Turnip Truck’s New Store Is Solarized

This spring West Nashville welcomed Turnip Truck to the neighborhood. The locally owned full service natural grocer opened its third store on Charlotte Avenue, just as COVID-19 was hitting and on the heels of a tornado which destroyed much of the store’s new equipment.

“Against all odds, we opened one day earlier than originally planned,” says Turnip Truck CFO Adam Williams. “More than ever, we are committed to keeping our shelves stocked with local, natural and organic foods that our customers love,” Adam says.

Turnip Truck opened their first store in East Nashville in 2001 and their second store in the Gulch in 2010. Founder John Dyke and the team had always wanted to add solar to their business, and they decided to make it happen with the new project.

“We made sure to include solar in the budget for the Charlotte store,” Adam says. “In fact, to get the SBA 504 loan we wanted, our solar system had to reduce our energy use by at least 15%,” he explains.

With limited roof space, that was easier said than done, but LightWave Solar worked closely with Turnip Truck to accomplish the 15% goal. The system has 214 high efficiency solar panels strategically placed to avoid shading from walls and equipment. LightWave even secured solar panels to the barrel vault roof!

Turnip Truck expects to see electric bill savings of about $5,000-6,000 annually. However, the environmental benefits are equally important to the owner, staff, and Turnip Truck customers.

“Solar energy fits in with our mission of keeping environmental impact in mind with our decision-making,” Adam says. “Clean and local food have a lot in common with clean and local energy in terms of cleaner water and soil and healthier people,” he adds.

With more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours of solar generation per year, Turnip Truck will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions equal to planting 64 acres of forest.

Turnip Truck is considering solar energy for their East Nashville location as well, though rooftop solar panels would have to share real estate with the store’s rooftop beehives! Other mounting options include solar parking canopies and solar awnings which would provide much-needed shade for customers.

“It was great working with LightWave to complete our first system, especially after consulting with them for many years,” Adam says. “We’re really happy to see our solar generation online and be able to track its performance,” he adds.

Read at LightWave’s website.

Turnip Truck set to open West Nashville store

Turnip Truck set to open West Nashville store

Turnip Truck set to open West Nashville store

Nashville Business Journal



By Marq Burnett  Mar 26, 2020, 7:33am EDT

With the increased need for groceries and other household items due to COVID-19, the Turnip Truck is proceeding with plans to open its third location.

Turnip Truck owner and founder John Dyke announced the full-service natural grocery store will open at 10 a.m Friday at 5001 Charlotte Ave.

“Two weeks ago, much of the equipment for this store was destroyed by the tornado,” Dyke said in a news release. “With COVID-19 striking on the heels of that, we knew we had to press forward to help feed our neighbors. I’m thrilled to say that – against all odds – we are opening a day earlier than we had originally planned. It won’t be as polished as we had hoped, but it will be open.”

The 15,000-square-foot store will offer produce, groceries, a butcher, bulk foods, beer and wine, supplements, health and beauty items, and a filtered water station, according to a news release. The produce is sourced within 200 miles. In a typical season, 90% or more of Turnip Truck’s produce is organic, but the release notes that this may be affected by “the current situation.” The store also plans to have a hot bar, salad bar, 100% organic juice bar and deli. However, due to coronavirus, the salad and hot bars are currently closed at all Turnip Truck locations.

“This would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of our team and the support of the city of Nashville,” Dyke said in the release. “We are thrilled to have more than 90 local companies represented in our inventory. In addition, we are creating new jobs here for 70 employees.”

In an effort to meet increased demand for groceries throughout the city, Dyke said he’s hired 30 new employees to ensure shelves remain stocked at stores.

Rooftop solar panels will provide 15% of the store’s energy. The store will have recycling stations, and it also won’t use plastic grocery bags, a company policy since 2014.

Dyke, an East Tennessee native, opened the original Turnip Truck Natural Market on Woodland Street in East Nashville in 2001. He later opened a location in the Gulch.

“With the current threat to our health, now’s the time to focus on nutrition and building up our immunity,” Dyke said. “Our team has always been a health partner to our customers, and we are ready and able to help folks find the right products and supplements for their individual need