May’s Independent of the Month is Food Fight! Grocery. With two locations in Portland, Oregon, this small but charismatic store successfully provides for all of its Pacific Northwest customers.
The first thing to know about Food Fight! Grocery is that they are an all vegan store. This has always been the case since they opened in 2003. Their goal is to “keep the focus on the animals, the earth, and all the non-turd people in between”. The store has a small produce and bulk section, but for the most part they specialize in “good, fun food”. Customers can find chips, candy, faux meats, faux cheeses and drinks in this store.
On their website they offer a helpful guide for plant-eating visitors in the Portland area. Their extensive list of food and non-food things can be found here. Food Fight Grocery strives to make veganism “accessible, fun, and delicious, while promoting animal rights ethics and community building”. In fact, their Stark location is situated in what is know as the “Vegan Mini Mall”. It features a vegan baking company, tattoo shop, and clothing company.
We were able to ask a few questions to Chad, one of the founders and owners of Food Fight! Grocery to get a better understanding of who they are.
Where did the name Food Fight! come from?
We named it after my grandfather.
Just kidding. It just came to us in a panic-y brainstorming session and seemed like a good fit. Part fun, part political.
What are some of your most popular products?
People go nuts for all the great local vegan cheeses we carry. And of course, taquitos.
Do customers tend to buy more sweet or savory items?
That depends on the day and the weather and if there has been a particularly inflammatory tweet from the president that day. We specialize in emotional eating.
Do you plan to open more store locations?
I really don’t think so. Opening our second location was a big learning experience and we don’t think I want to learn that much again.
How do you help the community?
One of our favorite things is our monthly rotating beneficiary program. We collect “gratuities” all month from credit card sales and a donation bucket and get to write a nice check at the end of the month to folks doing the real work of making the world a less terrible place.
What is something most people don’t know about the store?
We started back in 2003 before veganism is what it has now become. Zero crowd-funding opportunities. We just went all-in with goofy credit card debt and an iron will. Luckily, it worked out pretty well.
Anything else you would like to share?
Please please support small independent businesses. Even if they cost you a few more bucks here and there. The benefit to the community might not be super obvious, but you’ll miss us when we’re gone.
“We strive to see the elimination of the abuse and murder of animals AND the oppression of the human workers within the animal agriculture industry.” – Food Fight! Grocery