Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

One of Our Hidden Gems: Tanasbourne in Oregon

With over 340 stores (and counting!), we’ve got a lot of hidden gems out there. Get the story behind the store in this series. Maybe your local store will be featured next! (Read on to find out how you could win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods Market®. UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congrats to our randomly chosen winner, Stephen!)

Today we’re talking with Laura Brown, Marketing Team Leader at the Tanasbourne store in Hillsboro, Oregon, just west of Portland. Tanasbourne opened 5 years ago in a bustling community with several schools, tech and medical centers, all surrounded by gorgeous local parks.


What’s the best-kept secret at your store?

We just installed a meat smoker that turns out mouthwatering dishes like fall-off-the-bone pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs and chicken quarters. It’s a little bit of the South, but up here in the Northwest. And you’ve got to try our Burger Bar for dinner, with local beers on tap!

What’s the tastiest dish in your store right now?

Our Meat Department has the most amazing oven-ready selection. Whether it’s the breaded cutlets or stuffed chicken breasts, these dishes make it easy for time-crunched families to put high-quality meals on the table, fast.

Got any community donation stories you can share?

We’re passionate about our Hillsboro/Beaverton community and donate daily to at least four local food banks. We’ve also worked with HomePlate, which provides food for homeless youth in our community. Our Team Members made a special trip once to drop off dog food at HomePlate so the youth could feed their pets.


Tell us about one rock star Team Member.

Cindy Braun, our Meat Team Leader, is one of the most creative butchers around. She really thinks about the meal for the customer, which is why we have a great oven-ready section. And don’t miss her chocolate-covered bacon during Valentine’s Day, with flavors like Dark Chocolate Cherry, Toffee or Caramel!

What’s the most crave-able thing in your bakery case?

I’d have to say our Caramel-Filled Brownie Cupcake. (We like to say it’s filled with goopy wonderfulness!)

Who’s the reigning cook-off champ?

We recently held our “Ultimate Mac & Cheese Cook-Off” and customers were able to vote for their favorites. You should have tasted the entries! We had everything from Smoked Chanterelle Mac from our Specialty department to Truffle Mac & Cheese from Grocery. It was a tight fight, but Specialty took the title!

What’s a popular local product your store carries?

My personal favorite is a new vegan addition — HeidiHo Chia Cheez Sauce. It’s perfect with nachos or over broccoli and is made right here in the Portland area. Practically everyone who tries it takes it home.

Heidi Ho

Got any long-timers? What’s their story?

If you want an inspiring story, talk to our Produce Team Leader, Dave. He started with Whole Food Market 12 years ago in Santa Rosa, CA, working the closing shift in Produce, and eventually every other job in that department. In 2008, Dave opened the Tanasbourne store as Produce Team Leader and was awarded Pacific Northwest All Star last year.

What’s the annual don’t-miss event at your store?

Every year we host our annual “Dogs for Dogs” event to support the Hillsboro Dog Association (HDA), providing dog washes, great food and photos of your. Our community is full of animal lovers!

Tell us about a regular customer who you can’t imagine the store without.

Ann and Moses are a couple who warm our hearts and really epitomize the local culture. They ride their bikes everywhere – even for their business deliveries. Ann and Moses are big into juicing – which can mean a lot of compost! To ensure every bit of it gets used, they drop their compostables off at our store.

Whatcha got going on with local schools or non-profits?

Our Healthy Eating Specialist, Melissa, works with area schools to teach about healthy food choices. Melissa also hosts Kids Cooking Camp during the summer, where kids can learn hands-on how to make yummy and healthy meals. Our store held a “gardening work party” with Forest Grove Elementary in Forest Grove, OR, one of the Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant recipients.


What else makes your store a “hidden gem”?

Our Team Members are some of the most passionate, creative and caring in the company. Whether it’s Amee in Customer Service boosting the Whole Planet Foundation, TMAG Representative Carissa helping the entire crew love their jobs, or Matt and Ramiro ensuring we stick to our Green Mission, we have some real superstars.

Now that you know what makes our Tanasbourne store shine in Hillsboro, Oregon – tell us: what makes your local store a hidden gem?

Share your comment below by Sunday, March 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends 3/31/12, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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Megan says …

The Novato, CA has a local delicious kombucha on tap!

@blessedta says …

Its a one stop shopping paradise.

Barb Alotis says …

I love Whole Foods stores anywhere but I shop at the Chapel Hill store in NC on a regular basis. I do wish we had a food/drink bar like the photo above (Oregon) but space dictates how much one can do. We have already outgrown our store. But I see all the new changes each time I go in - great selections of just about anything one would ever want! It's the best place to shop with quality food but prices are not "off the chart" with specials all the time. Thanks Whole Foods for being on this planet! Oh, one important thing - I am pleased that WF is environmentally conscious and being in the forefront of conservation and good practices to protect our earth, it's people and its animals.

Ally Warren says …

The store on Lamar in Austin, TX because it's the flagship! I love riding my bike over for a super delicious and healthy lunch or dinner. I could seriously spend hours roaming the aisles, reading about new products and picking a few to take home and try. It's a little piece of heaven and wonder.

~Nilu~ says …

I like hanging out @ Whole Foods Tanasbourne! The store is spacious and selection is huge. Their sorbet assortment is to crave for! I really appreciate their recycling initiative.

Stefano says …

Local Store "Hidden Gem" Factor: All-year-around availability of Organic Pork Butt (Boneless) Shoulder Roast.

Belinda Abraham says …

What makes my store, Cottonwood Heights, UT, a gem is the meat department. I love going to the any meat department and asking questions. I know here I can ask a question and I will have their full attention, until I'm done. I also like that I can get back an answer that satisfies me and I'm treated like an equal.

Heidi Ho says …

Hey, that's me in the pic. That is awesome! I am so happy to share our plant-based healthy vegan + organic cheese alternatives with the world.

Zoe Leanza says …

The convenience of the St Paul Whole Foods Market makes it an incredible place for college students to run and get healthy food, a rarity in most college diets. In addition to it's variety of fresh produce and yummy snacks, this store offers an incredible selection of natural health products. Instead of loading up on unnecessary prescriptions, I've been able to cure many ailments with simple vitamins, herbs, and supplements. It feels good to know that the things I put in my body--from food to medicine--benefit me AND the environment, the farmers, the manufacturers, the employees...This Whole Foods has the most astounding atmosphere of respect, and each employee is dedicated not only to the quality of the store, but to its values.

Senia says …

Caramel-Filled Brownie Cupcake? Is that a local favorite or available at all the Whole Foods? It sounds amazing. I think it's so great that each Whole Foods has their own, unique community outreach programs. So nice to see that they value their communities. Thanks for sharing all these neat stories!

Cara says …

As a WFM shopper, this is one of the stores that I definitely want to check out.

Liane Donovan says …

This is my local Whole Foods. Everyone is always friendly and wonderful! Love this store!

Jesse says …

Our Whole Foods in KC, just off Roe, is a hidden gem in my opinion because of the clothing and jewelry selections! It's crazy to think, but while I can pick up my groceries I can also find the perfect pair of earrings for friends, a scarf for mom and perhaps some shoes for me! All eco-friendly! Plus their floral section is divine!

Diana K says …

My husband works close to this Tanasbourne Whole Foods, and everything they say here is true! His favorite thing to eat here is the Orenco Sandwich! It is delicious!

j.J. says …

I kinda wish our Kentlands store was bigger to have all the specialty areas, but on the other hand, it does keep the footprint small.

Stephen says …

Keep Smokin' ... I really missed my Texas BBQ, real BBQ brisket like they smoke it in Austin. Thanks Whole Foods for bringing it up here to the Northwest. My mouth is watering writing this. I know what dinner is tonight!

Danielle says …

I love this Whole foods....

Cimbria says …

Love the all natural shave ice at our local Kailua store!

Caroline says …

When visiting Ann Arbor, I was so envious that the whole foods there has a wine and cheese bar. Envy!!! We need one in Portland!! We've visited there 3 times for drinks and cheese. What bliss!

Ken says …

Portland- Can bring bags and plastic containers for recycling

Emely says …

I love Whole Foods more than anything, especially the one in Bowery, NYC. It´s big, I always find the things I am looking for and I could go shopping for hours and hours. Happy Easter :)

Kelly Gonzales says …

Can you send some HeidiHo to Austin, Tx Whole Foods? I want to try it. Very inspiring story Heidi shared on Shark Tank. she's a cool chick!!!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KELLY - I loved that episode as well! I will definitely pass this along to the Austin metro.