About Olympia Provisions
Salumist Elias Cairo, grew up first generation Greek-American with a father who made charcuterie at home. Doing things the old-fashioned way was commonplace. Elias later journeyed to Europe to apprentice in the kitchens of masters. It was there that he rediscovered the art of curing meat and found inspiration in the markets and mountain towns of the old world.
The experience affirmed what he’d been taught all along: handmade is better.
Back in beautiful Portland, Oregon, Elias set out to approach the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience, recreating a nearly extinct traditional technique that is seldom seen in America.
The result is Olympia Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, established in 2009, deeply rooted in the past.
The Old World is New Again
Everything that we make is handcrafted naturally with the ultimate goal of quality. In order to achieve a finished product that tastes as good as it possibly can, we pay fastidious attention to the details.
Ingredients are our inspiration and we seek out the best and freshest. We butcher antibiotic-free Pacific Northwest pork to 100% lean, adding pure, soft fatback, and a judicious amount of sea salt, fresh garlic and freshly ground spices. Our cured meats are held in natural casings and maintained in the organic white mold that protects them.
Such a deliberate approach promises the ultimate reward: vibrant yet gentle flavor and authentic, unique character.
Handmade with Precision
Charcuterie is as much an art as it is a science. We approach it with inspired precision. As a USDA inspected facility, we adhere to the strictest guidelines. All of our cured meats are encouraged to age naturally and slowly without being hurried, hot-incubated, cooked or irradiated.
This uncommon technique assures a finished product that has deep, nuanced flavor and exquisite texture.
Press & Awards
Our Amazing Staff
Master PicklerAs a child, Joe began making pickles in his grandmother’s kitchen. He recalls summer afternoons in rural South Jersey sealing mason jars of applesauce, fruits, tomatoes, and pickled eggs. Joe maintained his passion for cooking and later attended the Philadelphia Restaurant School. After a stop over in New York, Joe eventually made his way to Portland, OR and began working at Olympia Provisions in 2010. Joe not only loves making artisanal pickles, but in his spare time, he enjoys rockin’ out on his bass with his band, Sleeptalker.
Wine Director / General Manager
In her early career, between school and travel Jess worked in restaurants, gaining experience from California to Nantucket to Australia, and eventually Portland. In 2009 Jess moved to France to indulge her francophile spirit while teaching English in a rural high school in Champagne.
Jess has studied wine formally and is a certified sommelier, receiving the top grade in her class. She has a solid foundation of global wine regions, styles, and wine making practices, but it was her fervor to taste, and eagerness to drink off the beaten path that served as her true wine education. She is an adamant supporter of small production, minimal intervention wines, which are the true match for the handmade charcuterie of Olympia Provisions.
Eric Joppie, recently made a home for himself with Olympia Provisions. Known for his long-standing commitment to working closely with local farms, foragers and fisheries Eric's exceptional Pacific Northwest cuisine will continue to shine-through in his new creations at Olympia Provisions Northwest, while also ensuring the restaurant’s beloved staples taste better than ever.
Before joining Olympia Provisions, Joppie was the chef at Bar Avignon in Portland where he developed a loyal following for his delectable, seasonal cuisine.
Born in NE Portland to a family of cooks, Yoder quickly learned the value of preparing seasonal, locally-sourced cuisine. At Chateaulin, Castagna, and Clyde Common, Yoder has worked from line cook to sous chef, before taking the helm at Olympia Provisions as executive chef in 2010.
Yoder, prefers to spend his free time with a cookbook, and counts octopus, sardines and oxtails among his best friends. He takes an ingredient-driven approach to formulating his Mediterranean-influenced menu.
“This is the way I like to cook, because this is the way I like to eat,” he said. “Sometimes you’re in the mood for protein, & sometimes you just want a salad and fresh vegetables.”
Hot Dog Artist / Executive Chef
Victor Deras is truly the Wurst. He graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2005, and since then, Victor has worked in a variety of kitchens, ranging from big hotels and casinos to small, independent restaurants. He began his Portland career under the tutelage of Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton, working his way from pantry to sous chef in their first Portland restaurant. In the winter of 2012, Victor began cooking with Olympia Provisions and he’s had a long lasting impact on the menu and culture of our restaurants. He created and refined the weekly Frankfurter Friday specials into a buzzing sensation, and from this tradition, OP Wurst was born! From the helm, Victor continues to innovate and impress with his, sometimes outlandish, takes on the honored American staple, the hot dog.
Head Salumist / OwnerSalumist, Elias Cairo, grew up first generation Greek-American, with a father who made charcuterie at home. After five years in Switzerland under master chef Annegret Schlumpf, Cairo completed a chef apprenticeship. Utilizing the finest ingredients, he developed his skills and passion for making charcuterie, and the experience affirmed his beliefs – handmade is better. Back in Portland, Oregon, Elias set out to approach the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience, recreating a nearly extinct old world technique that’s seldom seen in America.
Josh Graves began his career at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He was trained in whole animal butchery under Josh Applestone of Fleischer's Meats. After three years there, he moved to Portland, OR where he met Eli Cairo and helped open Olympia Provisions. Three years later, Joshua now serves as Plant Manager at our meat department, overseeing all areas of production and fabrications while continuing to train other butchers and charcutiers.
Meat Dpt.Paul Oppliger was part of the opening kitchen crew at Olympia Provisions, where he focused on cooked charcuterie. He moved to the meat shop to help expand our line of pates, fresh sausages and smoked meats. He is also the most photogenic of the meat shop as well.
Nate Tilden has been in the restaurant business for over fifteen years. Tilden started out as a dishwasher then worked his way up to a chef. He managed Castagna for two years before opening Clyde Common ( a European style tavern serving delicious food and drinks in a casual and energizing space) in May 2007. In 2010, Nate also opened Spirit of 77, an eclectic sports bar. Tilden’s rapid success with the Clyde, his track record of hiring creative talent in the kitchen and the bar, and his reputation as a good employer make him instrumental in the success of Olympia Provisions.
Tyler Gaston brings a diverse background to Olympia Provisions. Leaving his Oklahoma homeland at nineteen to sail the high seas in the United States Navy, he slowly migrated from the Atlantic to Pacific. Tyler has gained valuable knowledge and skills in a wide variety of occupations, including over a decade of experience in restaurants. He managed a wildly successful French pastry shop in Chicago, extracted oil from the Great Plains, mined uranium in Wyoming, built critically acclaimed custom homes in Seattle and cooked in the best restaurants of Portland.
Owner, Michelle Cairo brings a wealth of knowledge surrounding business after working over a decade in corporate finance, business planning, accounting, and performance management. Prior to leaving the Corporate World, Cairo was CFO of Opus Solution and Director of Finance for Pacific Power. In 2010, she was selected Portland’s Best CFO for medium-sized companies by the Portland Business Journal. Michelle holds a BS in Finance from University of Utah and a Masters of Business Administration from Utah State University. Michelle grew up with Elias in a large Greek family who was obsessed with food!
What a trip. Back in 2004 our senior member, Martin Schwartz finally cashed in his chips and made his way from beautiful Los Angeles to more beautiful Portland. With a background in music, film and real estate he’s wandered from Massachusetts to Panama, happily settling among a fine collection of talented friends and associates in the Pacific Northwest.
With a unique sense of business, Martin helps steer the ships while swinging the hammers- though he humbly states his primary talent is hanging with the right crew. Besides OP he co-owns neighborhood favorites, Free House and The Richmond Bar.