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.