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9 Firsts You Didn’t Know About Bend’s Favorite Grocery Store

Leading edge? Yeah… that’s us.  And we can prove it! 

Pioneering. Original. Leading. Top of the List. Head of the line. However you want to phrase it, being first takes ingenuity and a whole lot of guts.

We weren’t the first to walk on the moon. Or the first to barrel off of Niagara Falls. Heck, we weren’t even the first to sell those adorable baby carrots you pack in your lunch each day.

But we were first at many things that make our store the best in Bend.

Did you know:

We are the only store in Bend to win Best Grocery Store for 15 years in a row?
In the Source Weekly’s annual community poll, we have won this title for the past 15 years. Will it be Sweet 16 in 2014?

Being different has definitely set us apart from other grocery stores. As our impassioned owner, Rudy, says, “We like to be the first on the market with things, we try to get the best products and we try to be different. The ultimate goal would be to have something that no one else has.”

Newport Avenue Market was the first IGA Plus store on the West Coast?
The Independent Grocers Alliance doesn’t just hand that out to any old grocery store. To become a 5-star retailer, a store must ensure that their customers are having an exceptional shopping experience every single time they enter the store. We still hold strong to that ethic today.


Newport Avenue Market was awarded the first Boar’s Head Deli of Distinction west of the Mississippi?


This rare honor is awarded to only a few select delis scattered across the country. And we were the first… the first deli west of the Mississippi River (way on the other side of the country) to receive this award. Every day, we get up early and stay late so we can provide healthy, quick and delicious food to our incredible customers.

We are the first business in Bend to win both Small Business of the Year and Large Business of the year? 


Yep, you read it correctly. In 1999, the Bend Chamber of Commerce awarded Newport Avenue Market Small Business of the Year. In spring of 2014, we were named Large Business of the Year. It’s amazing what can happen in 15 years.

Newport Avenue Market was the first independent grocery store in Oregon to use electronic price tags?


We were even awarded a National Small Grocery Award for Technology because of it. Think about it… with traditional labels, every time there is a sale, price change or product change, a new piece of paper is needed. Manpower is needed to create, track and change those paper-based labels. By using electronic tags, less paper is needed and our employees are better able to assist our customers. Our electronic price tags even sleep at night to conserve energy and the batteries last almost a decade. High five to the environment!

We were Oregon’s first independent grocery store to use Accelitec technologies?
What the heck is Accelitec? It’s a valuable software management tool that enables us to run our FoodeFlash Card program. You get rewarded for shopping at our store each time you use it. And we were the first independent grocery store in Oregon to implement a rewards program like this for its customers.


Newport Avenue Market was the first grocery store in Oregon to win a state composting award?
The Oregon Refuse & Recycling Association awarded us the inaugural Leadership in Composting award for our efforts to reduce waste. Other finalists for this award included The Portland Zoo and Albany Hospital.

We began our commercial composting program in 2011. In 2012, Newport Avenue Market composted 100,000 lbs. of organic waste and reduced garbage output by 60%.  Another high five for the environment. The ReGrow compost sold at our store is a direct result of our composting program. It’s a rich blend of organic food waste and will make your garden grow, grow, grow.


We are the first grocery store in Central Oregon to have a full-time wine steward?


Confused about wine? Not sure what wine goes best with what food? We hear ya! And that’s why we have a full-time wine steward on staff to answer all of your questions and make shopping for wine an adventure. We even do wine tastings every Friday and Saturday from 3:30-5:30.

Newport Avenue Market was the first grocery store in Central Oregon to offer gourmet and specialty items?


Blood orange-infused olive oil. Local specialty cheeses. A wall of obscure hot sauces. These and thousands of other interesting and unique items fill our store shelves.

“We had this idea for something Bend hadn’t seen before: a specialty grocery store, one with top quality items. You know, real gourmet stuff. Back then, there wasn’t anything like that in Central Oregon. We could see that Bend was changing… [and] saw an opportunity to fill a niche,” says our owner, Rudy.

“We were the first to offer gourmet and specialty items,” his wife Debbie adds. “Today, many stores have followed our lead, adding wine sections and offering gourmet items, but we were the first. And I’d like to think, still the best.”

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5 thoughts on “9 Firsts You Didn’t Know About Bend’s Favorite Grocery Store

  1. Paula Johanson says:

    Your wine steward (stewardess??) Susie,is THE BEST!

    We now buy most all of our wine from Newport to be sure – thank you for great service throughout the store as well.

    Paula and Bob J.

  2. Vicki Spandel says:

    Newport is also the first grocery store in Bend–in my view–to have atmosphere–actual ambiance! It isn’t a hurry-up-and-get-what-we-need-and-get-out kind of place. It’s a place where you take your time, look around, and enjoy yourself . . . because it’s fun!

  3. Keith White says:

    You are the ” go to ” store! When I need high quality items for special recipes you are my savior! When I need that case of apples in the fall, your guys take care of me.

    The only complaint I have is I have to drive from Prineville to shop! Could you be the “first store” to invent a Transporter device! Lol

    Thanks for all of your great work!

Comments are closed.