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Portland Punch -- is it gone?

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  • Sharon Oct 18, 2001 05:08 AM
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Portland Punch was a concentrated bottled punch base which seemed to be a local specialty in the Pacific Northwest. You added water and/or soda pop to make a big bowlful -- this was a standard feature on the side table at family parties. The flavor was a memorably delicious fresh natural-tasting blackberry blend. Grownups loved it and so did kids. (Hawaiian Punch isn't even in the same universe, much less the same league.)

Every time I go to the Portland area I look for it in the stores, but haven't seen it in, say, over ten years. Does anyone out there know anything about its fate?

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  1. Looks like it's still being made by Trailblazer Foods. Check out the link below.

    Link: http://www.tbfoods.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Linda W.

      Thanks for the url. Since the Trailblazer Foods website is still a work in progress, I e-mailed them and should be getting more info.

      Berry syrups and jellies and other real unadulterated berry products -- oh, yum!

      Now if only the Denny's Restaurant chain would start offering real fruit syrups with their pancakes instead of that Kool-Aid flavored stuff they call "strawberry" and "blueberry" syrup, they would be displaying respect for their customers and for themselves.

      The Trailblazer prices look good, and their gift baskets look like a good solution at Xmas.

    2. Chalk another one up to the wonders of this website, chowhound.com. It took me reading this website to find out about a product indigenous to my home region in the pacific northwest!

      I am curious, punch, so will order the deliciously described Portland Punch from the Trailblazers site offered up by another hound...apparently a hound with an excellent nose for detective skills!

      You pups are all pretty doggone amazing...united we chow!

      1. I found a few bottles of Portland Punch (at Burlingame Freddy's) in 2000 when I was organizing our family reunion. It was a big hit and the kids loved it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: raybob

          Wow! You resurrected an antique thread here. My sister had been finding PP at Safeways in the Portland area and sent me some bottles. I still have one in my pantry. It's about 2 years old now.

          Just checked out the Trailblazer website and there was no mention of Portland Punch. Maybe it is gone forever?

          1. re: Sharuf

            We had a gallon container of this in the frig for three or four years and about a year ago cracked it open to see what it was like. WOW!! good stuff! my daughter will not stop asking for it now that it is gone and I am on a quest to find the neverending supply.

            1. re: Sharuf

              yesterday I acquired a gallon of this locally. I went to trailblazer foods today. they still make, bottle, and sell the stuff. they know that it is not listed on the website but I was told that soon they will be making several changes to the site, including the addition of this product to the site. you all should soon be able to order this online. for the time being, I can order this by the bottle or the case and pick it up from the distribution center. anybody want some?? so far I can only get it in the 32oz. bottles.

              1. re: sigratis

                I'm very curious now. Is it in Portland?

                1. re: sigratis

                  do you have a phone number for trailblazer foods? where are they located? I live on the coast but will be up there in a few weeks and I'm desparate to get some more Portland Punch mix!

              2. re: raybob

                Hooray for Burlingame Freddy's! When we lived in Portland we used to take all our out-of-town guests there. Last week when I saw my dad he wanted to know if we went there last time we visited, and whether the cow behinds were still there.

              3. I grew up on Portland punch! We made popsicles out of it too. I know my mom used to get it at the Thriftway in Garden Home, but that was a few years ago.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cate_cooks

                  Wow! Not sure how I ended up on this site, but WOW! Maybe this hot summer day got me thinking about the old days, when 55 to 60 years ago, mom would send me to Lambs Thriftway in Garden Home (a block away) for a bottle of Portland Punch to make popsicles for us kids.

                  It was a delight to read all the comments here.

                  I checked the Trailblazer Foods site, and sure enough, the delightful stuff is still around!

                2. Wow, what a blast from the past for me. My father was a partner in the company that originated Portland Punch. The original company in Portland was called Albert's Products with the offshoot being a vending company called Serve-U-Matic which was owned by Mr. Albert, my father and two others. Both companies were located in the same building on Salmon street in SE Portland with the bottling plant on the second floor. I remember going there with Dad during the late 1950s and early 1960s, I was born in 1953, and playing around up there. Back then a cold drink vending machine had three flavors, usually root beer, Pepsi and, of course, Portland Punch. Dad used to bring the syrup home in gallon jugs. For the record, Portland Punch was a blend of Loganberry and Raspberry.

                  Thanks for the memories! Mike

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: mikerovech

                    A total blast from the past! My great-grandfather was Louis Albert!

                    1. re: tamfed

                      Very cool and small world indeed. I never met your great grandfather, at least I don't think I did as I was born in 1953, but my older brother did. I still remember the old bottling plant on the upper floor of the Salmon Street building with all of it's fascinating equipment, the big freight elevator and even the gas pump to fill the route trucks. Great adventures to be had there for a seven-year old boy. And oh that Portland Punch, no shortage of that at our house. I have fooled around with different natural berry syrups used in the espresso trade, but that Loganberry/Raspberry formula is still the best. Never was nor ever will be a better fruit-punch drink. I'll get some of what is available and put it to the test. My taste buds will never forget what the original tasted like. Hmmm, might be good with gin. ;~)

                      1. re: mikerovech

                        You may have met Louis Albert (we called him "big Papa") -- he didn't pass away until around 1977 or so, when I was 15 (I believe that's when it was -- memory is a little hazy). Curious if the TrailBlazer foods version is the same. Might also be good with a little vodka! :)

                        1. re: tamfed

                          Mike, Another fun fact -- my mom remembers babysitting you and your brother. You would have known her as Judy Sax. Really small world! My great-uncle Mel Sidell was also involved in the vending machine business. I have great memories of riding in the "candy" truck with my grandfather (Sol Sax, who worked there).

                          1. re: tamfed

                            I'll be darned. I barely remember Judy, but I certainly remember Sol and Mel very well as they and my father were the working partners in Serve-U-Matic vending. Riding in my father's truck on his route was a HUGE treat in the early to mid 60s. After the company moved from the Salmon street building to the NW Portland industrial area the other side of the old Montgomery Ward building I worked there as a warehouse guy in about 1972 shortly before they sold the company to Automatic Sales Company. Also, I don't remember your grandmother being there, but I remember Mel's wife working there. If I remember correctly your grandmother's name was Mildred and your great aunt's name was Idy (don't know about the spelling on that for sure).

                            After the company was sold both my Dad and Sol went to work for Automatic Sales for a while, Sol as purchasing agent. I ended up there for many years working my way up from warehouse boy to Operations and Sales Manager. Dad retired after a year or two as did Sol.

                            Wow, stirring up a lot of memories here indeed.

                    2. re: mikerovech

                      I'm so blown away by all of your information on my beloved Portland Punch!! I started wondering about it about a year ago and tried to find it on the web, but to no avail until tonight. Thank you so much, Mike, for taking the time to share some of your family history with us and setting the record straight about it's 'true' contents
                      ...Loganberry and Raspberry:) I love it that there are still a lot of us older Oregonians out there that remember and still care about our shared past! Thanks again, Mike. Marilyn

                      1. re: marilynfromoregon

                        As a transplant to Oregon going on 20 years now, I was fascinated by this old thread when it popped up last month. While I was cruising down the aisle at Fred Meyer yesterday I spotted a bottle of Portland Punch!

                        It's getting pricey: $7.47 per bottle now.

                        One of these days when I'm feeling extra flush, I'll have to pick up a bottle to see what the hubbub is all about. :)

                    3. Portland Punch and Trailblazer Foods are drawing failed urls on Google. I fear they may have vanished.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Sharuf

                        I noticed that tbfoods.com is alive & they have the portland punch on their web store--only it's not working until 1st of August.

                        1. re: velata

                          Trailblazer website has posted:

                          Portland Punch Concentrate - 32 oz.

                          71508: $4.99

                          http://www.tbfoods.com

                      2. I just called Albertsons in Hillsboro on Baseline road and it's on the shelf for around $5 to $6 a bottle.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lindonator

                          They have it at some Fred Meyer stores too. The one on 20th & Burnside does. I think Hollywood does too.

                        2. James Coney Island, a local hot-dog chain in Houston, serves something called "Coney Punch" that sounds very similar to what you describe.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: aynrandgirl

                            I used to love Hawaiian Punch concentrate because I could make it strong! Is Portland Punch anything like it?

                            1. re: randyjl

                              Only if you consider Hawaiian Punch similar to "Berry syrups and jellies and other real unadulterated berry products".

                          2. Oh, wow! This was probably the first entry I made on chowhound, back before I started calling myself "Sharuf".

                            I hope Portland Punch makes a real comeback. It would be a natural for Trader Joe's.