Hey Look, Our First Blog Post! And Documentary!

Welcome to the brand-new Oregon’s Choice Blog! Almost 50 years in business, and we’ve never had a blog. Well, there’s no better time to start than now, right? I thought I should introduce myself first: I’m SueAnna, the second-generation owner of Oregon’s Choice Gourmet. My dad founded OCG nearly 50 years ago as an individual fisherman selling his catch under his own brand. He quickly gained a reputation for having the best canned tuna, and I’m proud to say that, all these years later, that’s still what we’re known for.

This year, we opened our first-ever brick-and-mortar storefront in Corvallis, OR! I bought the business from my parents in 2020 and had been searching for a suitable “home” for it ever since. Last spring, I drove past a “for lease” sign on an old building about five minutes from my house. The space was rundown and absolutely packed with stuff, but for some reason, that didn’t deter me (the “some reason” being that there is definitely a bit of hoarding in my dad’s side of the family, so I’m not easily scared by piles of stuff!). I instantly envisioned what it could become and all the possibilities that having a public-facing space for the business would open up, and my mind was made. A security deposit later, the space was mine!

Since the dust has settled both physically and mentally on the shop, it has become a game-changer: I like to think of it as a portal of opportunities. In just a few short months since opening, I have met and collaborated with so many people and small businesses. We hosted a very successful first event, “Early Happy Hour,” in collaboration with Winter Waters, a group of local women seafood business owners whose mission is to highlight local seafood and businesses in the month of February. Over 150 people attended, enjoying drinks, seafood, and art, all sourced from local vendors. This event revealed the real “why” of the shop for me: to collaborate with and celebrate small local businesses and to connect with people in real life.

Another opportunity that presented itself in the very early days of opening the shop was a group of OSU students reaching out to see if I would be interested in being the subject of a documentary for their fourth-year documentary filmmaking class. In the spirit of saying yes to every opportunity, I couldn’t pass it up. Also, selfishly, the idea of having my dad tell his stories on film was something I was looking forward to. As an aging fisherman, he has so many interesting stories, and I don’t want to miss out, especially if I can have them on the permanent record. That’s a special family heirloom that I couldn’t pass up. So, I agreed, and over two sessions we made a short documentary, which you can watch right here:

I’ll be honest, the first time I watched it, I cried. They did such a wonderful job capturing the ethos of the business, and the interview with my dad was so special. It was one of those moments that made me know deep in my bones that I’m on the right path, and this is exactly what I should be doing. All this is to say, I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did, and I look forward to using this space to tell more about the business’s story and share more than a few of my dad’s stories, too.

Lots more to come!

XOXO, SueAnna