and some delicious-looking breads from The Bread Stop. As I’m writing about them, a couple approaches the area to look at the bread and I have to squeeze by to get out of their way. Some of the aisles in the store are pretty narrow, but that only gives it a cozier feel.

I hear the heart-melting sound of a baby cooing and spot her sitting in a shopping cart, sporting dark blonde hair and a pink shirt. Susie and I start talking to her mom (which I would do even if I weren’t wandering around with a notebook for a reporting class) and discover that the baby’s name is Annabelle. Her favorite word is “Mama,” and as she says it she points to her mom and grins. She can also imitate a panting dog, which she demonstrates proudly. Her mom is really friendly; she didn’t give us her name, but chatted with us for a few minutes anyway.

The store has a great collection of bulk products, like chocolate chips, granola, and beans. The store also has a wide variety of natural beauty products and chocolate – really, all you need in life.

On a bottom shelf, surrounded by organic chocolates and Surf Sweets naturally-sweetened gummy bears (both of which I end up buying), I spy some guilty-looking, out of place Reese’s and M&M’s.

The store has a much better produce section than Safeway, causing me to lament how far the store is from my apartment, and lots of alternatives to dairy products, such as chocolate soy milk and a Pacific hazelnut beverage.

A “Heart Gallery” display is up towards the front of the store, with pictures of and short biographies of Oregon foster children who are in need of homes.

Heart Gallery

Overall, I thought the Friendly Street Market looked like a wonderful place to shop. The cashier was really friendly, and the people milling around the store all seemed good-natured. They had a great selection of organic and natural foods, which is rare, and the prices for these healthy products weren’t unreasonable, which is even rarer.

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