On November 25th, Red Shed Christmas Trees returns to the seasonal Montavillage location in the Vinje & Son’s parking lot near SE 78th Avenue and Washington Street. This year, tree lot owner Lesle Janssen plans to expand the artistic offerings sold alongside the traditional wreaths and trees. Shoppers will find an assortment of Douglas, Nordmann, and Noble Fir trees. However, the location also features crafts from local artists, cookies, and activities for kids. Janssen acknowledged that the tree industry costs are rising, but Red Shed will absorb those increases and keep prices at the same level as last year, ensuring people can still afford a holiday celebration.
Beyond tree sales, Janssen is a fan of the holiday season and a dedicated supporter of local artists. Consequentially, the tree lot includes more than just standard items. Since opening the Montavilla tree lot in 2008, the variety of items and activities offered at the location has increased. This year they will have pottery and soap from Shane Reaney Studios, prints from Peter McNamee Photography, confections made by McTavish Shortbread, and other holiday accessories.
Shane Reaney is a neighborhood artist in the early stages of growing his business, and this venue increases exposure for lesser-known creators. “I’ve been making pottery and soap as a hobby for many years, but I am just beginning to do this full-time. Having an opportunity to get my creations in front of so many people in such a festive space will help introduce my affordable creations to lots of new people,” said Reaney. At the Red Shed location, people can choose from a selection of Reaney’s mugs, small planters, incense holders, and soap dishes. Staff will also display an assortment of hand-crafted soap to sell alongside the pottery options.
Peter McNamee Photography offers images capturing the wilderness areas of the Northwest. McNamee prints his photos on eight-by-eight-inch metal panels. The picture is fused onto specially coated aluminum, creating a vibrant image that is durable and impervious to water. Fans of McNamee’s work can also pose in front of a giant backdrop featuring one of his landscape photos.
For over 30 years, Portland’s McTavish Shortbread has provided fresh-to-order cookies for customers. It is an independent craft bakery providing the “foodie’s version of the classic Scottish cookie” to coffee shops, wineries, boutique hotels, and select grocery stores. The family-owned and operated bakery will only create a limited number of cookies for this location. Customers are encouraged to stop in early to buy the cookies they want.
Lesle Janssen is excited to bring back the children’s craft area this year. During the pandemic, Red Shed staff sent ornament creation kits home with kids, and that option will continue. However, kids can stay entertained at the designated holiday creativity station this year while parents shop. Janssen said this event is open to all children and does not require purchase. Crafty adults can also pick up free tree limbs that staff clip from the base of trees. A few inches are always trimmed from the tree’s base to allow it to mount in a watering stand. Those surplus branches can find a new use in mantel decorations or other projects.
For people interested in a wintry brew, a collaboration with Montavilla Brew Works grants tree purchasers a special deal on local beer. Customers will take their “Tree Cookie” token a block over to 7805 SE Stark Street and receive a discount on a six-pack or growler.
After Thanksgiving, shoppers can head to Washington Street to look for the holiday decorations and festive activities that will begin the buildup to the winder celebration. Vinje & Son at 544 SE 78th Avenue is again hosting Red Shed in its parking lot accessed from SE Washington Street. Starting Friday, they are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with a bonus hour Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, keeping the lot open until 9 p.m. Paid delivery options are available to drop off trees at a customer’s doorstep.
Promotion: Montavilla News has a Patreon account. We invite those who can contribute to this local news source to please consider becoming a paid subscriber or sponsor. We will always remain free to read regardless of subscription.