Eugene is home to makers, artisans, and visionaries who believe that a love of life is best enjoyed in edible form. Here are 10 noteworthy local and regional food makers—and a few more worth a mention—who will make your taste buds tingle and your soul soar.
Copo Coffee Company
Coffee taste with cola sparkle
A fortuitous combination of coffee, ice cream, and pop rocks made the family team behind Copo wonder: Why is there no sparkling coffee? Trial and error led the family to a revelation: brew cold-pressed coffee with an ancient sake technique. The result was Copo, made with McKenzie River water, organic agave syrup, and organic fair trade coffee beans. Copo combines the thirst-quenching feel of soda with the flavor, complexity, and zip of your favorite morning coffee.
Sparkling coffees available in Original (caffeinated), Decaf, and Xtra Dark.
Kernel-free puffed corn
On the one hand, there’s nothing like the flavor and texture of popcorn. On the other hand, there are the unpopped kernels, husks, and all the weird ingredients in that supermarket bag. Since 2004, Junction City–based Cosmos has been improving on that. Using all natural, gluten-free, trans fat-free ingredients and non-GMO corn, Cosmos bakes its corn in an oven, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth puff of flavor. It’s even safe for people with braces.
Eight flavors include Spicy Sriracha, Aged Cheddar & Cracked Pepper, Salted Caramel, and Sea Salt & Butter.
Quirky, crunchy Northwest flavor
After 30 years of developing food products for other people, Doug “Boss Nut” Furlong decided to go his own way in 2013. He knew he was onto something when one night some oatmeal stout spilled into a mixture of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, Spanish peanuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, blackberry honey, maple, vanilla, and sea salt. Doug’s Nuts are now available in 25 states and have even been in TV shows seeking “quirky Northwest flavor.”
Available in Original Blend, Coconut Beach Crunch, Habanero Honey.
Euphoria Chocolate Company
Hand-crafted artisan chocolates and confections
After 35 years, the name still says it all: euphoria, in chocolate form. Founded in 1980 and passed to new local owners in 2014, Euphoria Chocolate continues its mystical melds of local ingredients and hand-dipped truffles and other artisan confections.
Euphoria offers gift boxes, bulk chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate buttons and mints, chocolate hearts, chocolate sauces, classic truffles, spice trade truffles, wine truffles, and fruit, nuts, and maltballs. A Chocolate Fountain is also available for rental.
Three Eugene locations: Oakway Center, 6 W 17th Ave., and the Bertelsen Factory Store at 4090 Stewart Rd.
Real, honest, and natural granolas, cereals, trail mixes, and nut butters
Wildtime Foods, maker of Grizzlies Granola, began in 1981 with handmade granola delivered locally by bike. Today, Grizzlies all natural, non-GMO foods are found everywhere from local shops to Whole Foods.
Grizzlies offers cereals, granolas, nut butters, and trail mixes, with organic and gluten-free options also available.
Infused Vinegar Co.
Hand-crafted vinegars for food and drink
Vinegar is one of our oldest preservatives and health aids. Eugene-based Infused Vinegar puts a new twist on this old friend, with bright flavors, earthy concoctions, and organic ingredients. Infusions combine ancho chilies and apple cider vinegar, or porcini mushrooms and balsamic vinegar, or even goji berries and coconut vinegar. A traditional “Fire Tonic” combines turmeric, ginger, chilies, and apple cider vinegar—some swear it has illness-fighting, health-strengthening qualities.
Infused sells Apple Cider Vinegar Infusion, Balsamic Vinegar Infusion, Coconut Vinegar Infusion, and Fire Tonic.
Kurzhal Family Kickin’ Pickles
Pickled cucumbers, other vegetables, and eggs
Based on their Grandma Jean’s recipe, the Veneta-based Kurzhal family made a batch of pickles. Then they had to make more—because so many people kept saying they wanted some. The Kurzhals pickle during the annual cucumber harvest. Naturally gluten-free, the pickles use no artificial preservatives or colorings.
Products include pickled cucumbers, pickled beets, zucchini corn relish, jalapeño dill carrots, asparagus, pickled chicken eggs with chilies, dilly beans, garlic cloves, and ghost pepper salsa with black bean and corn.
Fresh pasta and sauces
It takes longer to boil the water than it does to cook fresh, tender Pasta Plus pastas. Hand-crafted in Eugene since 1981 by owners Susan Jones and Okito, all pastas are made on traditional Italian machinery that yields a delicate, toothy pasta with 256 layers.
Available throughout Eugene, Springfield, and Western Oregon, as well as at the Pasta Plus shop on 385 W 2nd Ave., Pasta Plus offers egg pastas, spinach pastas, herb pastas, pasta sheets, and more; house-made pesto, marinara, and mushroom cream sauces are also available. The retail shop also sells frozen ravioli, calzones, lasagna, and pizzetta, as well as bulk olive oil, bulk pine nuts, and a selection of fine wines.
Toby’s Family Foods
Dressings, dips, and tofu spreads
Toby is a local mom who started making tofu spreads at home in the 1970s for her kids, one of whom had food allergies. Positive feedback at family gatherings led to Saturday Market, and then restaurants began requesting her salad dressings and what she called “tofu pâté.” Today Toby has stepped down, but her son now runs the Springfield-based company, and Toby’s Family Foods can be found in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Toby’s prioritizes local ingredients, non-GMO soy and non-GMO canola, and organic purchasing whenever possible.
Toby’s has four spreads/dips and seven salad dressings available, including Lite Tofu Spread & Dip, Jalapeno Tofu Spread & Dip, Ranch Dressing, Chunky Feta Dressing, and Lite Blue Cheese Dressing.
Vanilla Jill’s Scoops & Soups
Healthy food that’s a treat
Prepared with love, a devotion to health, and organic and local ingredients, Vanilla Jill’s is far more than an ice cream shop. The gluten-free food offerings cover a spectrum of vegan, paleo, autoimmune paleo, specific carbohydrate diet, and Weston A. Price traditional options. Sandwiches use house grain-free breads, the fats range from animal fats to coconut oil, and the sweeteners include raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, and hardwood xylitol.
Located near Ninkasi Brewing Company on Blair Blvd., Vanilla Jill’s serves more than 20 flavors of grass-fed dairy and vegan ice creams. Also available: kefir, bone broth, GAPS soups, paleo sandwiches, vegan sourdough waffles, smoothies, cocktails, gluten-free beer, coffee, kombucha, and more.
Looking for more local flavor?
The All Spice Co.
Locally produced hot sauces, salsas, cereals, oils, dressings, vinegars, and spice blends.
Aloha From Oregon
Pepper jellies, chutneys, and other fruit butters, jellies, and preserves.
The Bread Stop Bakery
Breads, bagels, rolls, granolas, pizza dough, and more, since 1986.
De Casa Fine Foods
All natural tortillas, salsas, bean dips, hummus, and marinated mushrooms for over 30 years.
Le Café Maison
Shortbread and artisan baked goods.
Rose-infused jams and chocolate sauces from a Creswell farm.
Rising Moon Organics
Organic pastas, pirogies, and pasta sauces.
European-style drinking chocolate.
Dairy-free frozen desserts, and milks, creamers, and more made with almond, cashew, or coconut.
Organic, non-GMO tofu and tempeh since 1977.
Sweet Creek Foods
Organic pickled vegetables, cucumber pickles, fruit spreads, salsas, and albacore tuna.