Salt & Straw debuts new flavor to raise money for non profit organization Ride Connection

Bitter Orange and Olive Oil honors MAX line and donates to Ride Connection


Philip Chan

Salt & Straw, one of Portland’s key attractions, decided to pair up with TriMet to raise money to go towards a nonprofit organization.

Pimped out with white kicks, white pants, and a plaid button-up, Helen takes cautious steps down her driveway, toward a grey sedan. Just a few years prior, Helen used to be able to drive from her home in Tigard down to southern California, a trip taking more than 10 hours. Today, she is only able to drive a couple miles to her friends’ house to play bridge. Any farther, and the stress is too much for her to bear. If she needs to drive to Portland, Helen calls nonprofit organization Ride Connection.

“Ride Connection and its network of partners serve individuals in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties,” according to their website. Last year alone, they provided over 416,000 rides for those who needed them as well as an additional 1,000 with the RideWise Travel Training program, providing those who may be older or disabled with independent and safe public transportation.

What we do is more than just a ride,” Lydia Corran, Outreach and Development Manager, said, “Access to transportation allows people to live healthy and full lives while maintaining their independence.” This mission stood out to a certain ice cream company.

One of Portland’s favorite attractions, Salt & Straw first opened its freezers in 2011, the brainchild of cousins Kim and Tyler Malek. Since then, its “scoop shops” have been featured in magazines and newspapers such as Portland Monthly, Bon Appetit and the Wall Street Journal, all regarding the ice creamery with high praise.

For seasonal flavors, Salt & Straw utilizes fresh ingredients from local farms, drawing inspiration from local events. In their lineup of Late Summer Harvest Flavors, including Oregon Rocky Road, Oregon Peaches with Toasted Walnuts, Smoked Cinnamon Apple and Apricot and Citra Hops, one flavor stands out: Bitter Orange and Olive Oil.

The ice cream itself is deliciously creamy in texture, blasting the tongue with the   allure of a marmalade ribbon.

“A splash of bitter orange marmalade glides through this ice cream like our hometown MAX trains,” according to Salt & Straw’s website. It should come then, as no surprise, that the flavor was inspired by the twelfth bridge of Bridgetown; the Tilikum Crossing. For walkers, bikers, and TriMet riders, the bridge opened last Saturday.

“Salt and Straw is very supportive of their community,” Corran said. When Salt & Straw and TriMet discussed honoring the MAX line with a new flavor, they decided to bring in Ride Connection. “We wanted a local nonprofit to benefit from the proceeds.”

For the rest of September, a percentage of proceeds from Salt & Straw’s TriMet-inspired flavor will be donated to Ride Connection.

Helen is thankful for Ride Connection.

“I just don’t feel comfortable driving anymore,” she said. Volunteer drivers like Bob can take her to her dentist Portland with ease. When asked what she would do without Ride Connection, Helen said that she just wouldn’t go.

If you are interested in being a part of the work that Ride Connection does, get in touch with Volunteer Outreach Coordinator Pam Monahan at (503)528-1738 or [email protected]