It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
Translated from Latin, "Sine Cura" means "without a care", which is likely to be true of anyone enjoying a snack or a sip in this sun-dappled downtown Eugene café. Baristas brewing spice-enhanced, signature coffee drinks from organic beans roasted locally by Cafeto Coffee Company’s caffeine-breathing dragons. Made-from-scratch pastries rise each morning in Sine Cura's ovens, and the eatery's kitchen lovingly prepares a changing menu of savory breakfast wraps, gourmet lunch wraps, homemade soups, and salads drizzled with house-made dressings. Wide windows, warm wood floors, and artistically embellished walls make Sine Cura a perfect spot to sip chai with a friend or catch up on reading a sibling's diary.
Though Willamette Burger Company recently relocated to a more spacious spot a mile away from its original digs, the burger makers still take the same gourmet approach to classic American fare that won the Statesman Journal's Best Burger award in 2011. Each patty contains more than 6 ounces of locally raised, hormone-free beef, delivered on stallion by a handsome cowboy and ground on-site. Made-from-scratch buns, house-made sauces, and Oregonian cheeses top each specialty burger, sandwich, or Hill’s Meats hot dog. The eatery strives to further improve on classic American flavors by hand-forming each one of their tater tots and cooking their french fries twice for a crisp crunch. Visitors can slurp root-beer floats and ice-cream shakes or savor wine and beer from local imbiberies such as Ninkasi and Gilgamesh. Each tabletop in Willamette Burger Company’s new location comes topped with a paper tablecloth and stocked with crayons for scribbled drawings or colorful personal manifestos. The resulting works could earn a spot on the eatery’s hallowed walls next to priceless pieces like Still Life with Cheeseburger and Les Hamburgers d'Avignon.
People with gluten allergies might think they have to wave at bakeries from afar. That's not the case at Liberated Baking, where they can walk right in without fear of an allergic reaction. The bakery swaps out barley, wheat, and rye for all-natural, gluten-free ingredients in its cakes, breads, and pastries. Customers can savor a cinnamon bun or made-to-order sandwich, and sip Trillium coffee. The shop also stocks a selection of gluten-free grocery items, and customizes cakes for weddings and other special events.
Inside Yogurt Munch, it's easy to find a treat that tastes good and won't make you feel guilty. That's because the shop serves up self-serve portions of homemade probiotic-filled frozen yogurt source right here in Oregon. Flavors, such as blood orange sorbet, white coffee, and new non-alcoholic flavors such as margarita, change frequently, but always include dairy-free and sugar-free options. You can further customize your treat at the toppings bar, which holds heaping portions of freshly cut fruit, nuts, and organic granola, as well as sweeter ingredients such as cookie dough and Reese's peanut butter cups.
Edge Coffee isn't just community-oriented, it is also a reflection of the community. That's because they source most of their ingredients locally, whether it is their coffee beans from local roaster Sisters Coffee or their pastries and bread from Marsee's and La Provence. These ingredients form the basis of their menu, with staff grinding, blending, and pouring coffee into classic drinks or lattes made with premium Monin syrups. Atop their breads, they create breakfast staples such as bagel- and english-muffin sandwiches or their signature boxed lunch specials served with a juicy kosher pickle and locally made kettle chips. Even their drinks have Oregon connections, with fresh smoothies incorporating Oregon strawberries alongside unique add-ins such as protein powder or a splash of energy-boosting Rockstar. They also serve beer from Oregon, such as the Overcast Espresso Stout, which fuses the flavors of beer, chocolate, and coffee.