Self proclaimed travel enthusiast and culinary adventurer Liz Alvis began Portland Creamery after being inspired by her mother, Jean Mackenzie of Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram, Ohio. Liz moved to Portland in 2000, she quickly discovered the wine industry where she found her path for the next seven years. With such strong similarities between the wine and cheese worlds, it was a natural transition. Liz brought her dream of a small-batch artisan creamery to reality after three years planning from afar while living abroad in Peru and Indonesia with her husband Dr. Andrew Alvis (of Alvis Chiropractic.) Carrying on the family tradition, Liz hopes to create delicious cheese that will inspire others to support local and healthy eating. Be sure to try Liz’s Cajita (goat’s milk caramel) and her Sweet Fire Chèvre!
In the back corner of the market, along the fence with Beet’s Auto, you’ll find Sabino Amaro and his son Ismael at Amaro’s Produce. Sabino and his wife Reyna farm in Forest Grove and Hillsboro. They’re graduates of Adelante Agricultura, a sustainable agriculture program where they learned organic farming practices. Amaro’s offers most of the kitchen staple vegetables, plus berries, stone fruit, and eggs. But the stand is always worth a stop to see what specialty items they have, as every week it seems there’s something new and different. Starting in spring we found asparagus and alpine strawberries, then gooseberries, and more recently there were squash blossoms. Last week they brought papalo and pipicha, two herbs used in Mexican cooking. In August expect to see sunflowers, and a bounty of peppers, both hot and sweet. (And, we hope, roasted peppers onsite. You’ll know they brought the roaster when that delicious aroma wafts all along Stark Street!) Fall brings apples and Asian pears. With the variety Amaro’s brings to Montavilla, you won’t want to miss a single week of the market!