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Dishing up tradition
Dishing up tradition

Rosanna Bowles has a simple suggestion: “Unplug and try and take a moment of quality time.”

Forging quality moments and transforming them into time-honored rituals is the aim of Bowles’ first book, Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions, which was published in March.

“It’s a book about living and living well,” Bowles says.

Coming Home combines Bowles’ idiosyncratic tradition-building tips like belting out tunes from Mamma Mia! and throwing a ’60s-themed birthday party with over 50 original recipes that incorporate fresh, seasonal produce—the foundation, as Bowles sees it, of true Oregon living.

Being in tune with the seasons is “very much part of being an Oregonian,” Bowles says. “I think that’s really the answer to living well.”

Bowles’ desire to write a book sprang from her experience with Rosanna, Inc., the artisan dishware company she launched in 1982 with little more than an idea and a $15,000 line of credit. Bowles’ Seattle company is now worth between $7 million and $10 million, and her internationally distributed products have been featured in myriad publications, including Good Housekeeping, O magazine, Bon Appetit, and Country Living

Bowles—who primarily studied Italian, French, literature, and art history at Portland State—attributes Rosanna, Inc.’s sustained success to her liberal arts background and Portland roots.

“I was very lucky to be educated here and grow up here and I think that’s the basis of the success of the company,” Bowles said. “I literally use my language, art history, and literature background everyday.”

By Louie Opatz