Special gravel coverage

Green Zebra Grocery wants to be the bike-friendly Plaid Pantry

Posted by on September 13th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Green Zebra CEO Sedlar wears a pink hardhat on site. Like a boss.
(Photos © M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Lisa Sedlar is on a mission to do for the Portland mini-mart what Burgerville did for fast food and New Seasons did for grocery stores.

Her plan starts in North Portland next month and is intended to expand to Southeast soon after.

Here’s what the plan looks like: A huge, curving salad bar area at the front of the room, with fresh grab-and-go sandwiches, four cook-from-scratch soups and freshly cooked Indian food. A “microroast coffee of the week.” A meat department that includes grass-fed beef. Beer, wine and kombucha on tap, with tables on the patio out front. All of it in 7,000 square feet.

And it’s not going to work, the CEO of Green Zebra Grocery says, without bikes.

“The model itself is built on the idea of a 20-minute neighborhood, so all your goods and services are built to be available within a 20-minute walk or bike,” Sedlar said in an interview last week in the construction trailer behind Green Zebra’s first location, which opens Oct. 1 at North Lombard and Peninsular in the Kenton neighborhood.

That’s why Green Zebra will offer:

  • Bike trailers, available for overnight paid rental if you need to carry home more than you expected.
  • An on-site cargo bike, which might be borrowed or even pedaled home (for a fee) by staff.
  • A bike-up/walk-up window for sidewalk service.
  • More on-site bike parking (20 spaces, including covered spaces and room for cargo bikes) than car parking (17, which is still quite a lot for a corner store).
  • An on-site self-serve bike pump and maintenance stand.
  • A bike innertube vending machine.

Rendering by LRS Architects of the new Green Zebra at Lombard and Peninsular.

Sedlar, the former CEO of Portland-based New Seasons Market and before that a director of purchasing for Austin-based Whole Foods, said she’s been working on this plan for 10 years. (New Seasons is a small investor, she added.) She says it’s an entrepreneurial attempt to solve an eternal problem in the grocery business: how to generate more revenue per square foot of store?

“How do they return value to their shareholders?” Sedlar said. “They have to grow. So if all the ‘A’ locations have been picked, what are they left with? They’re left with ‘B’ locations, or changing their format somewhat.”

Here’s Sedlar’s big idea for a new format: slightly higher prices and narrower selection than full-size grocery stores, in exchange for more convenience and more health.

“The idea is that it’s not food for ‘those people,’ it’s food for everyone,” Sedlar said. “The idea of these stores is that it’s the new normal.”

She’s even decided that Green Zebra won’t carry cigarettes, a big decision for a small retail location, because “there’s just no way you can put the words healthy and convenient together and sell cigarettes.”

Sedlar shows a sketch of the cargo bike
Green Zebra will offer customers.

Sedlar’s projections assume that at least 30 percent of her traffic (she’s aiming for 400 to 600 trips per day) will arrive by something other than a car. In addition to the first location at North Lombard and Peninsular, she’s purchased further locations at SE Division and 50th, and SE Woodstock and 49th.

All are in commercial nodes near mixed-income residential areas that, two of which currently lack an immediate neighborhood grocer.

“They come in in the morning and they get a really good cup of coffee,” Sedlar said. “You grab a salad while you’re there, for lunch. And you come back on your way home and get a steak, a bunch of broccoli and a bottle of wine, and you’ll be on your way.”

If the model works, she plans to expand as quickly as possible elsewhere, including Seattle.

What might interfere? One obstacle in Kenton, Sedlar readily admits, is Lombard Street, a state-owned street that currently has two tightly spaced 35 mph auto travel lanes in each direction. It’s right out front.

Sedlar said that as part of the neighborhood group Friends of Lombard, Green Zebra is urging for the City of Portland to take ownership of Lombard. She’s also working with the city and state to install more painted crosswalks and better signals on Lombard.

“What’s interesting to me about that is that this is the way we used to shop: We used to shop more frequently and on a daily basis in our neighborhood. It just feels like that’s the way it’s meant to be.
— Lisa Sedlar, CEO, Green Zebra Grocery

“The neighborhood itself all through Kenton is super bikeable, super walkable,” Sedlar said. “It’s just Lombard that is a little bit scary.”

She’d also “totally support” removing auto travel lanes from Lombard in order to create more space for bikes and pedestrians.

“The thing is that safety comes first. and it’s never not going to be a main thoroughway,” Sedlar said of the street. “I would totally take away a travel lane. That’s what makes the most sense.”

Sedlar’s venture is exciting in part because it’s the latest vote of confidence by the private sector (including Green Zebra’s investors, who are putting up $3 million via loans and equity) in low-car life. When our local governments spend 40 years looking for ways to redirect their investment in auto infrastructure into a (cheaper) investment in bike, foot and transit infrastructure, it doesn’t destroy commerce. It just changes the way commerce gets done — which creates new opportunities for thoughtful risk-takers like Sedlar.

Though, as Sedlar points out, maybe Green Zebra Grocery is actually an old idea. Decades ago, the lot she’s renovating was … a Safeway.

“What’s interesting to me about that is that this is the way we used to shop,” Sedlar said. “We used to shop more frequently and on a daily basis in our neighborhood. And it’s similar to how agriculture has changed: we’ve gone from these big mono-agriculture farms to small family farms again, and we’ve gone from really big giant conventional hypermarkets to little small neighborhood stores again. It just feels like that’s the way it’s meant to be.”

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  • A.K. September 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I’m so excited for this store to open! I live in Kenton and it feels like such a chore to go to New Seasons or Freddies, especially when you just need a few quick items to whip up dinner after work. I can’t wait for this to be a 2-3 minute bike ride away from my house.

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    • Hart Noecker September 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Kinda surprised to hear that considering you own stock in oil and Alberta tar sands extraction. Good for you, all the same.

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      • eli bishop September 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        No need for random ad hominem attacks, Hart. Geesh.

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        • A.K. September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

          It’s all good, I’ve given him a hard time in plenty of threads.

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        • Peter W September 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

          Not to mention unsubstantiated.

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          • A.K. September 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

            I told him as much in a thread quite some time ago, he has a good memory. But I digress, this has gone WAY off topic now, ha.

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      • Granpa September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Your bash on AK could be more effective if you posted his (Her?) home address. Or you could address the topic of the thread……

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      • A.K. September 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        Shocked that someone who would own stock in such companies also enjoys to ride a bike? Or that they enjoy shopping for groceries and don’t want to go all that far?

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      • PC September 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        Oh Hart, don’t ever change.

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    • matt picio September 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Ditto. I could walk there in under 15 minutes – I think it’s the same distance as New Seasons. If they have REAL grass-fed beef instead of merely grass-finished, then I’ll definitely be shopping there frequently.

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  • wilf September 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Any way to design bike parking so lock is not required? Maybe not directly accessible from street, and in sight of shoppers.

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    • Chris I September 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      If you invent a way to provide cheap, secure bike parking that doesn’t require a lock, you will become a billionaire.

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      • rider September 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

        They could do a lock that’s integrated with the rack. Some sort of U-lock on a pivot. You could design it to work with most bikes.

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        • davemess September 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm

          Or some of the big fold up racks (I think Trimet has some at certain transit centers), and have a removable key, like a gym locker. Probably wouldn’t completely prevent people from dumping bikes there, but you could make it free and remove them after a week, or just charge a quarter or something.

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    • SilkySlim September 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

      This is so simple, I can’t believe I have only seen it at River City Bikes. Get a rack. Attach a whole bunch of locks in advance, with their keys sitting right in the lock, in advance of people arriving. Show up, lock up, carry the key while shopping, unclock, leave the key in the lock for the next guy. Done and done.

      River City has the added of benefit of a rack that is basically inside the shop, meaning they can get by with really flimsy cable locks. But same thing would work outside with more sturdy ones.

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      • davemess September 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        Except all the locks would likely be stolen pretty quickly.

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        • dan September 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

          Maybe something like modern airport lockers – they’re computerized, with a central terminal that gives out PIN codes on a piece of paper. The PIN codes are single use (one lock/unlock cycle), and if you lose your PIN, the store employees can override the lock. This would also track if bikes are parked overnight, etc.

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  • Nick September 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    This place is just looking better and better. The bike amenities are beyond anything I’ve ever heard of. Improving Lombard is a big deal too. So glad to have coincidentally bought a house 5 minutes away. Shopping for odds and ends at Walgreens isn’t that great, so this will be an amazing improvement.

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  • Brock Lower September 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Nice job, Lisa. This kind of store should do well in PDX and I would love one in our neighborhood. In fact, take a look at the recently closed (and available) old grungy market on the corner of 53rd and Glisan. It would be a perfect location for a smaller Green Zebra. It is right on the forthcoming 50’s Bikeway and there is a ton of Providence offices around that would make it a go to lunch stop. It could be a very cool building with a deck up top, etc…Take a look…..seriously.

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  • Cold Worker September 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Awesome idea. Now get rid of the meat for a little more ‘green’ cred.

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    • spare_wheel September 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      not to mention the harm to people and animals…

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    • Hugh Johnson September 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

      How about you start a vegan store?

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  • Indy September 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    This is a great idea. Portland is lacking grocery stores in huge sections of town, and this may be the kick needed to bring some heavy competition to the likes of Freddy’s, Safeway, New Season’s, Zupans, etc.

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    • davemess September 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Expect they don’t seem to be hitting those areas much. The next two stores are slated for Division and 49th and Woodstock.
      It will be interesting though to see if the idea gains traction and moves in to east Portland.

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      • buny September 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        the 50th and division location is much needed, there’s only a plaid in that neighborhood…

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        • davemess September 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm

          Yes, but within a mile of a Safeway, Fred Meyer’s and New Seasons. Most of east Portland does not have that luxury.

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          • Oregon Mamacita September 17, 2013 at 10:09 am

            No big store will risk certain areas of East Portland due to shoplifting.
            If that problem was addressed, you’d see a Freddy’s or a Grocery Outlet
            (surprisingly good on produce). We need the PPB more than the PDC sometimes.

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  • CitizenIrene September 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Grass-fed beef from sustainable farms is plenty green. This place is going to be my new jam.

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    • spare_wheel September 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      the so-called grass-fed beef sold at expensive yuppie stores (e.g. new seasons country natural beef) comes from the infamous Boardman feedlot where Temple Grandin observed cows being hacked into pieces while still alive. to buy grass fed beef from a farm you need to actually travel to the farm and buy a cow share. it’s very expensive and of dubious sustainability since farms in the PNW feed their cows commercially-grown grain and hay.

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      • davemess September 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm

        very expensive? As long as you have the freezer space for it, much of it can come out to under $4/lb.

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  • Alex Reed September 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This is a pretty selfish comment, but SE 62nd & Foster would be a better location than SE 49th & Woodstock. There’s a Safeway at SE 42nd ish and Woodstock but no grocer within 20 blocks of SE 62nd & Foster.

    Or, do both! Green Zebra near my house in FoPo, please!

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    • Alex Reed September 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Also, there’s a very small grocery store space vacant at SE 67th & Foster if Green Zebra is open to a slightly larger format.

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      • Lillian September 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

        Actually, I think the most awesome location would be a little further down Woodstock closer to Reed College. Being at Reed, there’s a desperate need for student-friendly healthy food options that are open late and work in a microwave. And coffee. And beer. There’s always a need for beer.

        If only the East Moreland neighborhood association didn’t have a…spruce tree…up their…canyon.

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        • Alex Reed September 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

          Ooh, yes! The whole Reed College area is a commercial desert despite lots of hungry college students and wealthy Eastmorelanders.

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    • davemess September 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Fred Meyer’s is less than a mile away from that intersection (It techanically starts at what, 79th?). I was more psyched when I heard it was going in at SE 52nd and Woodstock (at least a little closer to my house).

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      • Alex Reed September 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

        Uh, well, you are correct that Fred Meyer is a mile away by car on Foster, but it’s 1.6 miles away by bike if you take the meandering side streets. And walking a mile on Foster isn’t all that fun either….

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    • Alex Reed September 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Correction, the Safeway is at SE 46th & Woodstock, so three blocks away from the SE 49th & Woodstock loc’n. I’d say that’s a pretty “immediate neighborhood grocer.” Not that Woodstock doesn’t deserve two, they do! I just want one for FoPo. Green Zebras for everyone!

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    • Oregon Mamacita September 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Why no love for Portland Produce? Cheap, fresh, local. But no worries,
      the PDC is giving tax dollars to a market at 72nd and Foster. The PDC is too scared to go to Rockwood. So they put money into the gentrifying
      neighborhood on the grounds that Walmart & Freddy’s don’t have food.
      BTW- many Portlanders seem to like WalMart. Not my choice, but
      they’ve added produce and people can afford the food.

      Interested in Green Zebra- unless the onions are 2.00 a pop. Then I lose interest.

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  • Adam September 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Wow, I would LOVE one of these in the Lloyd District, where we live. It is a TOTAL food desert, if you don’t count Plaid Pantry and Red Robin. With all the office workers, and more and more residential springing up, it would be the perfect area.

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  • Adam September 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    (PS – I don’t count Safeway, because every time I go in there and try to buy groceries, the whole experience frustrates and depresses me so bad, I basically want to kill myself).

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    • Granpa September 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Safeway is the 7th level of hell. Not only is the produce from who knows where and the meat bad, but I bought bottled apple juice there that made me sick. Turned out it was made from concentrate from China.

      anyway good luck with the store. It sounds like a good idea.

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      • spare_wheel September 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        Since safeway has plenty of organic apple juice it sounds to me like you bought what you payed for. I prefer safeway because their employees are represented by a union.

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        • Eric Lambart September 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

          The same Safeway that belongs to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), therefore helping to finance and LEAD the fight against GMO labeling? No thanks. They can take their big “O” Organics, and… well… enough said.


          I can’t wait until Green Zebra opens… and will dream of crossing a future Lombard, with only two lanes for motorized traffic, to get there.

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  • Ryan Good September 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I am so excited for this store, and not just because I live three blocks from it. I hope it thrives in a big way! Also, I can’t even begin to say how much I’m impressed with and glad about the no cigarette policy- awesome.

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  • Paul September 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I loved how in Amsterdam there was always an Albert Heijn grocery store close by. Smaller or medium-sized grocery stores, but with more locations and most everything you need for daily meals. It’s just what we need here.

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  • Beth September 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Safeway may be the “seventh level of hell” for some, but for an awful lot of Portlanders ot’s where they can afford to shop. Green Zebra sounds cool and I hope it succeeds, but not that it becomes the “new normal”. If lower-cost stores are eventually squeezed out it could create equity deserts all over the city.

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    • davemess September 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Safeway is more expensive than Fred Meyers and many other stores for lots of products (even more than Trader Joe’s on many things). I wouldn’t call Safeway a cheaper grocery by any stretch.

      I get what you’re saying. But at the same time how do you shift people’s spending habits? We spend way too little money on food in the country, because we have grown used to processed, mass-produced cheap crap. Now we’ve got an obesity epidemic and people are freaking out about spending a few more dollars for food that is better for them. And I prioritize eating well over cable TV, smart phones, nicer cars, etc. There are some people who are financially struggling for sure, but there are plenty out there who are just making bad financial decisions (like the guy in my neighborhood (where median hh income is about $50k/yr) who probably has an $80k house and drives a Hummer).

      Sorry to go on a tangent.

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      • spare_wheel September 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm

        safeway doubles coupons, stacks e-coupons, and offers truly massive discounts regularly (e.g. 20%). in my experience, the only stores that regularly beat safeway’s prices are winco and costco.

        “We spend way too little money on food in the country.”

        actually we spend far too much money on food because the average USAnian consumes truly massive quantities of unnecessary and environmentally destructive luxuries (meat and dairy products).

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      • John Andersen September 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        We went car-free and now have plenty of money to spend on quality food.

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    • Patrick September 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I agree. I am all for green, sustainable and healthy but what isn’t talked about openly is the demographic that these places cater to. If you have a family or don’t make a decent wage then Green Zebra doesn’t really contribute anything back to the “community” in general.

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      • davemess September 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        I think we’re talking about it right here!

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    • Adam September 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      I’m sorry… people can afford to shop at Safeway?! Give me a break! Their food is about a dollar more expensive for every single item than Fred Meyer!

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  • Rebecca September 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    It’s one thing to put in pretty bike racks and say you want walk-up business but these ladies walk the walk of their mission. My student team met them during the Lombard Re-Imagined project and we know them as people who were willing to put in nights and weekends to find out how they, as a business, could work with the neighborhood to improve the walking/rolling and biking conditions around Lombard. They were some of the first people at the table talking about better crosswalks at Peninsular and bike access from the side streets – and asking “how do we make this happen?”

    It is WONDERFUL to see the business community not only recognize how biking and walking can be good for business, but take an active role in improving that access.

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  • Ted Buehler September 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Very classy. Two thumbs up to the Cargo bikes for loan, trailers for cloan, dedicated cargo bike parking, & tube vending machines. I don’t think I’ve seen any of these in Portland before. I predict that some, and possibly all of their proposals will be a hit & catch on with other Portland merchants.

    Then, unless they’re already happening elsewhere, they’ll likely catch on in Portland’s sister cities like Tucson, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, etc., which are 5 years behind Portland, but on the same trajectory of rapidly increasing bicycle trip more share.

    Plaid has decent customer service, snacks, and beer, but sure lacks in the bicycle amenity department. I look forward to shopping at the competition.

    Best of luck,
    Ted Buehler

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  • CaptainKarma September 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so sick of chain everythings in portland; it’s getting to be like an interstate highway strip mall for hipsters. I want to shop where I can speak to the owner.

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    • Paul September 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Only hipsters buy food?

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    • Hugh Johnson September 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

      Yeah but this place won’t sell cigarettes at least. No American Spirits for the skinny jean wearing fixie riders. Awwwwww.

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    • matt f September 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Man, have you lost perspective. After 12 years here, it stil strikes me as how few chains stores there are here.

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      • davemess September 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        apparently local and regional chains are not good enough. It should be a one off and only one off store!

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  • Suzii September 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Another advantage of this Lombard location that often goes unnoticed is the synergy the Green Zebra can build with the excellent halal market across the intersection to the northeast.

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  • YeezyO September 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    LOL we were looking for the whitest website on earth and found it. Hahaha must be ill to be white and eat GRASS FED beef and fuck around on bikes all day cause you aint got a boss that will fire your ass if you’re late and black. Find me and my boys in our WHIPS in the Wendys drivethru haha. And WTF IS KOMBRUCHA? We see you, white people! Lol.

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  • Scott September 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Love it! So excited to see this open here in North Portland! Don’t forget, they are also planning to have lockers for your bike stuff you don’t want to cart around with you in the store and the small tube vending machine is a brand new concept from Bike Fixtation. http://www.bikefixtation.com/ We’ve been testing some of their products in the Alta Bike SPA Lab and are really impressed with their quality, design, and ingenuity.

    Keep up the good work Lisa and crew!

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  • TOM September 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

    >>Lisa Sedlar is on a mission to do for the Portland mini-mart what Burgerville did for fast food and New Seasons did for grocery stores.

    I don’t understand what BV did for fast food that was similar ?

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    • davemess September 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Uh, mainly use locally sourced products, serve seasonal foods, and try to make burgers and fries just a little bit healthier. Oh yeah, for a while they were also printing calorie contents on receipts. They also have two options of meatless burgers (don’t think you’ll find that from a national chain). In addition to other sustainable practices they have employed. And they were one of the first places to allow/encourage bikes to use the drive through.


      I don’t work for Burgerville at all, I just like what they do.

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      • spare_wheel September 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

        it’s ironic that you write about the need for americans to eat healthier food and then proceed to praise a fast food joint.

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        • davemess September 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          Who sells healthier food! Are you not paying attention?

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        • davemess September 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

          I’ll expand on that. I don’ think it’s ironic at all. The world isn’t black and white, and for most of us it’s not a decision between hardcore vegan or twinkie eating slob. There are lots of areas in the middle. And for many people with an active lifestyle and a mostly “healthy” diet, a burger at Burgerville once in a blue moon is not going to ruin them.
          It’s going to take a MASSIVE shift in cultural norms to have people give up fast food, and in the mean time I would rather have them eat it at a more responsible place that at least offers local products and quite a few meatless options (I probably get an anasazi bean burger half the times I got to burgerville).

          I respect you for your veganism, but don’t feel bad about eating the eggs from the chickens in my backyard.

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          • spare_wheel September 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm

            daverness, backyard eggs from well cared for chickens don’t bother me. i just don’t think the nutritional value of the food served by burgerville is much better than that served mickey d’s. i respect burgerville because it’s labor practices and it’s contribution to our local economy, not the health of it’s food.

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            • spare_wheel September 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm

              apologies for the typos…

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    • BIKELEPTIC September 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      I have worked for BV for a very short time and can attest that they use mostly compostable/recyclable products (If you go inside, you will notice they divide up all their cans) and they are very serious as staff about sorting all that stuff out. They also source all their foods from as local as possible; California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho. (Alaskan halibut). They can tell you where everything is sourced and if unfortunately their staff might not be able to quote it off the top of their head they do have print offs or the management can.

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  • TOM September 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Safeway is the 7th level of hell. Not only is the produce from who knows where and the meat bad, but I bought bottled apple juice there that made me sick. Turned out it was made from concentrate from China.
    anyway good luck with the store. It sounds like a good idea./blockquote>

    I took a tour of SWs warehouse in Clackamas once. They were very proud of the nitrogen atmosphere buildings where they can store bananas and apples for up to 10 years. Buy on bumper crop seasons and then wait till lean seasons to make extra profit.

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    • GlowBoy September 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Wow, no wonder all the produce I’ve ever bought at Safeway tasted like crap.

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    • Beth September 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      “where they can store bananas and apples for up to ten years. Buy on bumper crop seasons and then wait till lean seasons to make a profit.”

      I seem to recall that Joseph told the ancient Egyptians to do the same thing with grain back in the day. In case anyone thought this was a new idea or something.

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  • BIKELEPTIC September 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I would love if more locally sourced, “hip” places started sprouting up out here on 82nd area. If we are looking for growth as a city, we need to start remembering that soon people aren’t going to be able to afford to live in the urban core. Just as people moved to NE and N Portland and “gentrified” that people they couldn’t afford downtown, they’re already starting to move further out past NE 70th to the Park Rose area and such. I think Lumberyard did the smart thing in setting up out here and just waiting for growth to come to them. Because just as Chinatown was run out of downtown because they couldn’t afford it, pretty soon, no one else will be able to, either. I am a couple miles from a grocery store, and in a very not-fun-bikeable area near Madison high school. I should never have to say that I live near a school and not accessible to amenities or safe “alternative” transportation. Isn’t that what building community is supposed to be? Build a school, build a grocery store, build a neighborhood? Nope. It’s build a freaking huge road that divides the city and no one respects the speed limit with few stop lights or safe crossings.

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    • Hugh Johnson September 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Finally…someone else on this forum who knows first hand what a auto centric hell east Portland is.

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    • matt f September 16, 2013 at 9:27 am


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  • Doug Klotz September 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I wish her well with this concept. Just to throw in a completely different, off-topic, element… It would be simpler (if removing all those plastered on rocks is simple), and perhaps more respectful of old neighborhoods, to simply restore the Art Deco detailing of the building, rather than cover them over with unpainted wood and add a big “sign” block with a zebra on it.

    While this store does have all that stone on it, the 50th and Division building is pretty much an intact old Art Deco grocery store building. I’m hoping she doesn’t get architects involved, who have too much ego to simply restore a perfectly good and interesting facade, but instead have to make it their “own” design! Unfortunately, one Deco building at that intersection has already suffered at the hands of architects (Green stone instead of ipe). I hope we can preserve the grocery.

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    • Scott September 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Hey now, no need to hate on the architects. Most of the time architects are paid to do what the client wants. —and many times, the resulting building is just a product of the times.

      That being said, I’d love to see some historic photos of what this used to look like before the wretched rock facade was plastered on the side.

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    • kittens September 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Yeah, kinda surprised they went with LRS for this project.

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  • Zaphod September 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I’m quite excited to see the convenience store elevated. And you’ll see our coffee on shelves there! 🙂

    The level of cycling support makes me quite happy to be a part of this forward thinking model.

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  • Jim Labbe September 16, 2013 at 8:35 am

    This is great. But I have to add- in response to the title- that Plaid Pantry has been pretty bike- and pedestrian- friendly in its own and very significant way by helping fight the Columbia River Crossing project.

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  • Bjorn September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am

    btw considering the stand against the CRC by Plaid Pantry I’d say they already are the bike friendly convenience store.

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    • GlowBoy September 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Good point Bjorn, and I’ve been really happy that they did that. But they still lack bike racks at an awful lot of their locations. To me that’s the absolute base of the hierarchy of what a “bike-friendly” store ought to have.

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  • Capergirl September 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    We at Green Zebra Grocery want to provide amenities that truly serve our community and support the 20 Minute Neighborhood. As you know, we have a cargo bike and a bike trailer available for customers to use and would love to hear your thoughts on how the program would be of best service:

    Should there be a window of time to check out the bike or trailer, if so how long is reasonable?
    How should the checkout program work – hold onto a credit card number, drivers license, register through a bike program etc…?
    If we had a dedicated driver, would you want delivery for a small fee?

    Thanks for your input, we really appreciate your insight and time!

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    • Nick September 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

      CC or driver’s license seems convenient and reasonable. It might help to accept either one, because some people don’t have one or the other.

      We pay Safeway to deliver sometimes during the wet months. I think their fee is around $10. I’m not sure what you would need to charge for it to pencil out, but in my mind that would be your main competition here in Portland. Would this be online shopping?

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  • Ingri September 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Who are you trying to serve with the cargo bikes? If one needs a drivers license or credit card to rent it, then your target audience is different than if you can sign up through a bike program. Is the purpose to have fewer cars delivering or to help people with no access to cars?
    If you had a dedicated biker and also others for rent, I’d be tempted although I’ve never needed anything from a 7/11 type store delivered!

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    • Capergirl September 28, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Hi, I think we are now looking at a dedicated driver service for those who shopped and may have purchased more than they feel comfortable getting home by bike or walking. We are also exploring an online partnership for those who would like to order groceries and have them delivered in a specific window of time. Hopefully, you will find our offerings of meat/seafood, organic produce and fresh house made deli items something from the norm of 7-11.

      Thank you!

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  • Jenn September 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

    This is a super model for encouraging bicycle use in relatively low density areas.

    Liability and maintenance will be an issue. Trailers are probably the best idea, they are easy to attach to a personal bike and can carry a bunch. The front loaders are pretty but the majority of cyclists have not ridden them and it could be difficult for novice riders to pick up on.

    Love the full integration of alternative transportation into the Green Zebra vision. Way to pave the way!!!

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  • Nick October 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Small update: there’s going to be one or more (sounds like at least two) Zipcars stationed at the Kenton Green Zebra.


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