Mr. Propstra’s Burgerville. When the big, national fast-food chains moved into his neighborhood, George Propstra, founder of a Vancouver, Washington-based restaurant chain called Burgerville, knew he needed to do something different, reports Brian Libby in The New York Times. “We needed to focus on what we do well,” says Jack Graves, Burgerville’s operations chief, “and that’s our relationship with local growers and ranchers and dairies.” And so Burgerville, www.burgerville.com, which has about three dozen locations in Oregon and Southwest Washington, unleashed a parade of local seasonal specialties.
In the merry month of May, “Burgerville goes through thousands of local strawberries for its shortcake.” The chain also offers a limited-edition cheeseburger in May, featuring “Rogue River artisinal blue cheese.” In June and July, it’s Walla Walla onion rings. “It’s fast and furious and then they’re gone,” says Mr. Graves. In August it’s blackberry shakes, and come November, the specialty is sweet potato fries. Somewhere in between Burgerville serves up Huckleberry milkshakes — but not for long because “the berries are not grown commercially, so the company gets them from a local supplier who relies on individual pickers selling by the pound.” Should you miss the huckleberries, there’s always the blackberry shakes.