Friday, October 2, 2020

New Normal: French Patisserie Vending Machines

The famous Pix sign, a cow, now with a mask on

 When businesses began to shut down in the USA in March of 2020, I had no idea how long and how hard the road ahead would be. Now it is October, and already two seasons, spring and summer, have passed in semi-quarantine. Back in March it seemed that all of the world was on lockdown, but as the months passed it quickly became clear that each continent and country would take its own course. 

The USA has been the worst example of how to conduct itself during a pandemic. Because we never really went on lockdown the virus continued spreading, and we did not see a decline in cases such as was Europe and Asia experienced. 

But this is not a post about pandemics or politics. 

This is a post about patisseries. 

Specifically, how some Portland businesses have been able to shift, pivot, innovate, and thrive in the restrictions and limitations brought on by this new era. 

I almost never write about my daily life in Portland, Oregon. But this blog is about cataloging cultural experiences, what better time to write about Portland than 2020, when Portland is undergoing profound cultural shifts that even I cannot recognize. 

Patrons of the vending machine

Pix Patisserie is one of those Portland staples that has been around since I moved here 12 years ago. I loved dining alone in their original location and watching film screenings on Friday nights. But as Pix grew, then consolidated into one location that was half Spanish tapas bar and half French patisserie. The vibe of the new location felt too pretentious for me, and so I stopped going to Pix.  

But once the pandemic shut down most restaurants and bars in Portland, Pix decided to get creative with its sales. 

The selection of cakes and goodies

Many of this scrumptious cakes, macaroons, and treats are now served through a self-service vending machine. 

The machine is card-only and the prices are not any cheaper than in store, but I enjoyed being able to get Pix cakes without dealing with the pretentious vibe and enjoy them in my own home. 

Packaging not super fancy
But still delicious if you plate it!

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