Story Yard

Story Yard

StoryYard

PUBLISHED

Portland, OR

Story Yard is a temporary public art installation that uses photography and storytelling to celebrate the uniqueness of the Lents business community.

1. Attic Journals

http://atticjournals.com/

9201 Southeast Foster Road, Portland, OR 97266, USA

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Michelle and Miguel started Attic Journals in 2004. This Lents-based home business (Also referred to as The Humane Society for Books) uses hard-bound vintage school books & library books that were destined for dumpsters, and gives them new life as journals.

Through their work, Michelle and Miguel hope to rescue as many books as humanly possible from the landfills.

Michelle’s roots go deep in Lents; “I was raised in Lents and I think it is beautiful. The people are strong and resilient, hard working and determined.”

Their journals are sold locally and globally- you can order yours at http://atticjournals.com/.
 
Interview with Michelle of Attic Journals
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

2. Paitong Thai Cuisine

Lents International Farmer's Market

SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Nancy Somvong is the owner of Paitong Thai Cuisine that sells at the Lents International Farmers Market.

Originally from Laos, Nancy got her start at the farmers market through an entrepreneur program at IRCO. "They helped me learn how to walk", she says. 

She acknowledges the hard work that it takes to own a food business. “Working in the food business is difficult. There are long hours. You have to wash lots of dishes."

Nancy aspires to see her unique Laos recipes sold not only at the market and in her restaurant, but in local grocery stores as well.

Nancy is also amazing at the art of Kae Sa Lak, or Thai fruit carving. If you are lucky, you can find her creating a masterpiece out of a watermelon on a Sunday afternoon at the market.

Meet Nancy at Lents International Farmers Market:

http://zengerfarm.org/index.php?page=vendorscommunitybooths
Interview with Nancy Somvong of Paitong Thai Cuisine
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

3. Bún bò Huế

Bún bò Huế

7002 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266, USA

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Vihn Huynh and her family opened Bún bò Huế in Lents over 10 years ago.

They serve authentic Vietnamese food that attracts American and Vietnamese customers alike. Vihn cooks the soup base fresh every morning.

Vihn’s daughter Van says “Mom just cooks, and people like it!"

They are thankful for the support they have received from the community over the years. "Many of our customers have become family,” she says.

The restaurant is named after the popular soup Bún bò Huế, that comes from the city of Huế in Vietnam. The secret ingredient in this soup, Van says, is pig's blood.

Come on in to try an authentic taste of Vietnam right here in Lents! 
Interview with Vihn Huynh of Bún bò Huế
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

4. El Pato Feliz Jr.

El Pato Feliz Jr

5824 Southeast 92nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97266, USA

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Saul Marquez-Leon has spent a lot of time in El Pato Feliz Jr., a family owned Mexican restaurant on SE 92nd Ave.

The restaurant was opened by his father and uncle in 2000. “My parents came to the U.S. to pursue the American dream."

The Pato Feliz is Spanish for the Happy Duck- the nickname given to Saul's brother.

Saul is happy to be part of a family restaurant that brings "a smile and taste of Mexico to the neighborhood. We have platters from Veracruz, Puebla, Mexico City, and we just add our touch to that.”
Interview with Saul Marquez-Leon of El Pato Feliz Jr.
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

5. Happy Moment Farm

Lents International Farmer's Market

SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Petr & Tatyana Puzur are the farmers for Happy Moment Farm that sell at the Lents International Farmers Market.

“We grow organic vegetables on our farm to share with our family and our customers."

They moved from Russia 15 years ago to Portland. Some things they find easier here in America- like having a tiller and irrigation system. But other things they miss from Russia. In Russia they had their own house, and sold milk from their own cows.

"Some day we hope to have our own property with animals for meat and dairy just like we had in Russia." 
Interview with Tatyana Puzur of Happy Moment Farm
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

6. Jiffy Mart

Lents Neighborhood business

7004 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266, USA

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Steven Sagar is the owner of Jiffy Mart Foods. Steven came to the U.S. from Fiji to pursue a better life for his family. He came knowing that America is the land of opportunity.

"One thing that makes me unique", says Steven, "is that I know 99% of my customers by name. It comes natural to me to be kind to my customers because I am from Fiji where people are friendly.”

Steven operates more than just a convenience store; he opened a coffee bar that has milkshakes, smoothies, and Kava, a traditional Fijian tea.

One way he shows kindness to his customers is by extending credit to people who can't pay for their food- and they pay him when they can.

Come on in to see how Jiffy Mart Foods is more than just a convenience store- it is a place where you will be greeted by name every time you come in!
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

7. N&N Amaro Produce

Vendor at Lents International Farmer's Market

SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Nicolas and Norma Amaro are the farmers behind N & N Amaro Produce, that has sold at the Lents International Farmers Market since 2009.

Nicolas got his start growing food for his family in any little space he could find. He was then invited to participate in a training program with Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit located in Forest Grove.

After losing his construction job during the economic recession, his family turned to farming as a full time job. Now, the work they do is more meaningful.

As Nicolas says "I am thinking of my customers’ faces when I am working in the fields. I feel proud to bring healthy food from our garden to your table."

They see the benefit of growing organic vegetables- not only for their family, but for the community. "We are doing our small part for the desarrollo (development) of this big country by providing healthy food in this neighborhood.”
Interview with Nicolas Amaro of N&N Amaro Produce
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

8. New Copper Penny

New Copper Penny

5932 SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Saki Tzantarmas is the founder of Lents’ iconic New Copper Penny, which sits at 92nd and Foster. Saki came to America with a dream of making a life for himself.

“If you have the motivation and you want to work it will come to you. I came from the Old Country of Greece with 5 pennies in my pocket. Motivation and hard work have allowed me to give back to my family and the community.”

The New Copper Penny first opened in 1973, and has slowly grown over time. It now includes a restaurant, bar, off track betting, a night club, and a large banquet hall.

Saki is eager to support the neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, to give back in appreciation for the ways that others have helped him in the past. 
Interview with Saki Tzantarmas of New Copper Penny
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

9. Rolling Oasis Grocers

Rolling Oasis

5843-5899 Southeast 92nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97266, USA

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Lents resident Brandon Rhodes started Rolling Oasis Grocers in 2014, a neighborhood-scale bicycle-powered home delivery service of organic fruits and vegetables.

Rolling Oasis Grocers is making it easier for Lentils to have access to healthful organic food in a neighborhood that doesn’t have good healthy food options. 

“My business enriches the common good by saving residents a trip outside the neighborhood to meet their basic needs, reconnecting families to local farms, being bike powered, and soon by creating jobs for local youth," Rhodes said.

"It makes Lents a better place to live for everybody.”

Brandon credits Scott Davison of Vocoform for the inspiration; together they will be opening additional delivery routes, spreading healthful food and job opportunities to other parts of our city.
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

10. Stadnikov Farm

Lents International Farmer's Market

SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Vladamir Stadnikov of Stadnikov Farm is best known for his honey at the Lents International Farmers Market.

“I have worked with bees and honey for over 30 years. Back in Russia we would drive the bee boxes to the mountains to make honey from the wildflowers there.”

Vladamir first got the opportunity to sell honey and produce at the farmers market through a training program at MercyCorps NW.

Vladamir works hard to support his family and pay the bills. "If it was just me" he says, "I would live somewhere far in the mountains."
Stadnikov Farm, interview with Vladamir Stadnikov for Lents Story Yard
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

11. Tha Shop

Tha Shop

9217 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR, United States

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Beverly Merriweather & Willie Bennett III opened Tha Shop seven years ago in Lents in order to bring a full service hair salon and barber shop to southeast Portland.

They are all about their customers- as their tag line says: "where it's all about you". Doing hair for Beverly goes way back to her childhood. “I got my start with being the neighborhood hair-dresser at the age of 7—doing church hair and prom hair."

The core belief that motivates Beverly and Willie is that people deserve to look their best, and they are there to make that happen!

"We like making our clients feel good!"
Interview with Beverly Merriweather of Tha Shop
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

12. Tidee Didee Diaper Service & Natural Baby Boutique

Tidee Didee

6011 SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR, United States

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Cindy Martin is the proud owner of Tidee Didee, a diaper delivery service and natural baby boutique located in the Lents Town Center.

Cindy is the daughter of Norman and Barbara Wolfgram, who brought Tidee Didee to Portland in 1970 from California. Norman retired at the ripe age of 93, and passed the business along to Cindy.

Cindy believes deeply in caring for our environment through reducing the amount of throw away diapers that end up in the landfill.

“Our family business has been here for over 40 years and we believe in a clean environment and helping young families.”
Interview with Cindy Martin of Tidee Didee
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!

13. Tony's Garden Center

Tony's Garden Center

10300 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland, OR, United States

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Abe and Barbara Karam have owned Tony’s Garden Center since 1989.

Abe's family came from Syria when he was just 15 years old. “I grew up here. Lents is home to me" says Abe. In fact, the bus for David Douglas High School used to pick him up right in front of what is now his garden center.

After marrying Barbara, and seeing that she wanted to work as well, they purchased the nursery now known as Tony's Garden Center.

"We raised our kids here and the people in the neighborhood all became like family.”

Most of the plants they sell are grown in greenhouses at Tony's Garden Center on SE Holgate Blvd. Abe and Barbara raised 4 children there, who help run Tony's Garden Center today.

"Thanks to Lents, our kids went to college." Now the children who grew up spending their days at their family garden center are raising a new generation of children at Tony's Garden Center.
MIXSEE MAP GOES HERE!