I recently wrote several short business profiles for the NE Broadway Business Association, which were published on their In The Spotlight page.
With six Pastini Pastaria restaurants serving up Italian fare from scratch in the Portland area (and eight statewide), co-owner Susan Bashel still remains very fond of the first Pastini, located in the Irvington neighborhood at 1426 NE Broadway St.
"Our Broadway Pastini continues to be one of our most successful restaurants, and the one closest to our hearts," Susan Bashel says. "It has a lot of charm, and is certainly in the tradition of a tiny neighborhood trattoria."
Opened in 2001 with husband and chef Craig Bashel as well as partners Kara and George Hale, Pastini celebrated its 10th anniversary of the original Broadway eatery this past October. The high ceilings of Broadway trattoria welcome you in to survey the black-and-white photographs of Italia antica—from the fruit vendors and street cafes of Rome to an entire family perched upon a Vespa—or the framed postcards of the Duomo in Florence and drawings of various pasta shapes.
And looking forward, Pastini's owners are convinced that those ten years of success and growth were built on community and family as much as sustainability and supporting local businesses like farmers, bakers and coffee roasters.
"We use local ingredients
whenever we can, and we love the idea of supporting other local businesses and helping to reduce our footprint by using products that originate nearby," Susan Bashel says. "These include local produce in season from Calcagno Farms in Aurora and Cal Farms in Oregon City, both certified by the Food Alliance. We use Yamhill County Mushrooms exclusively; beef from Fulton Provisions (Oregon Country Beef); sausages made by Zenner's Sausage Company from Carlton Farms pork; our bread comes from the wonderful Pearl Bakery; and our coffees from the awesome Portland Roasting Coffee."
Freshness and affordability go hand in hand at Pastini. As the partners planned the Broadway restaurant in 2001, Susan Bashel says, "We loved the idea of a casual Italian pasta place that was affordable, but where we would make all the dishes from scratch. So, all our pastas, sauces, dressings, pestos, soups, and desserts are made in the restaurants. We use fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables and meats, and use local products whenever we can."
In an effort to be green beyond sourcing local ingredients, Pastini works to reduce waste by choosing take-out containers that are compostable (including cold food boxes, utensils, drink cups, and plates).
"We also use a hot food container made from 40 percent less plastic," Susan Bashel says. "We have instituted composting at two locations and plan to compost at all locations as soon as our trash haulers or landlords can provide the appropriate facilities. Composting in restaurants can reduce trash volume by as much as 75 percent."
It's been the Broadway community (followed by Northwest, Division and so on) that have enabled Pastini's expansion over the last decade, which now includes a staff of about 280 Oregonians.
"Pastini took off right away, with lines out the door and a wait every night, and folks getting Pastini to go," Susan Bashel says of the Broadway location. "We’ve never looked back from that time."
To say thank you, Pastini has always "had a particular interest in supporting our neighborhood schools," Susan Bashel says. "[We] have been a major sponsor of the Irvington School Spaghetti Dinner, by providing pasta and sauce, since we opened on Broadway. For the last two years, we have had a program called Pasta-thon
, where we partner with local schools, and sometimes nonprofits, to raise money for them with two day events."
Plus, Pastini is sensitive to a family's budget and stays "away from serving more expensive products" while maintaining a variety of choices including vegetarian options and "some fancier dishes like an asparagus salad with arugula and seafood cannelloni, but we’re still keeping the menu to under $12," Susan Bashel insists.
With ongoing promotions like ten lunch specials for under $7 or Sunday three-course suppers for $13.50, Pastini continues to fuel Broadway and Oregon families with fresh, local Italian cuisine. Buon appetito!
Pastini Pastaria, 1426 NE Broadway St., 503.288.4300
Stepping through the door at Trade Roots
is like entering an international marketplace caught in a rare moment of calm. No hustle or bustle, no strange languages or smells, and no sweat dampening your underarms or brow—just Trade Roots' tranquil world of colorful tapestries, women's clothing, jewelry, trinkets, handbags, and quite the selection of scarves will surround you.
The family-owned, fair trade boutique now in its 22nd year is run by Tamara Patrick and her niece Katie Keys, and has been located on NE Broadway Street at 1831 for more than 20 of those years. Trade Roots prides itself on the fact this it is "not your ordinary import store."
"We try to carry fair trade items so we're not supporting factories and child labor," Patrick emphasizes, "which most import stores do."
"A fair trade environment means that craftspeople are paid a living wage, one that allows them to pay for basic needs such as food, shelter and health care for their families," Trade Roots officially states on its website. "Working conditions are also a factor, as is the environmental impact of the merchandise."
Sourcing items from all corners of the world via trusted importers, Patrick says the store's most popular items are scarves and a wide variety of jewelry with beautiful pieces coming from locations like Nepal, Thailand, India, Guatemala, Mexico, Indonesia, and even right here at home.
Local artists include co-owner Keys' "very wonderful, unusual jewelry," according to Patrick, and also the cards and jewelry of Trade Roots employee Nancy Smith Klos
. Other Oregon-based jewelers include Joseph Brinton
, plus tiny sculptures from Southern Oregon.
Amongst the Indian perfumes, natural soaps, hand-carved soapstone elephants, and wooden wall hangs quoting Gandhi and Buddha, Patrick says her favorite objects in the store right now are little raku—a type of Japanese pottery—dream catchers adorned with gemstones. Plus, Trade Roots is also "one of the few stores that carries interesting hats all year round," Patrick points out.
Trade Roots does offer shopping online but you have to place orders by calling the store. "Because we have so many one of a kind things" in small quantities, Patrick explains, it is necessary to speak with someone at the store before purchasing.
Another Trade Roots' motto states: "Buying with a conscience doesn't mean that you have to give up on quality or selection." Reiterating this sentiment, Patrick makes sure Trade Roots offers plenty of of options, especially when it comes to jewelry, to fit all budgets.
"Our goal is to buy as much fairly traded items as possible and to do ethical importing," Patrick explains. And you can find this bounty lining the vibrant walls of yellow, blue and magenta and resting on shelves below gossamer Tibetan prayer flags.
Trade Roots, 1831 NE Broadway St., 503.281.5335
PostalAnnex+ and Navis Pack & Ship
Rows upon rows of compact gold mailboxes line the wall as you enter PostalAnnex+
at 1631 NE Broadway. The shelves are filled with packing supplies, wrapping paper, pens, binders, stickers and more while the hum of photocopiers is heard from the far corner, spitting out page after page of posters, brochures, business cards, and documents.
Since September 1999, the husband-and-wife team of Brian and Rebecca Newell have been providing Broadway-area residents with copy and printing services, office supplies, mailboxes, and small-parcel packing and shipping.
But the owners of PostalAnnex+ recently expanded their services with the addition of Navis Pack & Ship. Occupying another 4,500-square feet in the same building, directly behind PostalAnnex+, the new Navis operation will allow the Newell's to ship large, fragile and expensive packages that were once cost prohibitive to ship because "we had to go through a couple of 'middlemen' to obtain freight shipment services," Rebecca Newell says. "Through a nationwide network of locations and 25 years of experience, Navis provides us with discounted rate agreements directly with the freight carriers for competitive rates and expert training in the specialized packing techniques for this type of shipping.
"We are experts in handling equipment, art, furniture, machinery and anything else that is classified as fragile, large, awkward, or valuable, across the country or around the world. Whether a shipment weighs one pound or thousands of pounds, we have the tools and training to crate, palletize, utilize foam-in-place and whatever other materials are needed to get anything to anywhere with care!"
Passionate about providing valuable, local services for Broadway neighbors, Rebecca Newell believes her employees make the business stand apart as customers don't have to suffer through tedious, long waits at the post office or the faceless, generic offerings of big box office retailers. Rather, a team of dedicated, invested and qualified professionals will serve you.
"Brian and I are fully involved in the business on a daily basis; our manager has been with us 11 years; all our employees are on the staff because of the professionalism and commitment to customer service they have displayed," Rebecca Newell says. "We are genuinely a locally owned and operated business. Unlike big box stores, we make a concerted effort to buy locally. All of our employees live in North or Northeast Portland."
And she's truly appreciative of her customers positively commenting on the "the friendly atmosphere in our store, the music we play, our quick service, and the shipping options we offer, as well as the good pricing on our print services and the personal attention our customers get."
Open seven days a week, the Newell's PostalAnnex+ and the new Navis Pack & Ship really do offer "one stop shopping," as many of Rebecca Newell's loyal patrons often tell her.
Staying involved in their business and social community, the Newell's also support local public schools by offering discounts or donating print services, as well as maintaining "a food barrel for the Oregon Food Bank, year round, for the past several years," Rebecca Newell says. "Each time the barrel is full we take it to the Oregon Food Bank and also donate $200. To date, we have donated $3,400."
From providing office supplies to staying socially involved in the community to shipping anything anywhere, the Broadway PostalAnnex+ and Navis Pack & Ship has the experience and services to meet your needs.
PostalAnnex+ and Navis Pack & Ship, 1631 NE Broadway St., 503.284.6092