In June, Brittany Sigal — a fairly new Portlander — decided to throw an event that felt like it should have been around for years. The Portland Strawberry Museum, a strawberry festival in the pop-up space Kuchenhaus, featured strawberry desserts from local bakers, fresh berries for people to take home, strawberry mugs, and strawberry block-printed totes, among other strawberry memorabilia. The event was put on by her brand-new pop-up market, Zuckercreme — a nod to the popular sugar cream pies she ate growing up in Indiana. The idea: Sigal and others would sell baked goods, art, and treats inspired by seasonal activities, produce, and holidays. “I feel super lucky to be in a place like Oregon or Portland in general,” she says. “I feel so connected to seasons, and we have so many amazing seasonal products here. That’s what really fueled me.”
In its short tenure, Zuckercreme attracted high profile pop-ups and bakers: Chelo’s Luna Contreras made strawberry jam conchas for the strawberry museum, Kulfi PDX sold peanut butter Oreo pops for the summer-camp-themed series, and Allie G’s Pastries provided her famous lumpia. For Sigal, collaborating with other people was a huge part of the project. “I just started paying attention to any underground people selling their food, everything I could find from them,” she says. “I just focused on micro-businesses, the super small-batch people making what they want to make.”
This October, she and those same sort of businesses will have a new home: Less than a year since her first pop-up, Sigal will open a permanent Zuckercreme location in Montavilla, one that walks the line between cafe, market, and pop-up incubator.
When a visitor walks into Zuckercreme, they will find a small-but-mighty assortment of products from Oregon-based artists and business owners: Shelves stocked with ceramics and art, a pastry cafe filled with treats made by Sigal and her regular bakers, coffee drinks using rotating Oregon roasters. But, like the pop-up, much of what will appear at Zuckercreme will change frequently based on the seasons. When the market opens, Sigal will kick off her “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice” series, featuring things like Kabocha squash taiyaki from No More Raw Fish and biscuits and pumpkin butter from Biscuit Baby PDX, among another rotating, surprise menu of treats and goods. The shop will also host pop-up bake sales, talks, and workshops directed by regular Zuckercreme suppliers. “Having my own space where I can set a schedule, that just provides more resources I can share with people who need space,” she says. “I want other people to make money; I completely rely on other people’s creativity and talent to make Zuckercreme what it is. I want to help people take that next step.”
Zuckercreme will open October 1 at 414 SE 81st Avenue.
• Zuckercreme [Instagram]