Sunnyside Neighborhood Getting to Know Your Neighbors

Q&A with Corey Schuster

During the pandemic, you might have seen Corey Schuster selling wine out of the back of his pick-up truck on Taylor Street just east of the Sunnyside Environmental School. When we were all stuck at home — and some of us weren’t even venturing out to the grocery store, let alone to a wine shop — it was lovely to be able to buy a bottle of rosé on the street while taking an evening walk. Talk about buying local!

For the past decade, Schuster has been the sole winemaker at Jackalope Wine Cellars ( He purchases grapes from farmers and makes his wine at the Portland Wine Company at Powell and SE 50th. To taste his wines (and those made by Love & Squalor winery) head there on Thursdays or Fridays from 4-8 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays from 1-7 p.m. You can bring your own food and order a glass, a bottle, or do a tasting. He lives with his partner Candace Fallon, a biologist who works at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

How long have you been a winemaker? 

Corey: This is my tenth vintage! You would think I’d do something about it. I spent a couple years working for different wineries, doing anything they put in front of me. I had a lot of opportunities to do work in tasting rooms, lab work, and events. When the Southeast Wine Collective opened in 2012, they hired me to run the bar. It felt like a safe place to start making wine so I jumped in.

When did you move to Sunnyside?

Corey: I moved to Portland in 2006 and have lived within a half mile radius — in Sunnyside — pretty much the entire time. The first place I lived was on Yamhill and 26th. Then I moved to 34th and Stark for a year. We’re now at 35th and Taylor and have been here since 2007.

Do you rent or own?

Corey: We’re renting. It’s an old house that was turned into a fourplex. Our landlords are awesome. We really love it here. Our location is pretty much perfect.

What do you love about Sunnyside?

Corey: I love all the amenities: restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. We have access to downtown and the highways to get out of town. It’s pretty great. And now that the winery is 1.5 miles away, work is also an easy commute.

What is one thing you’d like to see change about Sunnyside?

Corey: I love the piazza idea! [Floated by a Sunnyside board member at a recent meeting.] It’s not something this country does really well—having a central area. The center of Sunnyside—a place you can sit and hang out and greet the neighbors.

How is the harvest going?

Corey: The quality [of grapes] is looking good. Some of the vineyards I work with—their yields will be way down. Part of it was the heat, especially for vineyards that don’t irrigate. The grapes just don’t bulk up, which means really small clusters and small grapes. It’s just less fruit. The last time we did get rain was while flowering was happening—so the rain affected the fruit.

Schuster’s 2020 releases include a rosé, a carbonically macerated Merlot, a Pinot Noir, a Viognier, and a white Cabernet Franc. You can find them at New Seasons, Division Wines, Providore, and Whole Foods.

Follow Corey on Instagram or Twitter at @JackalopeCorey

The Origins of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

Various neighborhood “advancement clubs” existed in Portland in the early 20th century. The Sunnyside Push Club was established on February 19, 1908. One of its actions was to advocate for the purchase of 40 acres from the Ladd estate to create a large “Sunnyside Park”. Eventually the city purchased about 20 acres of land, although the name favored by the Push Club was evidently not retained (hint: it’s Laurelhurst Park). A more successful “name fight” was won by the club when the idea of renaming Sunnyside School for one of Portland’s early pioneers was rejected early in the process.

Fast forward to the 1960’s. President Johnson’s plan for a Great Society expands the federal government’s roles in reducing poverty. In Portland, a Steering Committee is established to foster the creation of Neighborhood Committees. By 1966, the Oregonian notes that “in Portland these committees are strongly peopled with actual poor people”. The Sunnyside Community Improvement Committee is put in place in 1966 and quickly advocates for the creation of a Neighborhood Service Center to provide residents with easy access to various social and employment services. Similar committees in the Richmond, Buckman and Brooklyn neighborhoods eventually join forces under a newly created non-profit organization called Portland Action Committees Together (PACT). Three districts are created in SE Portland: the Brooklyn District, the Buckman District and the Richmond-Sunnyside District. By 1967, the Richmond-Sunnyside Neighborhood Center was up and running at 3525 SE Hawthorne Blvd in the Douglas Building, under the supervision of a local Board made of Richmond-Sunnyside residents.

By the end of 1967, more federal money is expected under the Model Cities program. However, program restrictions mean that its reach is limited to the Albina area. PACT advocates for the effort to be expanded to SE Portland and finds support from City Commissioner Francis Invancie and eventually Mayor Terry Schrunk. The SE Uplift Project is officially launched with the goal of doing “most of the work within local revenues, but using federal money when necessary and when it can be utilized without stringent regulations”.

By 1970, the underwhelming results of the War on Poverty and pull back of federal money under the Nixon administration call for change. To improve efficiency, PACT’s governance is restructured in favor of a single board that oversees all programs. To maintain neighborhood involvement, the Buckman Neighborhood Association is formally organized in December 1971, followed by Richmond and Sunnyside in early 1972.

On Monday March 6, 1972, “about 50 residents of Sunnyside and neighboring communities in southeast Portland unanimously approved the formation of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association”. Next year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our neighborhood association, let’s be thankful for the work of all of those neighbors that came before us. Let’s also celebrate the fact that both SE Uplift and PACT are still with us today. PACT was renamed Impact NW as it expanded its services outside the Portland Metropolitan area. It still runs its Seniors & Adults with Disabilities Services here in Sunnyside at 4610 SE Belmont Street.

Sunnyside Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee

The DEIA Committee attended the Belmont Street Fair on Saturday, Sept. 11th with great success. The fair had a strong turnout and our committee members engaged with lots of folks in the community, signing up 20 fairgoers to help volunteer for upcoming projects. We have a good list of ideas of what the community of Sunnyside would like to see from the organization. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 5th at 6:30 p.m. Virtual meeting details will be posted on the SNA website on Monday October 4th. We look forward to new attendees and welcome ideas on ways to build a more diverse, equitable, and accessible community.

Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The SNACC committee met on Thursday, Sept. 16th after a long hiatus. Jes Maran is stepping down as chair. Board member Emily McCadden offered to co-chair (for the time being with Jes) until someone else volunteers to co-chair with her.

We gave brief updates on the shower project, which has recently been blessed by a lot of donations of both funds and toiletries, and we discussed the possibility of a vaccine mandate for those who come for showers. 20+ shower volunteers participated in a super awesome de-escalation training in September, led by Zack Hart from Hygiene4All. Hannah helped organize a vaccine event on September 30th for the houseless at the Sunnyside Methodist Church. We also discussed rolling out the “Get on the Sunnyside” campaign that a group of U of O grad students helped prepare for us
last year as part of a class project. This would entail some work on the website, but the posters are already made. The focus of the campaign is to acknowledge the need for a neighborhood that is healthy, safe and welcoming for all who call it home. We encourage anyone who is interested in these efforts to attend our next SNACC meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21st at 6:30 p.m. Meeting details will be posted on the SNA website the week of October 18th.