Category: New Business

Cactus closes on Stark Street, New Business Opening

On December 31st, Cactus Vintage & Consignment staff packed up the shop located at 7910 SE Stark Street. The store opened in this space in February of 2015 as the combined effort of three friends bringing their separate businesses together. At the end of the lease, the last remaining owner opted to end the store’s seven-year span and focus on family and a simplified worklife.

Cactus began when Adrienne Seely of Autopilot Empires Jewelry joined John Healy of Cactus Records and Sonya Petroff of Yours Vintage in a combined store. The partners sold a unique combination of goods from the space and became a frequented shop along Stark Street for three years. John Healy and Adrienne Seely left the business at the end of 2017. Sonya Petroff managed the shop for the remaining four years on her own while maintaining a second job at Trader Joe’s.

The lease on the storefront expired at the end of 2021. Changes in Petroff’s life and general issues over the last few years made continuing to run the store less appealing. “I had quite a load, and with Covid and the rise of crime decided to call it quits. I’m grateful to have reached my goal of paying off my debts and now concentrate on one sustainable job only and raising my nephew,” explained Petroff. 

Although her years of working in the neighborhood are ending, Petroff maintains a fondness for the community. “I love Montavilla and hope to keep some of my connections and, of course, visit as well.” The 900 square foot 1928 storefront will soon become home to another business. Donald Hanna of the Real Estate company Hanna Network represents the building and confirmed that the storefront is unavailable. “We already have a new tenant for it. I can’t reveal yet, but I think the community with be very happy,” said Hanna.

Look for 7910 SE Stark Street to become active as the new shop owners work to create a space fitting for their business.

Futura Coffee Roasters Opening on NE Glisan

Update – January 30th 2022: Futura Coffee Roasters officially opened this weekend. The cafe hours are 7 AM to 5 PM weekdays, with weekend service from 8 AM to to 1 PM.


Next month, Futura Coffee Roasters will open at 7201 NE Glisan Street in the former Fillmore space. The creators of this new coffee producer and cafe believe sustainability is the future for the industry and have woven that value into every aspect of their business.

Futura Coffee Roasters is the vision of CJ Speelman and a group of coffee professionals who share a common perspective. For ten years, Speelman honed his skills in the industry, first working at the counter as a Barista and eventually creating the roasting company Tanager Coffee Roasters. Speelman owns The Arbor Lodge coffee shop in North Portland, making this NE Glisan location his second store. His partners in this new venture bring many years of retail coffee experience and respect for the art and delicate science of good coffee.

The group behind the cafe feels that flavor and brewing are only part of a perfect cup of coffee. Speelman explains that a simple morning ritual like drinking coffee can impact the environment. “As a company, Futura Coffee Roasters see regenerative agriculture, the rehabilitation of soil and increasing of biodiversity among many things, as one of the key forces in combating climate change.” The company is committed to building relationships with farmers and sourcing coffee as ethically and sustainably as possible. Additionally, food items on the menu include a mix of locally sourced pastries and bagels.

Since August, crews have reworked the corner coffee shop into a new space. The team took the same approach to the renovation as they have with their menu, making for a slightly prolonged process. “We took a lot of time making sure that we used as much sustainable materials as possible, from handmade tiles and eco-friendly wall plaster to fixtures and furniture. Because of these commitments to sustainability alongside the supply chain issues, it has taken a bit longer than we had hoped,” said Speelman.

Although the cafe will no longer resemble Fillmore, Speelman recognizes its role in the community and wants to welcome back those regular customers. “I have been a big fan of Fillmore and the special connection they had with the neighborhood. We hope to capture that same spirit and add our own unique vibe. I am extremely excited to share the space with the neighborhood. It is looking incredible and will look and feel like a whole new space.”

Expect Futura Coffee Roasters to launch midway through January, opening daily from 7 AM to 5 PM. Follow the cafe’s Instagram for updates and to learn more about the treats that will soon become available on NE Glisan.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy on E Burnside

Next February, Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy will open a new outpatient rehabilitation clinic for children at 8028 E Burnside Street. This new pediatric healthcare location is the creation of two experienced occupational therapists, Diedra Pine and Maureen Benedict-Lee. A year after launch, the practice intends to add speech therapy, physical therapy, and mental health services. Currently, crews are making minor alterations to accommodate the mix of open activity space and private session rooms.

Before joining forces, Pine and Benedict-Lee had private practices working out of Groundplay Therapy Works, a pediatric occupational therapy clinic in the Hollywood neighborhood. In that facility, therapists run their own business but collaborate when appropriate and share referrals. However, each practitioner is financially independent, limiting the growth potential within that environment.

At Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy, the staff offers a wide range of youth-focused services. They currently see patients seeking help with motor development, communication, social-emotional learning, and sensory processing skills. Patients include children with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing difficulties, motor delays, and difficulties with executive functioning. Future services will expand the group’s offerings even further but accommodating that range of services requires a unique location.

Unlike standard medical offices, the rehabilitation clinic needs communal space and private rooms. “We work with children in occupational therapy, which involves swinging and climbing and moving in a big open space,” explained Maureen Benedict-Lee. That requirement had Pine and Benedict-Lee looking at mostly warehouse locations that did not meet the clinic’s needs. When the pair looked at the location on E Burnside, it instantly felt fitting for their needs. “This space is so incredible for our vision… Warehouses aren’t super finished and nice, so this [location is the] perfect combination of a big open warehouse-type space, and then there are back offices,” said Benedict-Lee.

Although the former Transitions Project building mostly fits the clinic’s requirements, some alterations are needed. The front of the building is one continuous space that previously had a demising wall separating the location into two suites. The therapists leased the whole building but will replace the divider to create two activity spaces at the front. They will also construct a waiting area near the parking lot entrance in the back. Benedict-Lee explained that the office doors leading to Burnside Street would remain locked and only serve as emergency exits. Most activity at the site will occur towards the back of the building at the entrance adjacent to the parking lot. Some window-covering improvements will happen, but the clinic needs to maintain patient privacy. “the blinds aren’t sustainable for the work we do, so we’re taking all the blinds off, but we [provide] healthcare for children, so are our plan is to do frosted windows,” explained Benedict-Lee.

Although the open space is best for working with younger kids, they work with all ages, from toddlers to high school-aged children. “My business partner and I both enjoy working with older children,” said Benedict-Lee. “Space for those older kids is something that we wanted to have in the new clinic. Where we were at previously, you would walk into a really big gym space, and the desks are all pretty small, so it wasn’t as inviting if you’re in an older teen or young adult.” The new space on E Burnside has many private rooms for older patients and other treatments.

Over eight years, Pine and Benedict-Lee established relationships with patients and professional institutions. Those connections will follow the pair to this new business. “We definitely have a client base, and we have connections with pediatricians and schools and other providers, so that will continue,” said Benedict-Lee. However, Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy has the capacity for many more clients. Maureen Benedict-Lee lives in the Montavilla neighborhood and likes the idea of supporting the children in the area. “I’m really excited about being a resource here and would love the community to access us and use our services.” She explained that there are not many other clinics offering similar services in this area, and this location worked out perfectly to fill the gap.

The Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy team expects to grow to six occupational therapists, with three speech therapists. They also see a need to add a part-time mental health provider to the staff. That level of expansion will likely occur after their first year in this new location. However, they are building out the facility to meet those growth goals. Benedict-Lee explained that only half the space would open by February 1st due to anticipated construction delays. They hope the remainder of the work will be completed in March but acknowledge that even minor renovation work is experiencing months of delays.

Look for construction activity to increase over the next few months as crews prepare the space for the clinic staff. The building should be fully operational by spring, with plenty of patients and their parents accessing Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy’s resources. Parents interested in knowing more can visit the company website or Facebook page, and staff are reachable by calling 503-502-7515 or sending an email to info@wholecircletherapy.com.

Moto PDX Cafe Opens on Stark

This week, Moto PDX Cafe opened at 8826 SE Stark Street after months of preparation. The cafe celebrities the culture, art, and spectacle of performance motorcycle racing. Inside the bright white storefront, owner Brendan Jones creates a living room atmosphere with a wide variety of seating options conducive to intimate conversations or communal discussions around the cafe’s theme.

At one end of Moto PDX, couches surround a TV playing classic motorcycle races. Performance bikes and attire separate seating and add color to the white interior. Artwork placed on display throughout the cafe highlight artists who use motorcycle racing as their muse. Lining the back wall, coolers featuring beers, wines, and other chilled beverages glow with LED light.

Jones is building out the full menu during the winter but currently offers many variations on the panini sandwich. Staff prepare espresso and other coffee drinks at an art-wrapped counter upfront. Employees at the cafe are motorcycle riders and enthusiasts, making this a destination for riders and race fans to talk about their passion.

This winter, Jones will organically shape the cafe to meet his customer’s expectations. Previously he created The Big Legrowlski in downtown Portland. What started as a growler shop eventually grew into a live music venue, proving to Jones that adapting to customer needs is what makes enduring communal spaces. Using what he learned from The Big Legrowlski, Jones will take time with the early days of Moto PDX and not over program the cafe. Because of that approach, customers should stop in and see what they like and make requests.

With time, Moto PDX Cafe will grow around its customers into a gathering space for the community. They are open 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Thursday, with extended operating hours of 7 AM to 10 PM on Friday and Saturday. There is parking in a private lot in front of the cafe where it is safe to leave your motorcycle… or car if you have to drive that day.

Bank Building Sold to Urgent Care Provider

Nguyen Professional Center LLC recently purchased the former Riverview Bank building at 9415 SE Stark Street. The company’s owner, Dr. Hoang Nguyen, is the founder of Columbia Medical Clinic, with five urgent care locations in the Portland Metro area. The clinic’s Mall 205 facility is less than 900 feet from the Stark Street building.

Nguyen Professional Center LLC holds other properties, most notably the Columbia Medical Clinic headquarters building at 8122 SE Tibbetts Street. Both properties are similar in size at over 10,000 square feet and feature comparable construction. The Tibbetts Street building offers urgent care and walk-in medical services on the ground floor with medical offices above. The Columbia Medical Clinic constructed its headquarters building in 2010, opening to the public in October of that year. It was an ambitious addition for the clinic, with its founding just four years prior. The former bank building’s purchase could be another growth move for the medical provider, as they potentially take another prominent position within a property they control.

If the former Riverview Bank building is used similarly to Dr. Nguyen’s other property, Columbia Medical Clinic could relocate from Mall 205 to this building’s first-floor, offering urgent care assistance. The upper floors could then become leasable office space for medical service providers. That move would bring traditional medical care back into the neighborhood and reactivate the 9400 block of Stark Street.

Columbia Medical Clinic may not become a tenant in 9415 SE Stark Street. They did not respond to inquires regarding the Stark Street property. No new permits have been issued for this address since its sale, making any changes at the site unlikely before Spring next year. However, the future use of this building should become more apparent in the first few months of 2022 as work permit applications and office space real estate listings become available. Regardless of its future use, the building’s new ownership provides the potential to see a return of activity in the building with a year.

Update (December 9th, 2021): In an email sent last night, Dr. Hoang Nguyen M.D. explained that his group is still considering options for the ground floor of the 9415 SE Stark Street building and that a current tenant maintains a lease on the second and third floors. “We are still debating what to do with the first floor of the building. The top two floors have been occupied by the State of Oregon since last year.”

Xmas Tree Lots Return to Montavilla

It is the season to bring the outdoors inside with a Christmas tree or holiday wreath. The neighborhood is fortunate to have two reoccurring tree lots, allowing Montavilla residents local access to the winter decorations. This year, Red Shed Christmas Trees joins Montavillage’s location in the Vinje & Son‘s parking lot near SE 78th Ave and Washington Street.

In 2008, Lesle Janssen began selling trees in Montavilla Town. Janssen’s Montavillage tree stand started at 76th and SE Stark next to Beets Auto Body. The lot moved to 78th and Washington in 2015. This year, Montavillage merged with longtime Christmas Trees retailer Red Shed. Janssen continues Red Shed’s 20-year tradition of providing fresh local products in a warm, community-building atmosphere. They are open seven days a week, 10 AM – 8 PM. On Friday and Saturday, sales staff are available for an additional hour. Paying in cash is recommended for faster service, and delivery options are available.

Montavillage near SE 78th Ave and Washington Street

There is another reoccurring Christmas tree lot at the corner of NE 92nd Ave and Glisan Street for those closer to NE Glisan. This vacant lot hosts tree sales nearly every year. They advertise Douglas fir, Grand fir, and Noble fir trees.

Expect to pay a little more for a tree this season. A challenging growing season may have an impact on tree prices. If a cut tree is in your holiday plans, you do not have to travel far to find one. Check out these local lots and see if you can find the right tree for your home.

Tree lot at the corner of NE 92nd Ave and Glisan Street

Flipside Hats Opens November 1st

Flipside Hats officially reopens in its new location on Monday, November 1st. The apparel maker relocated operations to 7850 SE Stark Street from the 4400 block of SE Belmont Street this month, after an extensive renovation period. Many long nights went into the move, but staff have now settled into their new home and are ready to show off the company’s renowned product lines in the new showroom.

The owners of Flipside Hats bought the Montavilla building at the beginning of 2021. The decision to move to Stark Street stemmed from a desire to embed the business in the neighborhood, explained co-owner of Flipside hats Jacob Wollner. “We are a community business, and Montavilla is our home, our community.” Owning the building means they can safely put down deep roots as they further grow the company.

Until recently, staff would design, manufacture, and distribute the products from a single location. Before moving operations, Flipside Hats partnered with clothing producers to manufacture the company’s designs at different locations. Production remains local, with 90 percent of the product line made within the Portland Metro area. This new location supports the store and showroom upfront, with design, operations, and e-commerce fulfillment occurring in the back portion of the building.

Although not complete, the shop already emotes a mature retail experience. It features ample open space between intricate displays packed full of clothing accessories. Throughout the store, staff insert antique furniture and luggage into the layout, creating an antique aesthetic that softens the edge of the new construction. 

Although built-in 1946, the building received a substantial update this year. Crews completely replaced the storefront that previously served as an office. A modern aluminum and glass wall now extends the width of the building, offering expansive views of Stark Street. The extended height doors and taller windows pour sunlight onto the showroom floor. The natural finish of the reclaimed wood floor bounces that light around the room, creating a muted but rich illumination, even on a cloudy day. The owners removed the flat interior ceiling to reveal the barrel vault roof structure in a bold embrace of the building’s form. The curved wood planks show grey stains from their original use as forms for the building’s concrete walls. The rough finish overhead sets the tone for the function of this space. It is not only a place for retail but where creators design the next season’s products, just beyond the rolling barn door behind the cash wrap.

Flipside Hats’ store serves two roles for the business. It is principally a retail shop ready to provide customers with whatever new product the company offers, but it is also a showroom featuring the complete product line. Flipside Hats and their other brand, Hats for Healing, rotate product lines twice per year—retailers from all over the country stock their store shelves with selections from the Fall-Winter and Spring-Summer collections. This storefront allows buyers to view the company’s offerings in a retail presentation. Due to the variety in styles created here, very few retail chains sell the full assortment of products. This showroom is the one place that has all available items on display. Currently, all but 15 hat lines are out on the sales floor. Wollner expects to have the remaining hats out soon.

Starting Monday, the shop is open to the public from 9 AM to 4 PM weekdays and 11 AM to 6 PM on the Weekends. Staff plan to adjust store hours based on seasonal changes and customer feedback. They are excited to be open in Montavilla and ready to outfit you for the Winter weather or assist with your holiday shopping.

Max’s Auto Spa on SE 82nd Ave

In August, Max’s Auto Spa opened at 145 SE 82nd Ave in the former Trendsetters Truck and Auto location. The husband and wife team named the company after their son, intending to build a multigenerational business. They started this venture further south on 82nd Avenue in a shared space. In less than two years, they have managed to grow the operation to the point it needed a larger dedicated location.

At just three years old, Max comes to work with his parents regularly. Sitting at his table, he works on puzzles and greeting guests. For both his parents, creating a family-friendly business is one of the core values of their company. As a mother, co-owner Denise Lazatin wanted to build an inviting business for women with respectful staff who do not pressure or talk down to customers. For her, a key component is creating a clean and safe waiting room where families can stay clear of the vigorous scrubbing happening in the nearby work bays.

In addition to the interior enhancements, the building’s exterior received some attention. The small structure next to Hong Phat now features a white band of paint wrapping the building, contrasting the dark grey body color. Cleaning up the 1950s era building took time for the staff at Max’s Auto Spa, but the work is essential for the type of service they provide. The business owners know from experience the need for good hygiene within the building and inside the cars. Before starting this business, co-owner Curtis Crandall worked for eight years in the medical industry. First as a surgical tech and then with the quality control group in a hospital’s infectious disease department. That experience cleaning medical facilities and hospital equipment prepared Crandall for the deep cleaning service his business now offers. Staff clean all vehicles with hand tools for the best reach. There are no spinning bush tunnels to drive through at this location. Instead, they invest in quality extractors to clean deep into fabrics where mold can grow inside a vehicle.

The building last winter before Trendsetters moved out.

Curtis Crandall is a former member of the US armed forces. That experience created a deep respect for the uniformed members of the community. He knows those professions consume a considerable amount of time, preventing some people from giving their vehicles a deep cleaning. Additionally, he knows public service professions aren’t the highest paying job in our society. For that reason, Max’s Auto Spa offers a 1% discount for each year of service. This discount extends to active or former US armed forces members, police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers.

Max’s Auto Spa is scheduling appointments now, and customers can reach them at their website or by calling (503) 444-1100. They work Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5:30 PM.

Sushi Yummy & Chinese Restaurant

A new Asian eatery has opened up in the former Imperial House Chinese Restaurant building. Located at 1815 SE 82nd AveSushi Yummy & Chinese Restaurant continues a 20-year-long tradition of Chinese cuisine under the iconic Ah Fong Kitchen sign. However, this time the menu includes Japanese dishes.

Hints that this location was changing first operated in a Liquor Licence application from May 2021. Over the last few weeks, workers have moved quickly to update the space and change the signs. The transition from Imperial House to Sushi Yummy & Chinese Restaurant was smooth, with minimal downtime during the transformation. Many things have changed at the restaurant, but others have stayed the same. The last three businesses at this location have maintained the same phone number, and the building’s exterior has remained mostly the same over the years.

The owners have bifurcated the menu into separate sections. Customers dining in will receive a two-sided color card showing the assortment of Nigiri and Rolls available, along with the expected sushi side dishes. Separately, another two-sided menu features Chinese restaurant standards. This combination is less common in Portland, but in Hawaii, diners celebrate the mixture of the two complimentary cooking styles.

Customers can dine-in, order online for pickup, or call 503-774-0061. They are open Wednesday through Monday, 11 AM to 10 PM.

Zuckercreme Opens Friday

On October 1st, Zuckercreme will open a new Montavilla location at 414 SE 81st Ave. After less than a year in the Brooklyn neighborhood, owner Brittany Sigal decided to relocate the shop closer to home, taking over the former INVOKE space. The store will sell a curated selection of locally produced products and menu items.

Seasonal variety guides the selections offered to customers at Zuckercreme. Starting Friday, the shop will feature items under the collective theme of pumpkin spice & everything nice. They work with different bakers to offer a special rotating menu, along with coffee and tea drinks. Seasonal treats and drinks are only one part of the shop’s offerings. Each theme will encompass a selection of fitting homewares, vintage items, artwork, clothing, accessories, and ceramics. The space will also host scheduled workshop events.

The idea of seasonality is essential for Sigal’s vision of Zuckercreme. “I love the idea of a shop telling time. Rotating themes and being in sync with the time of the year means I’ll always be moving forward, and I’ll never get bored.” Sigal imparts her excitement for seasonal transformation to the customer through all the senses. “Zuckercreme is meant to create a temporary world where you can fully immerse yourself in an experience and enjoy the tastes, smells, colors, and memories of that season. Food is a big piece and what I believe connects us to each other. I wanted a way to work with people that would allow them to participate based on their own nostalgia, culture, and personal taste.”

Like the store’s aesthetic, Zuckercreme’s name stems from nostalgia. “Zuckercreme is sugar cream in German. My family is German, and I’m from the good ol’ midwest, Indiana. Sugar cream pie is Indiana’s state pie and what I always grew up eating.” Explained Brittany Sigal. 

The business began last June as a Saturday market titled the strawberry museum. It contained a small retail area and space for food vendors to sell treats. By July, they had expanded into a cafe. Thursday and Friday featured morning cafe service with retail and the occasional workshop. Saturday continued as the collaborative market day, and Sunday featured a special brunch. By August, they started offering dinner service on Thursday nights.

Although expanded food service seemed to be the direction Zuckercreme would grow, the location did not fit. “I was unsure of the future of the space, and the cafe didn’t work as well because the shared space I was in was more of a destination spot rather than somewhere that would have foot traffic, which is what I needed,” explained Sigal. Over the few months at the shop’s last location, they were able to test out ideas and figure out what worked and what needed to change. “This [experiance] very much shaped my future shop because I realized I wanted to do more retail and workshops with a small cafe and still host the community markets. I needed a better spot to make that successful, where there would be foot traffic, and I could make my own hours.”

Mural artist Brianna Vizcaino (@briannasinpajamas) painting shop’s wall

These discoveries were not something that Brittany Sigal could instantly implement. It was not until the space in Montavilla opened up that the future iteration of Zuckercreme became a reality. “I don’t think I would have moved forward with taking on the risk of running my own space if I had not gotten the one I’ll be in,” commented Sigal. The new space does not contain a kitchen limiting the menu at this new location. However, according to Sigal, food is still an essential part of the shop’s future. “We will either have the seasonal coursed meal experiences off-site if we find another pop-up spot closer to Montavilla or do menus that don’t require a full commercial kitchen.”

Many details regarding Zuckercreme are in development and will likely continue to transform over the years. By design, the space will appear different to customers between visits but remain familiar. By continually changing, customers will need to visit often to see what’s new. Fortunately, being located within Montavilla Town offers a good amount of foot traffic to pull the curious and adventurous person of the street and into the shop. Starting this Friday at 9 AM, consider adjusting your path to stroll along SE 81st Ave and see what creations are for sale at Zuckercreme. The store is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. Sundays, they host a community market from 10 AM to 2 PM.