PORTLAND, Ore. — Quick, convenient and quality food are the cornerstones for Green Zebra Grocery, a small format urban retailer based in Portland. 

Director of produce Erik Levi says it’s been a fun learning experience to take what he’s learned in premium natural foods grocery, and compact it down into 5,000 to 7,000 square feet. 

 “As a produce buyer, I really try to minimize quantity and optimize quality and flavor,” he says. “We’re not going to carry the full gambit, but try to get an idea of the flavors and select the right items to bring at any given time.” 

Green Zebra opened its first store in October 2013 in a family-centric neighborhood. Its latest store, in downtown Portland, caters to a completely different clientele. 

 “They’re looking for quick, convenient and quality food,” Levi says. “They’re coming in here during lunches, and we sell a lot of snack food.” 

Squeeze bottles of lemon and lime juice sell well for making flavored waters, and value added is a cornerstone of product selection. 

 “We try to order based on what we’re going to use for value-added instead of value-added being the secondary thought,” he says. “With the size of our floor, the produce department becomes a holding place for the value-added program.”  

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