Food Fight! Vegan Grocery opened in September 2003 by Chad Miller and Emiko Badillo, inside a tiny, sub-basement retail space on SE Division and 42nd Ave, at a time when Portland was still a sleepy town and veganism was hardly known. With a DIY and punk ethic, we put everything into our little shop to show veganism as accessible, fun, and delicious, while promoting animal rights ethics and community building.
The Long Middle
We soon found ourselves needing more space, so in 2007, we moved into a building on SE Stark and 12th Avenue and doubled in size. With our new, vegan business friends in the same building, Sweetpea Baking Company, Herbivore Clothing Company, and Scapegoat Tattoo, we all established ourselves as a Portland vegan, small business team. Back then, the Buckman neighborhood was a bit quieter and next to the more desolate Central Eastside Industrial area, but Food Fight quickly established itself as a local grocery store for the neighborhood, and as Buckman has become more populated, we have grown in return. Still a local neighborhood grocery store, we are also a tourist attraction along with our fellow “Vegan Mini Mall” business friends.
Then in February of 2017, after almost of year of sweat and heartache, we opened up our second store in the Gateway neighborhood. We had the opportunity to own part of the building we’re in, so we had a lot more work to do than just opening a second location, but all it’s all been worth it so far. It’s a great area with loads of nice, local customers. And we have great neighbors next door with all-vegan Jet Black Coffee Company and Vegan Gorditos keeping Gateway hydrated and full of good food. There have been growing pains for sure, and we will be working through them for some time to come, but Gateway feels like the old days on SE Division, so it's been a relief from the bustilingness of Buckman. And as Portland gentrifies, we know it's only a matter of time until the salad days of Gateway are gone, so we cherish our moments wisely.