Each year our Congressman from Oregon, Earl Blumenauer, personally bakes hundreds of fruitcakes for the holiday season and hand delivers them to friends and associates throughout Portland. They call the deliveries ‘drive by fruitcaking’ and we had the pleasure of accompanying him on part of his tour last year. What struck me about all of this is how rare it is nowadays that we have the opportunity to stop and personally say hello to so many people in our lives. It seems harder and harder to take the time to connect, laugh together (fruitcake seems to make people laugh) and check in on the people in our lives.
When the chance to collaborate with Congressman Blumenauer on a Fruitcake Ice Cream came up, I loved the idea of taking this spirit of connecting to the next level. We have the privilege of serving lots and lots of people in our shops every day. We work hard to offer a moment of ‘full face attention’ and spend time with each person to treat them to a special experience. I thought that the idea of further connecting over the story of this Fruitcake Ice Cream could turn into something really special.
Earl Blumenauer first came to our kitchen to work with my cousin Tyler on translating his recipe into an ice cream. As we worked together, we had lots of spirited conversations and ideas flew for how we could use our Fruitcake Ice Cream as a superpower for good. With the Congressman’s passion for public transportation and biking, we landed on an idea to work with Portland’s Community Cycling Center as the benefactor for all proceeds from this flavor. We loved this connection because they provide bikes for children in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have one. As biking is so central to our identity in Portland, giving these kids their first bike helps connect them to their neighborhoods, to each other and to a sense of well-being and independence.
I know that growing up in Billings, Montana and riding my bike throughout my neighborhood with friends almost daily will always be one of my fondest of memories in life. The connections I made are still some of my strongest today and I draw on that feeling of security from being part of a larger, close-knit community.
This is now our second year to debut the Fruitcake Ice Cream. We’ll begin selling it Friday, November 27. We’re working with the Community Cycling Center again, but this year the Congressman has issued a challenge that the city of Portland raise enough funds to buy 1,000 bikes for kids. We reached out to our friends at Nike (where we are lucky to sell ice cream on their Beaverton campus) to enlist their help in this challenge. They jumped at the opportunity and we’re all excited to be working together.
Here’s where you come in! Each bike that the Community Cycling Center distributes costs $50. To help reach our goal of 1,000 bikes, you can…
- Stop by for a scoop or pint of the Fruitcake Ice Cream at any Portland Salt & Straw (or order online at saltandstraw.com) and we’ll donate all proceeds to the Community Cycling Center. (I know, eating ice cream is a rough job…but someone’s gotta do it!)
- Add a $50 bike sponsorship to any purchase at our shops or contribute online (http://saltandstraw.com/product/community-cycling-center-donation/). We’ll even give you a cute card for sharing your contribution as a gift to donate in someone’s name. And Salt & Straw will match every bike purchase made!
- When Nike employees order our special ice cream gift packs for the holiday season, we’ll donate $25 and Nike will match it. Plus Nike employees will be helping out with servicing and building bikes for the Community Cycling Center.
We are so honored to be a part of such an incredible community. We look forward to seeing how this challenge shapes up. Let’s do this everyone! It’s going to be great.
All my very best,