The Tofurky Roast is made with wheat and tofu and filled with rice and breadcrumb stuffing. | Photo courtesy of Tofurky
Millions of homes around the US invite the same guest to the dinner table each Thanksgiving — the turkey. And just like a political debate that somehow finds its way to the feast, the meaty main course can be polarizing.
You’ve likely heard the name before; it’s often used to reference a meatless roasted turkey alternative. In truth, Tofurky is a brand encompassing several plant-based protein products made just down the road in Hood River. In honor of the holiday, we’re serving up a generous helping of Tofurky history.
🐣 Hatching the brand
It all started with a teacher, naturalist, and tempeh enthusiast named Seth Tibbott. Seth enjoyed sharing his homemade tempeh (a high-protein food made from fermented soybeans) with family and friends. So in 1980, Seth opened a business in Forest Grove dedicated to producing plant-based proteins to help vegans and vegetarians feel more included at the dinner table.
The business expanded to a vacant elementary school in 1983 and Seth built a 300-sqft treehouse to call home — he was ahead of the curve on the tiny house trend. Tofurky’s first Holiday Roast debuted in 1995. Eight hundred roasts were sold that first year; as of 2020, Tofurky had sold more than 7 million.
Today, Tofurky is still a family business with Seth’s stepson Jaime Athos leading the flock as the CEO. The mission remains the same: respecting people, animals, and the planet by “getting every bacon-chomping, barbecue-loving eater out there to see the wisdom of a plant-based diet.”
Customers can find the brand’s famous roast and other chef-crafted plant-based products — like deli slices, sausages, and burger patties — in grocery stores across the US and online.
ORRC Turkey Trot at the Zoo | Thursday, Nov. 24 | 7:30 a.m. | Oregon Zoo Main Gate, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland | $31-$47 | Let your own two legs take you on a 4-mile journey in Washington Park benefiting the Oregon Zoo.
Friday, Nov. 25
The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal | Friday, Nov. 25 + Saturday, Nov. 26 | 8 p.m. | Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland | $56-$76 | The local legend and internationally known musician is treating Portlanders to two nights full of wicked charm and stunning vocals with her 15th annual holiday performance.
Saturday, Nov. 26
Small Business Saturday | Saturday, Nov. 26 | 12-4 p.m. | Wyrd Leather and Mead, 4515 SE 41st Ave., Portland | Free | Shop local creators’ wares at Portland’s own medieval-themed eatery as bards provide a live soundtrack to accompany your journey.
Skate with The Grinch & Cindy Lou Who | Saturday, Nov. 26 | 1-3 p.m. | 953 Lloyd Center, Portland | $4-$20 | Meet the furry green menace and the little girl who believed his heart really wasn’t three sizes too small at this themed event benefiting The Salvation Army.
Fa-La-La-Llama | Saturday, Nov. 26 | 2-5 p.m. | DIY BAR courtyard, 3526 N. Vancouver Ave., Portland | Free | Enjoy festive drink specials, enter to win prizes, donate gently used blankets for Portland’s Community Warehouse, and snap a holiday photo with Prince the Llama.
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
54º | Mashed potatoes with a side of sunshine | 6% chance of rain
Sunrise + Sunset
Rise: 7:22 a.m.
Set: 4:32 p.m.
Happy Thanksgiving. However you celebrate, make today a day of rest, reflection, and community. We here at PDXtoday are thankful for our city, and the fact that there’s always plenty to talk about. 🥧
Shaken, not stirred, with two olives. The 30-ft martini glass affixed to the eastern facade of a home perched in the West Hillsis lighting up Portland’s skyline once again. The iconic sign has a history dating back to the 1960s; today, it heralds the start of the holiday season. 🍸 (KOIN)
Sylvester Pennoyer, governor of Oregon from 1886 to 1895, didn’t always see eye-to-eye with then-President Grover Cleveland. In 1893, Pennoyer proclaimed Thanksgiving would be observed on the fourth Thursday of November, contradicting Cleveland’s stance (and national traditions established by President Lincoln) that the holiday fall on the last Thursday of the month. 🦃 (KOIN)
A new exhibit of landscape prints exploring Japan’s relationship with nature starting in the 19th century opens Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Portland Art Museum. “Human | Nature: 150 Years of Japanese Prints” will feature works by world-renown artists, including some who worked in the PNW like Gordon Gilkey and Sekino Jun’ichirō. ⛩️
Imelda’s Shoes, an independent shoe store that’s been in business on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard since 1994, is closing. Shoppers can take advantage of closing sales for a few more weeks; the shop’s final day has not yet been announced. (KGW)
Nine local nonprofit organizations were awarded Cowlitz Tribal Foundationgrants totaling over $2.5 million at last night’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at ilani Casino Resort. Recipients include Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue, the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington, the Vancouver Housing Authority, and the La Center School District. 💸
If you love this newsletter (and supporting local) as much as we love strolls in Fernhill Park, morning lattes from Happy Cup Coffee Company + Saturdays spent eating birria at Todo (which is a lot) — we’ve got something for you: PDXtoday just launched a membership program. Learn more + sign up. 🎉
Knock out all your holiday shopping at Unique Markets, a woman-owned holiday pop-up coming to Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 3-Sunday, Dec. 4. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Attendees can shop 160 local designers and artists, enjoy live music, snacks + drinks, a free photo booth + more. Get tickets(kids 14 and under are free). 🛍️ *
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Ben, Terri, and Cambrie at Pine Street Market in Old Town.
Today’s issue was written by Cambrie.
Editor’s pick: Happy Thanksgiving, Portland. Real talk: We’re thankful for you. Really, we mean it. We love talking about our city and bringing the most relevant, impactful local news straight to your inbox.
We couldn’t do it without you, so cheers to you — and wherever you are today, we hope there’s pie. 🥧
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