Gorge Grown, Next Door aid food entrepreneurs

Gorge Grown Food Network, in collaboration with Nuestra Comunidad Sana (a program of The Next Door, Inc.), organized a recent event for Spanish-speakers interested in opening food businesses.

Starting a food business is no easy task. Several local successful business owners offered their time to come talk to other Spanish-speakers about their food-based businesses recently at the Hood River County Fairgrounds’ Community Building.

Each panelist shared their story of what it took to get started and the struggles and successes they have had along the way. They also answered questions from an enthusiastic audience.

Dan Thall, co-owner of Hood River Organic, talked about their business model and how it has grown into a thriving community supported agriculture operation (sometimes known as farm shares or CSAs) that runs year-round and sources some of their offerings from a number of local farms.

Thall shared tips on cleaning and storing vegetables to maintain freshness and to increase shelf life.

Sylvia Delgadillo grew up in a family that ran a food business. Her parents still own and operate La Mexicana market on the main street in Odell so it was a natural progression for her to open her own food business.

Tropic Fruit a la Mexicana, which is located inside Juanita’s market on the Heights in Hood River, opened in August 2012. As the owner, Delgadillo makes a variety of reasonably priced fruit dishes that represent specialties from almost every state in Mexico. All the dishes are made fresh on a daily basis and Delgadillo is happy to tailor each delightful dish to suit customer’s tastes.

Lucio Matias and his family run Chicken & Teriyaki located at 1314 12th St. on the Heights in Hood River, OR. While visiting their daughter in Hillsboro they realized that there were no teriyaki places in the Gorge. They were inspired to give it a try.

The name of this restaurant is only the beginning of what you will find on their menu. While there are several varieties of teriyaki dishes available, there is also a full menu of Mexican specialties. The dishes are created to be fresh, low in fat, and offered at prices that won’t break your pocketbook.

Humberto Calderon, owner of Novedades El Portrillo on the Heights in Hood River, shared his story of working two jobs and fighting to save every penny he could so that he could make his dream of having his own store a reality. His words of wisdom were, “Don’t give up and give it your all.”

Gorge Grown Food Network and The Next Door, Inc. seek to support aspiring and established food and agricultural businesses by connecting them to the resources they need to be successful, financially sustainable businesses.


For more information contact Gorge Grown Food Network at 541-490-6420 or gorgegrown.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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