Shady Pines, Portland’s all-vegan food cart, has closed permanently
Shady Pines Food Court, Portland’s only all-vegan cart located in the Cully neighborhood, has closed permanently. Food carts once parked at Shady Pines have closed or are looking for a new home.
Founded by Fatsquatch owners Lukkah Churchill and Christine Neary – as well as owners Ashley and Lindsey Butler – Shady Pines opened with six carts in March 2020, just as the pandemic struck. Even though Portland is renowned as a vegan destination and for its food cart culture, Shady Pines was the only fully vegan cart community, serving macaroni and cheese, bowls of ramen, soft serve, and fried chicken in one. lot, with outdoor picnic tables and seats inside.
But Shady Pines has struggled with more than just the pandemic, according to his tenants; Many pod cart owners have expressed disappointment with the management of the property and the pod’s lack of access to basic amenities, such as lights, heat, and shade for the pod. “When we signed the lease, we were promised a lot of things,” says Mary Allen, owner of Ramblin ‘Rose. “It could really be something special if the owners put in the effort.”
Butlers claim the pod offered a number of amenities, including gray water service, wifi, electricity, and outdoor lighting; they also noted that they were offering rent relief to tenants through a NAYA grant. “We have provided all of the services required by the Multnomah County Health Department to operate a food cart pod. We went above and beyond by creating a food basket location with a layout like the indoor seating area, ”the butlers write in a statement to Eater. Churchill and Neary have yet to respond to requests for comment.
Trying to prevent the pod’s potential closure, Armon Pakdel of Saff Ramen says the cart owners have formed an informal union of tenants, to defend their collective interests; However, that was not enough to keep the pod afloat. Churchill and Neary ultimately shut down Fatsquatch on October 9, and Butlers took full ownership of Shady Pines. On November 3, the new owners announced that Shady Pines would close in 30 days, after less than two years of operation.
Shady Pines tenants say they are overwhelmed by customer support following the announcement. On Instagram, SushiLove owners Ashley Craemer and Diandra Totten write: “[We] I can’t quite say what an honor it has been to serve you for 4 years. We felt so connected to this community at that time. With our customers, our employees and with our fellow food business owners.
Some carts, like Dirty Lettuce, moved to new locations before the pods officially closed. Others, however, have chosen to close entirely, or to leave town. Here’s a breakdown of where all the Shady Pines food carts are heading next.
Often dubbed a stoner food cart, Fatsquatch has been a fan favorite of Portland’s vegan scene since its early days in Belmont, serving up meat-free and gluten-free bites like fried onion rings, fully potato ribbons. loaded and cheese oatmeal. Cart mascot Uncle Squatchy said goodbye to Portland in an Instagram post: “It’s been an incredible six years and we’ve made so many great friends. We are grateful for all the love and support we have received from everyone and we will all miss you. The Fatsquatch closed for good on October 9.
This Los Angeles pop-up landed a spot at Shady Pines when Taylor Solomon and Nathaniel Perales decided to bring their vegan mac and cheese to Portland. The chefs’ specialty is a velvety, cheddar-like cheese sauce that they spread over pasta shells, topped with toppings like barbecue jackfruit, buffalo cauliflower and vegan blue cheese. The last day of Avocadamama in Portland was December 3; it will continue to operate in Los Angeles at Smorgasburg and at other events.
Better Together – the beverage cart that opened at Shady Pines in July – served beer, wine and soft drinks, as well as baked goods from Shoofly Vegan Bakery. The cart only worked a few months before closed at the beginning of November. Owner Julianne Schwartz is hoping to find a new capsule to continue serving drinks and adding snacks to the all-vegan menu. Until then, customers can support truck employees via GoFundMe.
At Ramblin ‘Rose, Mary Allen offered a soft coconut-based dough like classic vanilla chocolate swirls, botanical soda floats, and sundaes with Tume brownies. Allen had just closed for the season when pod ownership announced it was shutting down. The bright red vintage truck is now parked at General industry; Allen has yet to decide whether she will be operating there or in another pod when spring arrives. Until then, Allen will strive to ensure that his sweet vegan service is integrated with small businesses and co-ops.
Armon Pakdel and Zoe Lichlyter started Saff Ramen as a pop-up, combining their Persian and Japanese heritage in their specialty noodle bowl: tonkotsu-style corn ramen laced with saffron threads. Saff Ramen closed his basket at the end of October, but from December 7 Saff Ramen will appear weekly at SxNW on the Mississippi to serve Better Together ramen, onigiri and mochi until it reaches a new cart location.
SushiLove, a former Sellwood favorite, specialized in creative fish-free sushi, like seasonal Autumn Reigns with roasted shiitake mushrooms and mashed sweet potato and ginger in his Shady Pines truck and Oregon City restaurant. Ashley Craemer and Diandra Totten served their final inari on November 28. You really showed yourself today ”, closing announcement on Instagram bed. “We will continue to work to try to sell the business so that this is not the end of sushilove.” The SushiLove brand, truck and recipes are available for sale.
• Shady pines [Instagram]
• What to know about the opening of the new all-vegan food basket this month [EPDX]