As La Perla closes its doors in downtown Eugene, the Community Fermentation Union is moving in.
Co-founders Gabriel Yospin and Nicole Nishimura first met at the University of Oregon. Both have biology backgrounds so using microorganisms to create fermented foods is an interesting and tasty prospect.
The goal is to start with pizza and beer. Then add products like cheese, cured meats and kombucha. This will help close the production loop. They also plan to source ingredients locally.
“Honestly, I just want to eat delicious food and drink tasty beverages and be so happy," said Nishimura. “Because I know exactly how they’re made and what is in them. The love. The effort. The curiosity.”
Nishimura has moved a lot so she sees starting this business as a way to put down roots. Yosin said they hope to create a space that feels like home.
“One of our goals is to build community,” said Yospin. “We want the restaurant to be someplace where we could come hang out with our friends and families and kids and our customers feel the same way.”
Starting during a pandemic isn’t ideal, but had they opened last year as planned, they might have struggled with the pandemic.
“Having the pandemic already going and being able to plan for that has made it feasible for us,” said Nishimura. “Had we already been starting, we would have been in a really bad way.”
Food service will be interrupted until mid-January for the brewery to be installed.