EUGENE–The Kiva has been a downtown staple in Eugene for 40 years. Yet, their 40th Anniversary went largely unnoticed by Eugene as a whole. Unless you live downtown, this unique and always active grocery store may not be on your radar. If so, I’m telling you now, do yourself a favor and go.
The Kiva is and always has been 100% locally owned and operated. Supporting local farmers and foodies alike, with an emphasis on organic, natural and specialty foods. Pictures adorn the dairy cooler, showing you each of the local farms providing your free range eggs and dairy. This not only puts better food at better prices within your reach, but puts money back into our local economy. That’s a lot to give for a grocery store with only four aisles.
The Kiva isn’t for the mainstream shopper, as you won’t find any bags of Doritos or your favorite over-processed snack food on sale. You will however, find the largest selection of cheeses in Lane County. “With over 200 international and local varieties to choose from at the lowest prices in town,” says Laura Asay, a 3-year cheese-specialist at The Kiva.
Every meat in their fresh case is locally and humanely raised, and point of fact- all of them are from Oregon and Washington including Sweet Briar, Deck Family, and Lonely Lane farms. If it’s produce you need, The Kiva touts an “All Organic, All the Time” slogan for their completely local and seasonably available fruits and veggies. Then there’s my favorite, the beer and wine aisle. Besides it’s monthly wine specials, The Kiva carries a huge selection of economical wines from Northwest vineyards, and a stellar assortment of micro-brews- all available in mixable cases and six-packs.
Are you hungry? If so, you can get “made to order soups and sandwiches Monday through Friday 11am to 5pm,” Asay said.
Priding itself on being more than a grocery store, The Kiva sells organic soap, beauty aids, tinctures, vitamins, and minerals… but the heart of the Kiva has always been it’s books. Not many people know that The Kiva was one of downtown Eugene’s first bookstores when it started 40 years ago. Slowly over the years the books have receded, and the grocery has bloomed, but there is still a huge wall of paperback and hardbound books on subjects from eastern religion to political discussion. It’s funny that The Kiva was originally a book store, which we now have in spades, but what we don’t have is a downtown grocery store with longevity… oh wait, we do!