Nashville-area grocery stores — unlike so many other now-shuttered businesses throughout the city — continue to operate.
But those operations have assumed a decidedly different approach and vibe compared to the business-as-usual period prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The signs are obvious: Customers and store employees wearing germ-repellent gloves and masks, aisles and shelving having been decimated by panicked shoppers, hot and cold bars closed, cleaning crews disinfecting on a frequent basis, reduced hours and, of course, a lack of toilet paper.
With the WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic this week, people worldwide are considering how to stay well. At the Turnip Truck, we are doing everything in our power to keep our shelves stocked and our employees and customers safe. We have ramped up our daily sanitation practices, wiping down store surfaces at regular intervals throughout the day. We are providing hand sanitizer by our front doors and at stations throughout our stores. Our employees continue to adhere to stringent hand-washing with hot water and soap, as we know that is key to deterring the spread.
We encourage our customers to prepare — not panic. Our recommendations:
– Adhere to the 20-second handwashing rules — and take it a step further by cleaning mobile devices, keys and other surfaces as often as possible.
– Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential pantry items. This includes necessary supplements and medications, fluids, non-perishable foods and household products.
– Consider your neighbors. While most people will recover from COVID-19, stopping its spread will save lives of those at highest risk.
Take care of yourself, friends — and let’s try to stay as calm as possible. Stress wreaks havoc on immunity. Do whatever you can to destress, in healthy ways.
Hello, all of my friends that reached out last week to check in on me and the Turnip Truck I’m sending a big Thank You with lot’s of Love and Hugs from me and the same from our Turnip Truck Team members. Like many others in Nashville and surrounding counties there was not much sleep and not much peace. Thank you to my wonderful staff that showed up Tuesday morning to get The Turnip Truck fully running within a few hours on a generator. Our team members are focused and driven to make sure that we could get our Local Community space opened for the neighborhood to have a somewhat place of normalcy and to refuel. We are fortunate compared to many that are less than a 100 ft away from us. Tuesday morning I was at the building at 1:00 am trying to figure out how to get a generator on the building. It took us another 13 hours before we could have power and fully pull this together. Currently, we have an additional 70 plus staff members that are hired for our new Local 5001 Charlotte location that was suppose to be opening today. Our goal at that moment was to honor all of the staff with a job. If you are a business owner you know how staff becomes your family the day you hire them. We honor our staff the day we have a tandem mutual agreement that we want to have a relationship to provide a local community market that buys from 90 plus local vendors.
After, we got the 701 Woodland store up on a generator around 2:00 pm we had a call that our 5001 Charlotte location had not taking a direct hit but we took an indirect hit to our warehouse that was located next to John C Tune airport. Adam Williams our CFO and I decided to drive by the warehouse to check in. We had been told earlier in the day the warehouse was flattened and that the majority of our equipment probably was in total loss. For some reason I had to believe that just maybe we could find some pieces to get the store up and running if we can find pieces to just get open. As we arrived I thought there was no way with a building collapsed and most of the steel mangled beyond what you could imagine. As we started to look around we did find pieces that were still crated but buried so deep or tossed over the side of a hill. My senses went into complete overdrive to start digging and dig more. I rallied my partner Gabe LaDuke and Whitney Hulette and we gloved up and started digging. Piece by piece we found this piece and another piece. Mostly damaged but not beyond operational. I knew at that time we could now work hard over the several days of digging a gently pulling items out that we could possibly get this store open in a few weeks. We are missing still several critical items but as usual our team always figures it out how to make things work. Our COO Kim Totzke and our store director Robin Fugett are in full force getting the team together operationally. With some setbacks we will be cleaning our store this weekend and eagerly waiting Monday morning for our first order of dry grocery that will be placed on the shelves next week. Our team over the next couple of weeks will be working long days to build a new Local market for the West side of Nashville. It feels good that we are close to be able to bring in cash to pay the new additional 70 plus members. The Turnip Truck staff are dreamers and builders of communities.
We will with determination and drive hopefully have this store opened in the next couple of weeks. We will not opened with a fully polished building that we have worked almost two years in dreaming but we will open a beautiful store with some scratches and bruises. We will have check out lanes that will have a ding or a piece missing. But what you will see is a building that is inspired by the Spirit of Nashville. Yes, it will have some bruises here and there. But what it will have is the spirit, determination and local food that we all love. It will be the community’s store that will listen to how they want to see their store. We just happen to own the store but we want the community to speak of what they want to see in our version of a local community store.
Let’s all take time as we go into the future what has made and makes Nashville great. My version and I know for many is the spirit of local businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, small stores etc… Let’s all keep this spirit alive. When we think of local owned remember we keep up to 67% of all money in Nashville instead of allowing that money to float outside of Nashville. I just say that is “Local Nashville Strong.”
I ,also, want to thank Crain Construction for sending in large equipment and workers to help on Friday. Z our marketing director and Amy Hall Jones for helping keep my sanity in line over the last week.
Lastly, I appreciate my partner Gabe LaDuke and our friends Jean Fortin, Michael Mikail, Bruce Stuart and Lemon giving me great evening just being with friends for an amazing Dinner and Concert. Overall my 55th birthday turned out great.
We appreciate Jeremy Finley from WSMV Channel 4 News for highlighting the challenges to Nashville’s food supply chain due to the tornado and the COVID-19 virus. Check out his report in the link.
Rest assured, the Turnip Truck is open and fully operational now that power is restored at our East Nashville location. Our top priority is serving Nashville, and we are doing everything in our power to keep our shelves stocked and support public safety.
The Turnip Truck’s East store is very lucky to have sustained very little damage in Tuesday’s Tornado. We have a few torn panels on the roof and we were able to save three of our beehives on the roof. We were able to get a generator truck, so we have electricity and are fully functional.
Our hearts go out to our neighbors and friends who have lost so much. We are here, even if it’s just for a bit of normalcy, recharge your phones, gather with your friends.
Tonight, March 4th, we will close at 7pm, and will resume normal hours 7am-9pm tomorrow, March 5th. The Gulch store is undamaged and at normal hours.
Currently the best route to us is down Shelby Ave. Sections of Woodland Ave and Main St are closed for emergency vehicles only. You can enter our parking lot from Woodland coming west.
Let’s celebrate National Veggie day on June 16th! Actually, let’s celebrate veggies all the time.
With the help of some of our local farmers, we can do exactly that. We at the Turnip Truck are very proud to prioritize supporting local farms, and happy to tell you why we love buying local. It’s great that our locally-grown veggies are as fresh as can be, but it’s more than that!
Invests in community economy – sustainable agriculture, healthier communities, and strong local economies are some of the benefits in spending our dollars locally
Builds and scaffolds community – when small local businesses get together, our community thrives!
Creates the system we want – buying local is a reflection of our values to be transparent, support our farms and workers, and be kind to the planet
In honor of National Veggie Day, here are some of the local offerings in our produce section and the local farms they come from: