Last month, landscapers planted six new street trees in sidewalk cutouts added along SE 82nd Avenue between SE Stark and Washington Streets. The owners of 8250 SE Stark Street installed these green spaces at the request of the City’s Urban Forestry staff and fulfilled a 2018 commitment to plant street trees around the store’s three frontages.
Four years ago, the Cash & Carry Smart Food Services company demolished the Chinese Village restaurant on this 1.15-acre property. In its place, they built the commercial kitchen supply store. US Foods CHEF’STORE now owns the property after a 2020 acquisition of Smart Food Services. The store’s approved plans show five street trees at the sidewalk’s edge along SE 82nd Avenue. In 2018, landscaping crews planted the proposed street trees on SE Stark Street and Washington Street. However, workers did not create sidewalk cutouts for trees on the property’s westward side.
In March of 2021, Portland Parks & Recreations Urban Forestry staff found the property in violation of the City’s tree Code. Inspectors marked the required correction satisfactory on February 25th when contractors added the six tree planters along 82nd Avenue. Landscapers planted the new trees in symmetrical alignment with the building’s west-facing corners. The tree-line breaks near a street light pole at the center of the block, preventing the future tree canopy from obstructing the light.
These new trees add a substantial enhancement to a blank pedestrian zone. Developers of the building chose to face the store’s active front towards a parking lot. The door leading onto SE 82nd Avenue from the store is for emergency exit only. The west-facing wall lacks color definition, without any signage. Interior shelving mostly obstructs public view into the store through the windows. The addition of trees should help make the sidewalk a more hospitable public realm that is cooler in the summers and green with life.
This weekend, crews painted the US Foods CHEF’STORE located at 8250 SE Stark Street. This store recently was renamed, and this work is in line with that rebranding effort. The Smart Foodservice Warehouse company built the building in 2019. US Foods acquired the property and 70 other Smart Foodservice locations in early 2020 when purchasing the Smart Foodservice company. Last February, the new owners officially changed the store’s name to US Foods CHEF’STORE. Within days, the store’s signage updated to reflect the new branding.
Painters covered the original beige panels and the previously unpainted Split-face Concrete Blocks with off-white paint. The building’s color now matches the traditional white and green aesthetic seen in US Foods CHEF’STORE locations across the country. More branding-related updates will continue inside the store. However, most of the building’s exterior appears complete.
A year after its acquisition by US Foods, Smart Foodservice stores are rebranding. The food cart and small commercial kitchen supply stores are now known as US Foods CHEF’STORE. The Montavilla location at 8250 SE Stark Street already features new signage reflecting the name change.
US Foods acquired all 70 Smart Foodservice stores in March of 2020. At the time, Smart Foodservice was expected to merge with existing CHEF’STORE locations. Despite the new signs, the CHEF’STORE website does not reflect the additional Oregon locations. However, Smart Foodservice posted information about the name change on the company’s website. Officially the branding swap begins on March 1st and will continue throughout 2021. Provided information indicates that much of the store’s pricing and policies will remain the same. As operations further integrate with the parent company, customers will eventually gain access to expanded US Foods brands and more integrated billing.
The name change is mostly inconsequential to neighborhood patrons of the store. However, it does signal the chain’s transformation to a nationwide foodservice supplier. Smart Foodservice was an Oregon-owned and managed company. Those stores now move inline with US markets and dietary trends. Look for additional changes inside the stores as the name change progresses.
US Foods has acquired Smart Foodservice and all their 70 stores. Smart Foodservice recently opened up a Montavilla location between SE Stark and SE Washington Street on 82nd Ave. It replaced the Chinese Village that was demolished in the summer of 2018. Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores, formerly known as Cash&Carry Smart Foodservice, is headquartered in the greater Portland area. US Foods is the second-largest foodservice distributor, providing food to restaurant and foodservice operators.
While our neighborhood Smart Foodservice caters to small restaurants and food trucks, it has been a useful grocery resource for local residents. We reached out to Sara Matheu, Director of Media Relations of US Foods, for comment about this acquisition. We have also reached out to Smart Foodservice media relation department. As of yet they have not responded to requests for information on what changes are coming to our location .
Smart Foodservice will likely combine with US Foods’ CHEF’STORE stores, in organization if not also in name. CHEF’STORE implements a cash and carry model, similarly selling to small restaurants and the public. In a provided quote from US Foods chairman and CEO Pietro Satriano. “With an established footprint and a consistent record of profitable growth, Smart Foodservice will complement our CHEF’STORE cash and carry model and provide a platform to significantly accelerate our presence in this attractive, growing channel.”
Even if Smart Foodservice rebrands, this location should continue to serve the needs of local restaurants and residents alike.
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