Creativity spawns adapted/new businesses

As the pandemic alters our economic landscape, small businesses and individuals are creating new ways to earn a living and provide a bit of novelty to our stay-home lives. Following are some of those new efforts. If you have a business venture you want to share in future issues, please send a press release of up to 200 words plus a photo to

Allen Levin of Century Catering & Cafe at the J is preparing kosher meals for people to take home and serve. The meals are prepared under the supervision of Oregon Kosher.
In addition to being kosher, Allen explains that the meals are different from most restaurant takeout in that they are packaged cold with instructions on how to heat them at home. With pickups set for Thursday afternoons, he says that makes it possible for people to pick up dinner for Thursday as well as for Shabbat the next evening.
“It’s all experimental,” says Allen. “I’m trying to figure out what the community wants and to keep my staff paid.”
Currently orders are due by 8 pm Tuesday for pickup 3-5 pm Thursday at the turnaround in front of the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland. The menu, for now, offers soup; entrees including schnitzel, fish, beef, chicken and burger options; and dessert.
If demand warrants, a kosher pizza night may be added. “I just want to see what the demand is,” Allen says. 
Payment by check or card will be taken at pickup. Make checks out to Century Catering.
For the coming week’s menu and to order meals, email If you do not receive a confirmation, please try again to get in touch.

This Passover, many of us connected virtually with our loved ones. Local pianist Kerry Politzer celebrated by performing the Four Questions for relatives via FaceTime, and this gave her an idea: The Virtual Music Agency. 
“During these challenging times, birthdays and anniversaries still go on – people renew their vows and sing Adon Olam during Shabbat,” says Kerry. “While we can’t leave our house, music can still come to us.”
Contact The Virtual Music Agency to stream live music for a special at-home celebration. You can hear your favorite song on your birthday, or relive that first dance on your anniversary. Many instruments and genres are available, and the music can be delivered via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or other platforms.

Normally a full-service event space in Northeast Portland, Opal 28 has shifted to a new way to connect with the community. 
“Since we can’t host events, we want to provide essential supplies to your home,” says owner Margot Feves Pearmine. “Opal 28-GRAB N’ GO is not a grocery store nor restaurant takeout – it’s a hybrid to bring some cheer to your isolation. We provide the essentials like TP, masks and flour but also extras like locally made dessert treats and prepared simple meals.” 
“The catalyst of starting Opal 28 in 2014 was my desire to, at the time, expand my dinner delivery service,” says Margot, who grew up at Congregation Neveh Shalom and recently married Adrian Pearmine. “Seems we are coming full circle! Six years since I sold Dinner At Your Door, I am excited to roll out a variety of useful staples to your home.”
Orders submitted by Monday will be prepared and ready for curbside pickup or delivery on Thursday. More details via this link:
“The dinner meal options might change, but we are still in the early process of figuring out what the community wants during this strange time,” she adds.
This week’s offerings included a fresh produce box, bulk sugar, assembled gourmet cheese & charcuterie boards, and assembled vegetable crudité with dips.


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