The shelves of Northshore Quality Produce overflow with all the in-season fixings a chef would need to create a healthy meal. Most of the potatoes, apples, tomatoes, and other fruits and veggies come straight from local farms, eliminating guesswork or French accents. In addition to the produce, the shop stocks refrigerated items—such as milk, juice, and salsa—and shelved foodstuffs, such as pita chips and crackers.
Decades ago, brothers Bob and Earl Green founded a business dealing in red meat and seafood on April Fools' Day. Later, on another fateful April 1, they passed the shop to Bob's son and daughter-in-law, and today, more than 50 years since its 1958 opening, B & E Meats and Seafood still cuts, smokes, and marinates prime carnivorous fare at three locations.
Beef raised in Washington and Oregon comes to B & E Meats in three variants: natural, traditional, and grass-fed on the grounds of Harlow Ranch. The staff preps T-bones and tenderloins alongside signature kalbi beef ribs, whose soy, ginger, garlic, and sesame-oil marinade evokes tropical barbecues. Such meticulous seasoning is par for the course—the staffers smoke their beef jerky for up to six hours with alder and cherry-wood chips to preserve rustic flavor, and they cover pork roasts in sea salt before wrapping them in banana leaves. Their smoked candy salmon also boasts a tantalizing mix of sweet and salty notes, and corned beef comes traditionally cured for St. Patrick's Day.
Freezer variety packs tempt those who can’t decide on one meal with 25–100 pounds of cuts and goodies, which include steaks, roasts, ground beef, and bacon. In the interest of convenience, the store provides cooking instructions for many of its popular dishes, as well as game-processing services that package meats by weight.
The butchers at AA Meats foster an old-school atmosphere in their meat market, serving up quality cuts the same way they have since 1955. Their selection encompasses traditional cuts such as flat iron steaks, boneless chicken thighs, and pork chops as well as more exotic items including ostrich patties, frog legs, and alligator. On top of their fresh cuts, the shop also boasts several types of jerky, pepperoni, and cheese to toss on burgers. Aside from buying a meat inspector costume, the best way to sample the shop's smorgasbord is with one of its locker packs, which range from simple breakfast packs all the way up to a 100-pound assortment made up of more than a dozen different types of meat.
Kim and Jim Oswalt opened Gemini Fish Market to bring the finest fresh, frozen, and live fish and seafood to the tables of their neighbors. At a young age Jim was working in multiple segments of the seafood industry, ranging from commercial smoking to large-scale processing. His lifetime passion for seafood has afforded Gemini Fish Market certain connections, allowing them to procure fresh modern delicacies such as North Atlantic sea scallops, Maine lobster, and premium Hawaiian exotics such as hand-line caught swordfish. They have also enlisted the help of chef Dave Gipson to create specialties such as crab cakes, salmon burgers, and fresh dips and spreads.
Kim and Jim also focus on superior quality, sustainable fisheries, and best-catch methods, which they believe lead to healthier oceans and healthier customers. The passionate pair fills their website with free seafood facts and cooking and preparation tips, as well as recipes such as sea scallops over wilted spinach and Chef Dave’s fish tacos.
Licensed cheese artisan Julie Steil and her husband Rob once crafted cheeses as a part-time hobby, until encouragement from those who had tasted the results prompted them to turn the delectable pastime into a full-time passion. Today, the Steils manage their own herd of goats and cows who lead pampered lives on the couple's 20-acre farm, where a diet of alfalfa, blackberry thickets, and chocolate syrup yield better-tasting milk. The Steils create different cheeses in small batches, ranging from a semihard cheese bathed in raspberry port to a raw milk tomme bathed in Naughty Nellie ale from Pike Brewery. Landing River Valley Cheese on Sunset magazine's list of the Top 100 Cultural Trends Shaping the West, Julie and Rob also share their love of fromage fashioning at hands-on cheese-making classes, where attendees can learn to create their own wheels of fresh and aged cheeses, instead of relying on the questionable quality of the cheeses peddled by door-to-door sales cows.
Under red-and-white striped tents, handwritten signs beckon passersby over to wheeled carts filled with bundles of greens or smooth, symmetrical apples. At Newcastle Fruit & Produce’s open-air market, visitors survey a vast selection of seasonal, locally sourced fruit and vegetables that can include Bartlett pears, red-leaf lettuce, Yakima asparagus, and blueberries. Aside from assembling salad essentials, Newcastle’s team also stocks shrubs, perennials, and potted trees, and cuts pines for Christmas or anti-Arbor Day celebrations.