When it comes to shopping for food, everyone has non-negotiables. Now is the time for customers to consider their sources and build relationships with brands they can trust.
John Dyke, CEO and founder of Turnip Truck
Guest Columnist for The Tennessean
Grocery shopping is not what it used to be, and that’s a problem for us all. The long-gone days of a city filled with fully stocked-and-staffed supermarkets now seem like a pre-COVID dream.
Unfortunately, the challenges are not straightforward. They require commitment by grocers, day in and day out. For my team at Turnip Truck’s three in-town grocery stores, that has looked like taking care of and retaining our team, doubling our warehouse inventory to keep shelves full, relying on local farmers and suppliers, and trusting our diversified vendor base to deliver the products we need when we need them.
These nimble moves would not be possible were we not an independently owned, local business. However, I believe mission-minded businesses of all shapes and sizes can do right by their customers if that is a core value.
As Nashville’s local grocer, I am on a mission to keep the shelves full and the service friendly for my neighbors. While there’s no magic formula to take us back to the days before shipping delays, I do have a question for savvy shoppers.
Can you trust your grocer?
Before COVID shutdowns, sanitizing sprees, quarantines and supply shortages, it was easy to take for granted that grocers would have the items shoppers needed without fail. Fast forward through the pandemic and its accompanying calamities, and it’s a whole new world. Americans have had a wake-up call to the grocer’s central role in the food-supply chain.
When it comes to shopping for food, everyone has non-negotiables. At Turnip Truck, that means offering top-notch service and healthy products our customers can trust. Every person shares a need for fresh, clean food to fuel their life. No matter your budget, zip code or grocery list, you deserve consistent access to quality food.
Now is the time for customers to consider their sources and build relationships with brands they can trust. The last two years have taught us many hard lessons and reminded us that norms can change. We can all do our part in making sure those norms change for the better, not a lowering of standards.
Never in our lifetimes have trustworthy relationships mattered more. If your retailer is letting you down, I encourage you to shop around. While every business in our sector is facing challenges, you deserve to shop with those who operate with customers’ well-being in mind.
John Dyke is the founder and CEO of Nashville’s only full service, locally owned natural foods grocer, the Turnip Truck.