Marcus Larson/News-RegisterMother Sauce food truck owner Andrew Jensen prepares fresh fusilli pasta shortly after opening for the day. The food truck is located on Davis Street between First and Second. The Mac High grad said he and his partner, Allie Bisset, are happy to be serving people in his hometown.
Marcus Larson/News-RegisterMother Sauce food truck owner Andrew Jensen prepares fresh fusilli pasta shortly after opening for the day. The food truck is located on Davis Street between First and Second. The Mac High grad said he and his partner, Allie Bisset, are happy to be serving people in his hometown.
Rusty Rae/News-Register ## Construction is progressing on a new urgent care clinic at 1755 S.W. Baker St. It is one of several commercial projects underway in McMinnville.
Rusty Rae/News-Register ## Construction is progressing on a new urgent care clinic at 1755 S.W. Baker St. It is one of several commercial projects underway in McMinnville.
Rusty Rae/News-Register ## Danny Roberts and Jennifer Fisher will sell their Alchemist’s Jam and other products in their retail shop on Ford Street downtown.
Rusty Rae/News-Register ## Danny Roberts and Jennifer Fisher will sell their Alchemist’s Jam and other products in their retail shop on Ford Street downtown.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: Food truck owner: ‘It’s fun and freeing’

Thirteen years later, he’s doing just that: The 2008 Mac High grad and his partner in both life and business, Carlton native Allie Bisset, serve homemade pasta, fresh baked bread and pastries, and other dishes from their food truck, Mother Sauce.

“It’s fun and freeing,” Jensen said. “I get to put my inspiration on the menu and see how it’s received by the people I grew up with.”

Mother Sauce is open for online and walkup orders Thursday through Sunday on Davis Street between First and Second downtown, next to MoonBean Cafe and Odditorium. The owners plan to add a few tables next to the cart soon.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with a brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Cards or online payments are accepted, but not cash.

Some dishes, such as alfredo mac ‘n cheese and Caesar salad, are offered all year. But for the most part, the menu changes weekly depending on what’s available as well as on Jensen’s culinary sense.

“I cook everything I love,” he said. “I ask myself, what would I want to eat today? Then I make it.”

Jensen and Bisset live near Cove Orchard.

Bisset is a Yamhill Carlton High School graduate who worked at the Carlton Bakery. After learning baking skills there, she went on to several Portland area bakeries and restaurants.

Jensen had been in food service in Portland for years, but lost his job when restaurants closed during the pandemic.

When he heard that Scott Cunningham of Pizza Capo and Community Plate was selling a food truck, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I was thinking of ways to survive,” he said.

Operating his own business with Bisset has been much more than just survival, though: It has been an opportunity to create and serve food to people he grew up with, as well as other customers.

After buying the cart last August, the couple spent a long time renovating and determining how to store ingredients and use them in the tiny space. It’s made them be more organized, she said.

Their 12-by-6-foot kitchen was “one of the biggest challenges,” Bisset said. They had to answer “How do you find room to make pasta in a cart?” and “How do you bake?”

Baking also is sensitive to temperature, but Bisset has mastered fresh focaccia and other breads daily in the cart. She also makes pastries flavored with Alchemist’s Jam, and desserts such as the popular Burnt Basque Crustless Cheesecake, with a custard-like center.

“I enjoy baking; it’s really cathartic,” she said. “It’s easy to get lost in it, then devour the outcome.”

Jensen said they chose the name Mother Sauce because it “would give us the opportunity to embody a lot of different influences, not just one cuisine.”

He is inspired by Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean and other cuisines, as well as the “bounty of fresh food” in the Northwest.

“I love working with local flavors,” he said, noting that his menu currently includes spring greens, flowering broccoli and kale, wild harvested fiddleheads and a variety of mushrooms.

“I gather ingredients or get lists of what’s fresh from farmers. I build from there,” he said, adding that he’s excited about the vegetables and fruits he’ll be able to use later in the spring and through the summer.

It was the dead of winter, January 2021, when Mother Sauce opened. “Brave,” he said, although the timing may have been more about how excited he was about the food cart, rather than any derring-do.

Their hearty food, including homemade pasta and meatball sandwiches, soon drew a crowd. Customers appreciate his willingness to customize dishes to fit their dietary needs.

As he and Bisset prepare food at Mother Sauce, Jensen fondly remembers Mac High’s ProStart program.

Carolyn Nyquist taught the career pathway, which usually takes students through two years of food- and food business-related classes. He was a senior when it started, so he had only one year of ProStart, but the lessons and the state competition his team competed in have served him well.

“It’s nice to be back here,” he said. 

MEDP seeking leader

McMinnville Economic Development Partnership has opened a search for the organization’s next executive director, who will lead the organization, work with its board of directors and develop strategies for MEDP.

The new director will replace Scott Cooper, who left this month to take a similar position in Arizona. He had been with MEDP for two years.

MEDP’s board is looking for someone who is a “creative, self-motivated, community advocate.” Candidates should understand business development, have strong communication and people skills, “a passion for leadership and proven management, planning and organizational skills.”

Heather Blank, program manager, will serve as the interim director. She has been with MEDP since 2015.

Blank’s “historical understanding of the organization, attention to detail and passion for the McMinnville community will be an undeniable asset,” said John Dietz, board president.

MEDP is a partnership among the city of McMinnville, McMinnville Water & Light, the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, McMinnville Industrial Promotions and local businesses.

A complete job description and application materials are available on the MEDP website, The first review of applications will be May 21.

For more information, email Marci Humlie, at 

Bank won’t reopen

The Dayton branch of US Bank, which has been closed because of the pandemic, will not reopen.

Customers will be able to use an ATM at the bank site until the building is sold. US Bank is looking for a permanent place for an ATM in Dayton, according to Boua Xiong, communications manager.

Xiong said customers were notified this month about the closure. Those with safe deposit box items can schedule an appointment to retrieve their items by June 8.

US Bank branches in downtown McMinnville, the McMinnville Albertsons, Sheridan and Newberg will remain open. Customers also can bank by phone or online, Xiong said.

The bank has been closing and consolidating some of its branches nationwide. “Customers’ banking preferences and behaviors are changing, including a rapid migration toward digital and mobile banking platforms, and a desire for greater simplicity,” Xiong said. “As we evolve along with our customers, we are reevaluating our physical footprint, as well as enhancing our digital capabilities.

Jams and things

Fulfilling a longtime dream, owners of Alchemist’s Jam and Preserves Co. opened a retail shop on Thursday, selling their jams, other foods, books, household and gift items.

The shop is located at 207 N.E. Ford St., half a block south of Third Street in McMinnville. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays initially; hours may be expanded this summer.

From the time they began making unique jams from local fruit and herbs, Danny Roberts and Jennifer Fisher thought about having their own store. They held other jobs selling at area farmers’ markets and through their website,

Web sales took off during the pandemic, as many people turned to ordering online rather than shopping in person. The boom in business allowed them both to work full time in the jam business.

Online sales and a contract to supply jam to New Seasons markets also helped support opening a retail shop.

Fisher said they’d been looking for the right place for several years. One day, they noticed a “for lease” sign at 207 N.E. Ford, behind RJ Photography and across the street from Gallery Theater.

The location had promise. With the help of friends, they spent weeks cleaning, painting and moving in their equipment, including an oak pastry case and vintage hutches for displaying products.

They also set up their kitchen for making jam, something they had been doing at Mac Marketplace. The jarred jam they then brought home for labeling and shipping. It’s great to have everything in one location now, Roberts said.

In addition, the onsite kitchen will allow them to expand their offerings to include baked items.

Roberts said they plan to make scones, biscuits, thumbprints and other cookies, and “jam pies,” pastries filled with jam that have proved popular at farmers markets. 

Fresh fruit pies will soon be on the menu, as well. Roberts plans to roll out the crusts with his great-grandmother’s well-loved rolling pin, which he inherited. Roberts has years of food service experience, including a stint at Community Plate restaurant.

When pandemic rules allow it, they will offer samples of jams. That always helps sales, Fisher said.

Once customers taste flavors such as raspberry cardamom rosehip or peach vanilla nutmeg, she said, they’re usually eager to buy a jar — especially when they can meet the makers and learn about ingredient sources.

“People want to be connected to their food,” she said.

Alchemist’s Jam also will continue to sell products through its website and at farmers markets in McMinnville, Beaverton and Milwaukie.

In the McMinnville shop, they also will offer foods such as a line of peanut butters, including one that includes a variety of seeds; Aesthete teas from Multnomah Village; maple syrup; journals; soaps; cutting boards; handmade brooms from a Eugene company; baskets; books such as “Homestead Canning” and “Jamberry”; and Waldorf children’s toys. They’ll also carry caramels from One Fork Farm, which provided kitchen space when they first started making jam.

And Fisher, an artist who creates the Alchemist’s Jam labels, also will display and sell her weavings. She plans to bring her hand loom to the shop so she can weave at work.

What’s going up?

Here are some commercial building projects under way in McMinnville:

n Construction is progressing on a new urgent care clinic under construction in south McMinnville. EIG14T Development and National Urgent Care Development LLC, based in Michigan, are building the clinic at 1755 S.W. Baker St.

n Left By West, formerly Yamhill Valley Dry Goods, is preparing to open at 512 N.E. Third St. Owners Meg and Zach Hixon are remodeling the space, which formerly held Found Objects.

n McMinnville Eye Clinic is building a new, one-story office structure on Cumulus Avenue across from the hospital. The new office will replace its current quarters at 235 S.E. Norton Lane.

Comprising more than 11,000 square feet, the new building will include both offices for eye exams and treatment and an area to choose and buy glasses. Completion is expected in late summer or early fall.

n Flaneur Wines is remodeling an old warehouse next to its Carlton tasting room to serve as its winemaking facility. Completion is expected in August. The warehouse once held a pet bed manufacturing plant and business that sold yarns and spinning wheels.

n A new dental office is nearing completion at 1945 N.W. Second St., McMinnville. Dr. Melinda Judd plans to move her practice there from its current location, 355 S.E. Baker St.

The 3,329-square-foot office is being constructed by M.D. Builders of McMinnville.

n A new commercial building is partly finished at 2019 N.E. Highway 99W, McMinnville. No tenants have been identified for the structure yet, according to the McMinnville Building Department.

The site once was home to several food carts, such as Hawaii Five-O-Three, which now is open Tuesdays and Thursdays at Mac Market, 11th Way and Alpine Avenue.

n The Hidden Meadow Apartments, a 12-unit complex, is being built at 2730 N.E. Doran Drive. The site is a few blocks from Highway 99W near Wilco and Winco in northeast McMinnville.

n Construction continues on the new Granary Row, a collection of small eateries with a common food court, at 1039 N.E. Lafayette Avenue.

n Work is continuing on two more Dollar General stores in Yamhill County. A 7,500-square-foot Dollar General store is expected to be finished by fall at 102 S. Trade St., Amity. Another is being built on the east edge of Lafayette at 1260 Third St.They will join the Dayton and Willamina outlets of the nationwide chain. 

Wellness classes

George Fox University’s College of Physical Therapy will host its third annual Health and Wellness Week Monday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 19. The location is the new Medical Sciences building, located at 448 N. Werth Blvd., Newberg.

Three free classes will be offered: Nutrition, 6 to 7 p.m. Monday; Spine Care, 6 to 7 pm. Tuesday; and Exercise, 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information and to register, go to:, or send email to

Send business news to Starla Pointer at



Starla - Thank you for sharing all these business' info. It's very inspiring to see such growth! I really like knowing when a new business is starting up so I can support them. So often we miss these little guys and it isn't until they've been there a year or so and I happen to run across them. Very interesting!