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Proprietors of Chef-Favorite Viridian Farms to Swap Farming for Importing

Manuel and Leslie Recio are leaving the farming life to open Conserva, an imported foods market.

Viridian Farms/Facebook

Viridian Farms, a chef-favorite since it launched in 2006 with its dedication to European varietals like padron peppers, will soon be no more.

The food community has been hearing rumblings of such a fate for about a month, when proprietors Manuel and Leslie Recio posted a multi-media message on the farms' Facebook page hinting that they'd soon be leaving the farming life for a new venture.

Now Portland Monthly reports that the duo is planning to open an import shop called Conserva, focusing on hard-to-find artisan products like spices, grains and cured meats from Spain, France, and Italy. Joining them in this effort is a worthy partner: Jim Dixon, the man known for importing some of the best olive oil in town.

The location for Conserva is still up in the air, though they're apparently looking at either inner Southeast or Northwest. The projected opening date is February 1, 2015.

But the Recio's aren't going cold-turkey. They'll continue selling some of their produce at the Portland farmers market next season, before handing things over to a neighboring farm.

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