In 1938, women ducked into the Knapp Family Restaurant carrying envelopes of cash. They weren’t looking for family-style eggs and hash, they were paying their gas bill. The restaurateur, Dwight Knapp, had unintentionally set up a second business by installing a propane pipeline underneath his eatery. His little business grew from supplying just a few neighbors to providing propane to the residents and businesses of nine markets in California and Oregon. Today, Blue Star Gas’s team of experts install and service tanks, fit pipes, and help convert cars or robot butlers to run on propane.
The cleaning specialists of Lana's Affordable Cleaning work best alone. Their eyes seek out dust and grime before sweeping and mopping floors, washing interior windows, and sanitizing bathrooms. Clients can have the cleaning crews perform other sanitizing services, targeting areas that are often overlooked, including ceiling fans, blinds, and areas around that family that hasn’t left since last month's dinner party.
For 25 years, the chefs and party planners at A Matter of Taste have been decorating and catering everything from major events to intimate gatherings. Founder Vanessa Juryla has put her skills to use at weddings and private dinners in New York and Los Angeles, and today she and her staff focus on the Portland area. There, they sauté Maryland soft-shell crab, grill mangos and pair them with rum-glazed plantains, and prepare cakes in flavors such as coconut pineapple and vanilla buttermilk.
At Paint N' Fire—a paint-your-own pottery studio—shelves of unfinished plates, mugs, and other ceramics wait to be adorned by walk-in painters of all skill levels. Artists work at tiled tables in an earth-toned studio to create imagery that's wildly innovative, beautiful, or commemorates the ancient Athenian victory at Marathon on pottery ready to be filled with flowers, pencils, or wishes. Pottery painters can also use an onsite copier to magnify or reduce graphics and apply those to ceramics. Within a week after studio sessions, glazed and kiln-fired masterpieces are ready for pickup.
From humble beginnings as a small but passionate basement brewing operation, Above the Rest Home Brewing has now outgrown three spaces since 1993. Now residing in a 1,500 square-foot commercial store with an adjoining classroom, Above the Rest’s staff guides both rookies and seasoned pros through the steps of not only wine- and beer-brewing, but also soda- and cheese-making as well. Staffers can also guide visitors though the selection of equipment, malts, hops, and yeast, helping them pick out the right combination of ingredients to craft an IPA, porter, or a replica of the beer Santa Claus drinks before fact checking his Naughty/Nice list.
Paint Pots Ceramic Studio's inclusive terra cotta workshop matches creative clients with color-craving ceramics, providing all of the needed supplies to craft truly personalized pottery. Clients choose earthenware items from Paint Pots’ selection of tiles, plates, bowls, mugs, platters, banks, and figurines, and then take a seat at a waiting painting station.
Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.
The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.