A Nashville grocer’s guide to savoring seasonal fare especially in winter by John Dyke

Thanks to the time-worn trades of preserving and fermenting, along with winter-ready local meats, cheeses and body products, Tennesseans can savor even the chilliest seasons.

John Dyke

Guest Columnist for The Tennessean

Dec 31, 2022



As Nashville’s local grocer for two decades and counting, I think of the year not in months, but in seasons. Middle Tennessee boasts an abundance of food producers capable of filling a table with local, nutritious goodness long after farm stands close for winter.

Growing up on my family’s East Tennessee farm, the natural rhythms of sowing and reaping informed our days and dictated what appeared on our dinner plates. Today, science backs that traditional wisdom. Eating real, seasonally available food is simply good for the body, mind and spirit.

Thanks to the time-worn trades of preserving and fermenting, along with winter-ready local meats, cheeses and body products, Tennesseans can savor even the chilliest seasons.

As purveyors of the purest local foods and products available at our three Nashville locations, our team at Turnip Truck has a few recommendations for your winter grocery list:

  • Try a better butcher. Thanks to local meat vendors such as Southern Natural Farms, you’ll never have to wonder what path your beef has wandered. Locally sourced and naturally raised offerings available this season include beef raised on my Middle Tennessee farm.
  • Go for Nashville Hot … Cheese? Punch up the charcuterie with a fresh take on Nashville’s fiery-food craze, with “Nashville Hot Chevre” goat cheese from Franklin-based Noble Springs farm. Just over the state line in Trenton, Kentucky, Amish farm Country View Creamery produces one of our staff’s favorite cheese varieties, the delicious (and aptly named) “Southern Charm.”
  • Stock your pantry. Nashville grocery aisles are lined with plentiful options of Southern-staple pantry items, perfect for when temps tick downward. At Turnip Truck, we love Southern City Flavors, a family business producing biscuit and cornbread mix, pickled vegetables and jarred jams. Their fig and peach jalapeno jams are party must-haves.
  • Pour a cup of comfort. Bone broth is a year-round favorite of the health-conscious, but it’s never better than on a chilly day. Protein-packed and great for joints and skin, Nashville’s Ancient Nutrition offers homespun bone broth flavors including Chicken Soup and Tomato Soup.
  • Tap into cool-weather brews. Nashville breweries are known for creative seasonal varieties, and we carry selections from more than a dozen local brands. Check out seasonal craft beers from hometown favorites Southern Grist, Living Waters, Bearded Iris, Black Abbey and Yazoo.
  • Embrace creature comforts. Local grocery items range beyond the table and to personal and home care. Cozy up with East Nashville-based Forestdale’s cabin candle and pine-scented incense. The beeswax candle’s wooden wick will light up your home with its fireside crackle.

By embracing the bounty of each season, we eat a richer diet and set the stage for better health. Here’s to savoring the cold-weather cornucopia available in Middle Tennessee.

John Dyke is founder and CEO of Turnip Truck.



Pre-Order Your Thanksgiving Feast

Pre-Order Your Turnip Truck Thanksgiving Feast – starting Nov. 1

With a fully cooked turkey and house-made

seasonal sides, we have all you need to celebrate!


Stop in and speak to a manager!

Order early at the store of your choice to ensure item availability. Please plan for 24-hour turnaround. Turnip Truck stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

(Orders are taken in-store only at all locations) 


Our Holiday Menu

Main Course 

– Turkey for eight, 10-12 lbs, antibiotic and hormone-free, with a 26 oz. side of turkey gravy ($75)
– (Turkey not your thing? Check out our rib roast options, here.)


– Pecan Pie – $17.99
– Pecan Pie (Gluten-free) – $18.99
– Pumpkin Pie – $15.99
– Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-free) – $16.99

Sides (Available in 1, 2 or 5 lb sizes)

– Macaroni & Cheese w/Hatch Chilis (vegetarian) $7.99/lb
– Mashed Potatoes (vegetarian) – $7.99/lb
– Mashed Sweet Potatoes (vegan) – $7.99/lb
– Brussels Sprouts Roasted w/Garlic (vegetarian) – $7.99/lb
– Classic Cornbread Stuffing – $7.99/lb
– Cornbread Stuffing (vegetarian) – $7.99
– Cranberry Orange Sauce (vegetarian) – $7.99/lb
– Pull-Apart Rolls – $5.99
Store Hours:
Mon-Sat 7 am -9 pm
Sun 8 am -8 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day
East Nashville 701 Woodland St.
Gulch Nashville 321 12th Ave. S.
West Nashville 5001 Charlotte Ave.

In Charge 2022: Retail

The Nashville Post Names John Dyke one of Nashville’s Top Leaders of 2022.

Read the full list here. 

The Post states, “The effects of a tumultuous 2020 were still evident in 2021. Now, the region’s business, political and civic leaders are helping bring their organizations into a new era. Those on it embody what it means to be ‘in charge,’ and it will be up to them to make sure the city and state continue their collective forward trajectory.
John Dyke — Owner, The Turnip Truck: Always-pleasant natural foods advocate who in 2020 opened a grocery on Charlotte Avenue in West Nashville to supplement his Gulch and east side stores, the latter of which began operations in early 2001.”

Turnip Truck Owner Eyes Nashvilles Outer Ring


Photo for Nashville Business Journal by Martin B. Cherry

By Julia Masters  –  Reporter, Nashville Business Journal


The Turnip Truck has been a Nashville favorite since 2001 when John Dyke opened the first store in East Nashville.

Last Wednesday, the grocer — which sources from over 80 local vendors — announced its fourth location in Midtown, set to open in 2023.

Dyke — raised on a farm in Greene County, Tennessee — has expansive growth plans for the next chapter of Turnip Truck that go beyond his new Vanderbilt neighborhood location.

“I have a map and it has about eight different spots … I know where I want to go, I know the areas,” Dyke said in an interview. “A couple of the spots that I am look at right now would be Madison, Franklin, Mt. Juliet and there are about three or four others.”

When planning a new location, Dyke gets demographic reports on areas he is eying. He will then look for opportunity in a specific piece of property.

“Our vision is to be Nashville’s most local, trusted grocer. To me, Nashville is Metropolitan Nashville, I don’t look at the core,” Dyke said. “Our next venture, and we are looking at it in several different angles right now, we need to create a central commissary-type kitchen.”

The commissary would allow Turnip Truck to have consistency in both recipes and food service across its different locations.

If a large enough piece of real estate is found, Dyke would like to create a store, commissary and warehouse at the same location.

“I could have better buying purchases, better patrol over food, better consistency and be able to look at how we provide these services and build a culture where people that want to grow with the Turnip Truck, we can take care of them,” Dyke said.

The new Midtown location, creating around 100 to 125 jobs, will become a much-needed service in the area, both as a place for professionals and students to grab a quick meal and shop. The Turnip Truck’s space between Lyle and 20th avenues has around 80 parking spots for customers.

“That area, there’s really not many grocery stores and the one grocery store on the other side of Vanderbilt is getting ready to shut down,” Dyke said.

Located in 23,500 square feet of Vanderbilt University’s new graduate and professional student housing, the store will have increased food service offerings in addition to traditional Turnip Truck inventory.

There will be an expanded coffee and juice bar, fresh pizzas, acai bowls, fresh sushi and a build-your-own-burger bar.

A large part of the Turnip Truck’s success is its commitment to high quality produce and its business model of being a reflection of customer feedback, Dyke said.

“We have not waivered off why I set off to do what I did 21 years ago, and it’s always been about this passion of produce. It’s been about local produce, but mainly around organic produce,” Dyke said. “I think sometimes we forget what food is about. … We forget as individuals to slow down and enjoy food.”

Dyke referenced the fresh strawberries he just got in, picking one up, feeling its texture, looking at its color, before just biting in.

Beyond produce, Dyke has 60 grass-fed black angus steer raised in a manner that regenerates the soil and has honey-bee hives at the East Nashville store.

Today, most people that frequent Turnip Truck don’t know it by any other name. But when Dyke opened the store, it was called The Good Earth Market.

Later the name was changed after Dyke said the old Southern expression, “I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.”

“My favorite part is watching people come in and want to change their lifestyle and eat a healthier way, and watch them keep showing up,” he said.

Though Dyke was determined to get away from his farming background, graduating from The University of Tennessee, he eventually came back to the values it instilled in him: hard work and dedication.

Turnip Truck Will Open New Midtown Location

Nashville’s Local Grocer Bound for 20th Ave and Lyle in 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 20, 2022) — Turnip Truck, Nashville’s locally owned grocery chain, will open its fourth and largest location in mid-2023 in Vanderbilt’s new graduate and professional student housing development.

“We’re thrilled to bring fresh, healthy food to the heart of Nashville on a grander scale than ever before,” said Turnip Truck founder and CEO John Dyke. “Our customers will find the local, natural and organic goods they enjoy at our other locations, in our largest store footprint.”

Situated in the heart of Midtown Nashville between Lyle and 20th Avenues, the new 616-bed mixed-use building is a joint venture between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Axium Infrastructure. Turnip Truck’s 23,500-square-foot store will occupy the South Tower’s ground level. With 80 store-dedicated complimentary parking spots, Turnip Truck will be easily accessible to both car and foot traffic.

Larger than Turnip Truck’s 18,000-square-foot flagship East Nashville location, the new store will offer a full-service grocery store, deli, juice bar, salad bar, hot bar, and grab-and-go meal options. Turnip Truck will offer 50 percent more food service at the new location than it does at its East Nashville, Gulch and Charlotte Avenue locations.

“We built Turnip Truck to enhance the health of our community, and we are eager to serve such a dynamic pocket of Nashville,” Dyke said. “Whether customers make the trip to this store from their homes above it, on their commutes, or from nearby neighborhoods, we want them to enjoy the welcoming, nourishing experience people expect from Turnip Truck.”

Key collaborators on the project include general contractor Crain Construction, UNFI Store Services (design) and DC Engineering.

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