Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of our What’s Going On series; a peek into a variety of businesses in the Central Eastside. We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about all of them.
The streamlined building on the northwest corner of SE Stark & MLK Jr. Blvd. houses two homegrown Portland businesses: Quadrant Systems office and showroom are on one end and Sheridan Fruit Co. has their main offices at the other.
The building is in the Art Deco style built around the 1920s presumably by Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, its first occupant. At the time B.F. Goodrich was one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers of rubber products.
Art Deco emerged during the Interwar period when industrialization transformed society. One of the key design attributes was to embrace technology. This can be seen and distinguished from Art Nouveau by the rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.
A. & J Tires occupied the building until Kathleen Nedelisky (owner of Quadrant Systems) and her husband Gary bought the building and brought it back to its former glory nine years ago.
Quadrant Systems designs and installs systems that integrate entertainment, communications, lighting control, climate control, security and surveillance throughout Oregon and Washington. Quadrant Systems uses what is called a low voltage system which means they are easily adapted to use in both residential and commercial buildings. Today many of these systems can be managed from a smart phone.
In an interview with
Randy Reagan, General Manager, Quadrant Systems began in Gary Nedelisky’s home about 30 years ago. He started by installing an alarm system for a friend and the business grew from there.
Reagan came to work at Quadrant right after high school, working out of the Nedelisky’s home. “I was always someone who enjoyed pulling apart the radio or stereo to try and fix it or just to see how it ran,” he said.
That was in 1995 and he is still passionate about the work and excited by all the new technology available today. He participates in every aspect of the business – sales, management and installation.
“The new technology works easily with what we do,” Reagan said. “You add an app to your phone and installation only requires a visit from the cable company and us.” It is all monitored at a single station here in the Metro area.
The business does everything from home theaters to multi media board rooms; alarm systems to surveillance cameras. “Surveillance cameras are one of the single most effective tools in crime prevention,” Reagan said.
Other work of notoriety includes: The 2011 Street of Dreams, Automation Dream Home, Northwest Lakeview Estate, McMenamin’s Properties, Franchise restaurants like Subway and Taco Bell, local businesses and restaurants, churches and gas stations.
They are located at 437 SE MLK Blvd. 503.234.5558. See www.quadrantsystems.net .
Sheridan Fruit Market is a Portland icon. It has been on this same corner since 1916 when John Sheridan first started his open air market on Union (MLK) Ave. In 1946 two brothers, Sam and Larry Poleo bought the business and it has been family-owned and operated ever since.
When Carol Torchia, daughter of Sam Poleo, was 14 years old, she obtained a work permit and started her career at Sheridan doing everything from working the produce to clerking, bookkeeping to buying. It was here that she met her husband Vincent and they eventually became owners of the store.
“In the early days, Sheridan Fruit Market was strictly a fruit and vegetable market,” Torchia said. “My father and uncle bought directly from the farmers market located at 12th & SE Belmont behind Tony Lidos Restaurant. Besides their regular customers, they sold to country clubs, restaurants and hotels.”
In 1950, the Poleos landed their first wholesale customer, Meier & Frank. (At the time the basement of Meier & Frank was a grocery store, and the ascending ten floors took care of every other household need ending with a fabulous toy department on the top floor–another Portland icon.)
The meat department was added in 1961. This service is still available–a rare amenity in today’s era of pre-packaged meat. In the late 1960’s top quality groceries and a variety of bulk foods were added to make shopping more convenient for customers.
Today Carol and Vincent’s daughter Anne and her husband Tom Barwick, grandsons Justin and Joshua, daughter Laurie and husband Sean O’Leary and seventy other employees are the driving force behind the expanding Sheridan Fruit Market.
The Market stocks a fine selection of wines and boutique beers and the deli features an in-house kitchen specializing in gourmet and unique foods.
See the online menu for daily specials and soups. Box lunches are available all year. They have a home delivery service.
Their address is 409 SE MLK Jr. Blvd, www.sheridanfruit.com, 503.236.2114.