Those darn Californians. First, they move to Portland and annoy us all with their terrible driving habits and all their money raising our property values and improving our local economy, and, now, they’re stealing our Salt & Straw!
Seriously, though, Salt & Straw, the hugely successful ice cream company and incredibly-long-line creative factory, is expanding its reach, opening its first store in San Diego later this year after opening locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
We’re an odd bunch here in Portland. We love our quirky restaurants and new companies, but we get really, REALLY angry when they start going mainstream (remember Stumptown Coffee’s sale a few years ago?).
It’s definitely counter-intuitive: we want companies to succeed just enough to stay in business, but, man, they better not go mainstream or we’ll pitch a fit the size of President Trump’s hairpiece. We theorize the logic is that when companies get large, they tend to forget what made them famous and often lose some of the quality control that gave them their flair initially.
Kim and Tyler Malek, cousins, established the ice cream empire Salt & Straw back in 2011 – that’s right, just six years ago! Here at Stumped in Stumptown, we absolutely love their insane flavors (the Thanksgiving flavor made with actual turkey and gravy a few years ago was particularly… different…).
All that creativity, and a dedication to using high-quality local ingredients, made Salt & Straw into a virtual overnight success. In fact, here we are more than a half-decade later and the lines go around the block at every location all day long… even in the rain… and the winter.
Anyway, congratulations to Salt & Straw for their ongoing success, and for those of you who haven’t visited a location to try free samples of their different flavors, we highly recommend you brave the crowds – it’s totally worth it.
What are some of your favorite lesser-known Portland hot spots? Leave ’em in the comments!