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COURTESY: JOE MILLER - Joe Miller, founder of New Foods Market, whips up a batch of nut milk. A new business in Southeast Portland is taking the concept of fresh, local grocery shopping to the digital era.


New Foods Market, set to launch in Southeast Portland on Nov. 10, is offering GMO-free and mostly organic food by delivery — some of it by bike — or pickup at its new shop at The Redd West, on 1140 7th Ave. Initially it will deliver just to Portland residents, then hopes to expand to serve customers in Beaverton and Vancouver, Washington.

"We allow people to seamlessly pool their orders together, so housemates, neighbors and friends can all get their food delivered at once," says founder Joe Miller, a young entrepreneur who formerly ran Our Community Pantry, an organic bulk food distribution service, which he shut down to run this venture.

New Foods Market will join four other sustainably minded tenants at The Redd, Ecotrust's new food hub that includes B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery and Soup Cycle.

Some inner-city Portland neighborhoods will be serviced by bicycle and the rest by vehicle, with drivers doing no more than one trip through the district each day to reduce their carbon footprint.

The idea is that people will be able to log on and buy GMO-free and mostly organic pantry staples, produce, seasonal artisan foods and other grain-based products — everything from Pacific Northwest-sourced nut milks to ready-to-cook meals and pre-portioned smoothie blends.

With a $20 minimum order requirement, the delivery fee is $3 per order. Orders of at least $60 have no fee.

New Foods Market is the only brand-new business at The Redd, joining four established companies growing into the space. So why is Ecotrust taking a chance on a new venture, since the goal was to promote expansion of proven operations?

"We were impressed by his model; he sees the opportunity to turn the food-buying club into a grocery delivery effort," says Sydney DeLuna, general manager of The Redd, which was slated to open to the public in late September.

She also loves that New Foods fills a niche in the local sustainable food market, since many times consumers are uber-conscious of buying and eating local meats and produce, but pay less attention to where their beans and grains are coming from.

New Foods will source their offerings from a lot of regional suppliers like Hummingbird Wholesale in Eugene, which works with farmers and producers to bring rarities like organic hazelnuts to the Portland market.

Besides its careful food sourcing, New Foods will seek to reduce wasteful packaging.

Customers will receive shop credit for returning their bag with their empty containers — everything from glass jars to toxin-free plastics — during their next delivery.

The packages are then sanitized and reused.

"Unfortunately, we have all become accustomed to the current grocery stores, which create a constant stream of waste for food and packaging," Miller says. "Our simple container exchange program provides the ultimate guilt-free satisfaction of an empty trash can."

Check it out at newfoodsmarket.com/.

@jenmomanderson