In 1993, Joe Guth was the sous chef at Zefiro, a groundbreaking restaurant in Portland's emerging culinary scene. Previous experience as a cook at the renowned Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley, California, exposed Joe to a wide variety of foods that were not available to him in Portland. When he couldn't find his favorite items, Joe realized other chefs might be similarly frustrated. Thus began Provvista Specialty Foods, with a simple notion: to provide local restaurants with the best quality food products at a fair price.
Our original catalog listed high quality olive oil, Italian pasta, heirloom beans, and just a few other hard-to-find ingredients. As the company and Portland grew, so did our product list. Joe's original vision has expanded to include a dual focus on imported goods and American artisanal products, providing Provvista's growing audience with an array of unique, high quality food items. Our current product offerings reflect the diverse needs of our customers, and the list grows continually; we currently carry over 2,500 different items!
As sales have grown, so too has the Provvista family. Today we have over 50 employees, many with real-world professional food backgrounds, serving customers throughout the United States. At Provvista, we have a penchant for products made by traditional methods, with a sense of place. As members of Slow Food USA, we support the use and sustainable production of authentic food around the world. Provvista is also a partner in the fight against hunger, supporting local organizations through donations and sponsorship. Joe's simple idea, then, has grown into a more ambitious goal: to be the premier specialty foods purveyor in the eyes of our customers, our vendors, and our community.