Genuine Wallowa County Provisions is a community service project that delivers local meat, produce, and household goods from Northeast Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest to homes and workplaces. It was founded with an advisory panel consisting of Theresa Stangel of Stangel Bison Ranch, Mary Hawkins of Hawkins Sisters Ranch, and Beth Gibans of Backyard Gardens; check out our Community Partners page for more information and love bombs. GWC Provisions is part of Genuine Wallowa County, the online gift shop showcasing the work of local and Nez Perce artists and craftspeople in curated gift boxes and the Inland Northwest Gallery.
The area now known as Wallowa County, Oregon, is the ancestral home of the Joseph Band of Nez Perce, known as the wal̓wá·ma. They spent summers in the Wallowa Valley, and winters in the low canyons of the Imnaha River and Joseph Creek. Well known leaders include Tıwi·teqıs (Chief Joseph the elder) and his sons Hinmató·wyalahtq'it (Chief Joseph the younger), and Ollikut (Little Frog). Please take time to learn more at the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland website—and visit the interpretive center and shared public grounds in Wallowa on your next visit! In the late 1800s, European-American settlers began ranching, logging, mining, and farming the lush valley. Some of the world’s best hay is grown here, as well as wheat and alfalfa, but the main “crop” is cow-calf pairs. Wallowa County has 7,000 people and 30,000 cattle! At 4,300 feet in altitude, our short growing season is a little rough on tender crops like tomatoes and melons, but stalwart small farmers across the county produce enough to support market gardens and a few family-scale crops.
Wallowa County Chieftain and La Grande Observer (grant recipient) March 2022
Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce "Support Local" video November 2021
Wallowa County Chieftain September 2021
KOIN AM Extra November 2020
Northwestern Outdoors Radio August 2020
The Capital Press July 2020
Wallowa County Chieftain June 2020
Wallowa County Chieftain/La Grande Observer March 2020
ExplOregon: The Backstories live videocast from August 2019 (forward to 4:13)
La Grande Observer/Baker City Herald April 2019 (scroll down to pages 7 and 8)
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GWC Supports the Community
Genuine Wallowa County makes annual donations to the Wallowa Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation and the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland. $1 of every sale on the GWC Provisions site is donated to Community Connection of Northeast Oregon to support regional food pantries.
GWC and the Environment
Genuine Wallowa County mitigates its environmental impact by using recycled packaging, including stickers with a recyclable backing from EcoEnclose, Geami Greenwrap for fragile items that are shipped, and enrolling in the Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy program.
While working for the regional economic development district, founder Kristy Athens learned of a branding idea that originated in 2007. The name “Genuine Wallowa County” and its logo (designed by local graphic designer Joan Gilbert) were suggested by a Rural Development Action Team that worked with a group of locals to consider ways to stimulate the economy. There was enthusiasm for the idea, but not enough bandwidth within local nonprofits to support the brand, and it remained a recommendation in a report. Kristy received permission from available local stakeholders in 2018 to take over management of the brand. She launched the gift box site in March 2019 and the Provisions site in June 2020.
Founder Kristy Athens
Kristy had been coming to Wallowa County for nearly 15 years, drawn by both the landscape and the creative people who inhabit it, before moving here in 2013. She has an M.S. in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University and is the author of Get Your Pitchfork On!: The Real Dirt on Country Living. She is the regional procurement hub lead for the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network, and a business advisor for SBDC, and served for a number of years on the Wallowa County Farmers Market board. In her spare time (ha ha!) she hikes, makes collage art, and plays songs on fiddle and electric bass.
Genuine Wallowa County LLC values diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, including age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.