When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Dr. Cynthia Gulick received her board certification for family practice medicine in 1990. But since then, her focus has grown from primary care to also include medical bariatrics, which was one of the inspirations behind opening of Oregon Medical Weight Loss & Wellness. There, she and her staff give each patient an alternative to weight-loss surgery or turning their home into a multi-room sauna. That program includes body-composition analyses, gym access, nutritional counseling, vitamin B12 injections, and weigh-ins with the center's support team. Equally important as those services is the mentality that Dr. Gulick and her team bring to the table. Instead of obsessing over inch loss, they focus on finding the reasons their patients are gaining and retaining weight to help them keep it off in the long run.
Like most of their produce, Spicer Brothers Produce has roots in the Portland area. Over the course of more than two decades in business, the natural produce store has built relationships with local farmers and companies such as Bob’s Red Mill, Spring Valley Dairy, Sisters Coffee, and Portland French Bakery. These connections allow them to keep track of where that food comes from and how it is produced. Each morning, delivery drivers arrive with fresh supplies of fruit, veggies, and baked goods, and a selection of samples are generally available to showcase the shop’s fresh produce. Alongside apples in an autumnal palette of greens and reds, oranges, tangelos, and tangerines beg to be included in juices and fights about what the difference between a fruit and a vegetable is.
Indecision is all part of the fun when it comes to visiting Yogurt Shack. Each shop features self-serve stations that patrons use to fill their cups with calcium-rich YoCream frozen yogurt?a frosty, certified Kosher treat made with a high count of live natural cultures and no high-fructose corn syrup. But choosing a yogurt may prove deliciously daunting, as the staff rotates the selection of flavors at every store and adds seasonal favorites throughout the year. The lineup can include everything from classic chocolate and vanilla to cake batter and fruity sorbets. Once their decisions have been made, customers can finish their personalized creation by topping the yogurt with fruits, candies, and edible name tags before paying by the ounce at the register.
It was 1869 when the Lee family planted its first seed in the soil of Tualatin, Oregon. Today, three generations of the family still keep Lee Farms' lights on and its scarecrows vaccinated. They stock the country store with local produce, 18 flavors of honey sticks, and 17 varieties of jam. In the bakery, the staff hand makes pies each day, baking perennial favorites such as apple and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin.
To keep things fresh, Lee Farms rotates the selection of food and activities each season. In May a greenhouse surrounds visitors in flowers, and in October the farm transforms into a celebration of the harvest season, when guests can pick from 12 varieties of pumpkins. Lee's staff cuts down stalks to make a corn maze and drives visitors on scenic hayrides across the farm while they sample kettle corn and homemade cider.
At their new location on 82nd Avenue, the family that owns and operates Morrow Brothers Produce carries on a tradition that's been going strong since 1999. They select the finest fresh, local produce, showcasing it by the flat or by the case. The crew stocks displays with pyramids of organic Idaho potatoes and pomegranates, Troutdale cabbage, and juicy Hermiston watermelons that are ideal for whittling sculptures of Gallagher.
The market's friendly staff can also recommend the best selections for canning or juicing, or point gardeners in the direction of vegetable starts or bedding plants. The shelves boast a wide variety of ethnic foods and seasonal items, including pumpkins and holiday greenery.