Meet Mike Pullen, bamboo enthusiast and owner of Bamboo Revolution in lower southeast Portland.
A product developer by trade, he used to remodel homes and sell them, too, and several years ago one of those homes was nearly completed when it was broken into, and all his tools were stolen. He filed a police report, and the reporting officers couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the bamboo floor he’d put in. Immediately they wanted to know what the strange new material was, and from then on, everyone who saw it wanted to know more, and he knew it had potential.
From that, Bamboo Revolution (1300 SE Grand Ave.) was born. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable and rapidly renewable materials available today, and Pullen has always had an affinity for Asian culture.
He spent two and half months in China studying everything about bamboo and touring mills to see the knowledge put into action. He brought it all home and the business has been on the rise ever since. He gets a sparkle in his eye when he talks about all the things that can be done with bamboo, and he truly does know everything about it. Bamboo really is a super plant.
It has natural sugars in the stalk, and when heat is applied, just like in the kitchen, the sugars caramelize and turn a darker golden brown or even black. The bamboo is darker all the way through it, so if sawn, it’s the same color throughout. Left natural, it has a golden hue that will compliment any room, whether on the wall or the floor.
Walking into the business you find a huge showroom for all the different ways/designs/patterns/colors they can produce. Plus he’s got brief cases, business card holders, track lighting covers, a desk, furniture, woven wall coverings, a purse, bowls, cooking utensils, and much more. It’s in every color you can think of, and can be stained to look like any wood you want.
It was very interesting and we left knowing more about bamboo’s natural chemistry and cultivating it. Pullen refers to himself as ‘just a guy’ but he’s very smart and his plans include extremely earth-friendly projects that will benefit the future. This guy is green-serious; he’s not just messing around.
If you’re ever around the 1300 block of SE Grand Ave. stop by and look around the place, you‘ll be amazed at what you see. He shares the building with Coava Coffee Roasters and it smells wonderful in there. Have a cup and see what’s in store, and if you see Mike, say hi.