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Good food and great businesses

by: CONTRIBUTED BY: MARC FIORITO, GAMMA NINE PHOTOGRAPHY - The team from Olympic Provisions at the Good Food Marketplace.The Good Food Awards is coming to Portland on Friday, July 18, on a three-city roadshow including Washington D.C. and St. Louis, Missouri.

This year is the Good Food Awards’ fifth anniversary of celebrating authentic and responsibly-produced foods. About 1,000 sustainable food businesses participate in the awards each year.

The event is organized by a membership association of 250 businesses in the Good Food Merchants Guild, spanning across 27 states. Partnered by Organic Valley and Olympic Provisions, the guild is hosting a free Good Food Night Market from 6 to 9 p.m. and a Beer and Brats after-party from 9 to 11 p.m. (tickets are $12).

According to Sarah Weiner, director of the Good Food Awards, the goal of the awards event is to build a national platform for food producers and their marketplace to thrive.

“We could find a way to help mandate the business that could, in turn, be a model for other businesses and their community,” says Weiner. “If we gave them a platform, we could use that platform to advocate for things like buying from a farmer near you.”

The event will take place at 2014 winner Olympic Provisions’s Northwest location, 1632 N.W. Thurman St. This is the first time the charcuterie’s menu will be used for an event.

This year, the Night Market will feature seven crafters from Portland, including chocolate, beer and pickle-makers.

As a 2014 winner announced early this January, Lynette Shaw’s Republic of Jam company will be there.

“The (Good Food Awards) is a club of people who are doing something that is not just run-of-the-mill, not just cranking out a product,” says Shaw. “There’s so much intention involved in it, by people who really support it ... I don’t know anybody else who is doing that in the way they are.”

The 2014 winners were announced in January and include 14 breweries, 15 charcuteries, 14 cheese factories, nine chocolate makers, 15 coffee roasters, 16 confectionaries, 10 oil companies, 14 pickle makers, 15 preserves and seven distilleries. Thirteen of them are based in Oregon.