Turnip Truck Adds C-Suite Positions to Manage Growth

Turnip Truck Adds C-Suite Positions to Manage Growth

From Nashville Business Journal — May 26, 2015

The Turnip Truck, Nashville’s homegrown natural and organic grocer, has beefed up its leadership team as it looks to open a new store in East Nashville.
The company has hired two C-suite level executives to help manage the company’s growth, according to a press release. Last year, Turnip Truck announced that it had plans to build a new 12,000-square-foot grocery store in East Nashville, complete with a hydroponic roof garden to grow its own produce.

The company has hired Kim Totzke as chief operating officer and Adam Williams as chief financial officer. Previously, Totzke and Williams worked together for seven years at Provence Breads & Café.
“Kim and Adam bring a depth of food industry leadership experience, paired with a passion for delivering high-quality, natural, local products to the communities we serve,” said John Dyke, in the release. “They are a dynamic addition to our company, and I’m thrilled to have them join us.”

Excerpts from the release are below:
With a prolific background in the food business, Totzke most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at Provence, where she worked for seven years. Prior to Provence, Totzke was noted for culinary excellence and named “Best Chef in Nashville” by the Nashville Scene. Kim has held positions in and out of the kitchen at a diverse array of Nashville’s most acclaimed establishments, including Deb Paquette’s Cakewalk, the Belle Meade Brasserie, The Bound’ry, Bongo Java and Fido. She served as executive chef of The Yellow Porch and creative director of food and wine for multiple restaurants under its umbrella. Kim is a board member of the Nashville State Community College Foundation and has served on the board of Nashville Originals. She is past-chair of the Hillsboro Village Merchants Association.
“As a longtime East Nashvillian, I have been a Turnip Truck customer since John first opened the store 14 years ago,” Totzke said. “Whether shopping for my restaurants or my family, I have always been in search of the highest quality local ingredients, and the Turnip Truck consistently hits the mark. Professionally, I was looking for my next challenge, and I’m delighted to have found it here.”
Williams was CFO at Provence, where he worked for 10.5 years before joining the Turnip Truck staff. A Nashville native, he held a variety of positions at the noted bread company, from baking to executive leadership. With a passion for homegrown and locally crafted food and drink, he spends his free time brewing craft beer and tending his own organic garden. Williams credits his mother, one of the area’s organic gardening pioneers, with planting the seed that led him to this position today.

“I enjoy the process of making things – from baking to brewing all the way to building a successful company,” Williams said. “To be tasked with keeping The Turnip Truck fiscally stable so John can work on growing his vision – it’s such a wonderful opportunity.”
With the new East Nashville store slated to open in the fall, Dyke said he looks forward to continued success under the leadership of his newly expanded team.
“Kim and Adam are passionate, inspired and inspiring,” Dyke said. “To have individuals of their caliber tasked with keeping the Turnip Truck successful and forward-moving is a great benefit to everyone involved with our company.”

Turnip Truck Starts Work on Bigger East Nashville Home

From The Tennessean — April 16, 2015

Grocery shopping options on Nashville’s east side are set to expand this year when Turnip Truck opens a store four times the size of its existing market.

Construction started last week on the new all-natural market at 701 Woodland St. Slated for a fall opening, the new Turnip Truck will have a hot food bar, salad bar, juice bar, bulk foods, produce, beer and wine, bakery, meat department, natural food groceries, and health and beauty products.

“We really want to, in East Nashville, become the place where it’s more of a one-stop shop where we’re able to offer (customers) everything that they need from a grocery seller when it comes to food, especially for people … who want natural, organic and local options,” said John Dyke, Turnip Truck owner.

The new store, which will have roughly 13,000 square feet for its retail area, will replace the existing Turnip Truck at 970 Woodland St., which Dyke founded in 2001. A Turnip Truck market opened in The Gulch in 2010.

The East Nashville expansion was spurred by customer demand; Turnip Truck is limited in its space, and Dyke said customers don’t have enough room to shop comfortably.

“One of the things we really wanted was to give space where the customer can just shop,” Dyke said. “It gets a little tight in our current store where it’s really difficult for our customers to shop when there are (multiple) people there.”

A main feature of the new store will be a larger produce department with more variety. Dyke said that means Turnip Truck will be working with more local producers and also increasing its purchase size from some of the farms Turnip Truck already works with. Dyke estimated Turnip Truck works with about 80 local vendors across its store departments.

The new store will have fresh produce set up outside during warmer months, with some tables where customers can eat.

It will have local, organic coffee and a fresh juice bar, and customers will be able to purchase growlers of both kombucha and beer. There will be triple the amount of bulk food offerings and a meat department with all-natural options. Dyke said the expanded location will have a larger salad bar with more raw ingredients, plus an in-house bakery that will focus on whole wheat and gluten-free options.

“We want to do our in-house bakery where we can bake breads that are designed more around whole food products,” Dyke said.

Other plans for the space include a rooftop hydroponic greenhouse for growing produce.

A second-floor cafe will be a place for customers to eat, and also a space for community classes based around health and nutrition.

“We wanted a place where the community could come and enjoy great food — great local food — and also have a place to be and to gather,” Dyke said.

Dyke is hoping for a seamless transition, with the existing store in operation until the new market opens. Turnip Truck is working with architect Manuel Zeitlin and contractor Carter Group on the project.

Turnip Truck Adds Budget-Friendly Organic Groceries

Turnip Truck Adds Budget-Friendly Organic Groceries

Nashville-based grocer Turnip Truck is working to make organic food more accessible to consumers.

The 14-year-old company, which has stores in The Gulch and East Nashville and is building a much larger store on the east side, announced Wednesday that its stores now stock more than 100 “value-priced” Field Day grocery items, from olive oil to oatmeal and gluten-free products.

Distributed to Turnip Truck by United Natural Foods Inc., Field Day’s website says 91 percent of its products are organic and 94 percent are non-GMO. Product categories on its website include baby products, canned beans, crackers, juices, maple syrup, organic pastas, organic vegetables, paper products, peanut butter and water. Prices are not listed and vary by retailer.

Turnip Truck also plans to offer monthly discounts on seasonal produce items.

“We want to give all of our neighbors access to high-quality food, and this is a major step in that direction,” Turnip Truck founder John Dyke said in a statement. “With these budget-friendly options, we are opening the doors wide for families and individuals who want to make the best possible choices but may have previously felt priced out of doing so.”

Turnip Truck’s announcement comes as mainstream and big-box grocery retailers, including Walmart and Target, encroach on the organic foods market as demand for those products grows. Meanwhile, Whole Foods Market recently announced a new store chain called “365 by Whole Foods Market” that the company plans to launch next year. The plan for the new chain: to stock lower-priced items aimed at younger customers.

Dyke founded Turnip Truck in 2001 in East Nashville. For 14 years, he has supported local agriculture and helped to elevate Nashville’s food economy. The Turnip Truck market opened in The Gulch in 2010.

Construction is underway to replace the original East Nashville market with a store four times the size at 701 Woodland St.

Slated for a fall opening, the new Turnip Truck will have a hot food bar, salad bar, juice bar, bulk foods, produce, beer and wine, a bakery, a meat department, natural food groceries, and health and beauty products.

Dyke said the new lower-priced grocery line at Turnip Truck will better position the company to compete and also make organic and local foods more approachable for customers. He said the Field Day line complements the existing inventory in the stores.

“Our goal is for people will be able to fill a cart at Turnip Truck at a comparable price to a big-box grocery run,” Dyke said. “Healthy eating should not be a luxury, and we are very passionate about breaking down the cost barrier.”