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Our Story

Uncle Ray
Uncle Ray

Uncle Ray at the register, circa 1971

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Produce Bins
Produce Bins

Produce bins hand built by George in 1983.

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Old Lot
Old Lot

Before our "fancy" parking lot repaving!

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Current Location
Current Location

Open for business in 1983!

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Bulk
Bulk

We just cant quit these bulk herb jars!

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The Middle Aisle
The Middle Aisle
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Our dear friend Karen waiting on customers. Karen was a longtime Kiva employee, first working as a cook at Hara, the restaurant in Scarobouro Faire and then on and off at our current location.

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Early Deli
Early Deli

Always cutting to order!

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Kiva 2015
Kiva 2015

Sunny Spring day at the Kiva!

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The Kiva was started by George Brown as a bookstore in Eugene’s first mall, in 1970. It was a “Hippie Mall,” located in an old garage at the corner of East 11th Avenue and Oak Street in downtown Eugene. Other tenants in the mall included Lazar and Rosie Makyadath (Lazar’s Bazar, Shoeaholic), The Birkenstock Store and Golden Temple Foods, selling granola and Wah Guru Chew bars. There was a small restaurant, a tiny natural foods store, and the books.

 

George took over the grocery portion and slowly, slowly increased its size as other tenants moved out. Stocking this little natural food store involved weekly trips to Portland to purchase nuts, produce, and cheese; trips to California for dried produce and juice (from Mrs. Knudsen); and soap purchased directly out of Dr. Bronner’s garage. The store's shelves provided some of the first retail space for local favorites such as Toby's Family Foods and the Springfield Creamery.

 

In 1983 the Kiva moved to its current location at the corner of West 11th Ave and Olive Street, and in 2003 George and his wife Melissa became business partners.