The Turnip Truck is one of our favorite places around town for so many reasons - breakfast, lunch, dinner, juice, groceries, supplements, environmentally healthy cleaning supplies, advice... anything you need!
Owner, John Dyke, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Turnip Truck for us! Thanks John!
How did the Turnip Truck get started?
I've lived in East Nashville for 23 years now. Before I opened the first Turnip Truck 13 years ago, I used to drive over to the old Sunshine Grocery that was located on Belmont. Visiting their store, I would constantly run into my neighbors who also enjoyed the lifestyle of a local natural foods store and I realized there was a real need for this in East Nashville. My childhood on a farm was also a guiding force in wanting to work with local farmers. In the beginning, Delvin Farms was our first certified organic farmer. The summer before the store opened, Hank and Cindy's son, Eric, and his wife Rain would set up a small local organic farm stand in East Nashville on 12th & Fatherland. With the love of sourcing food local, my passion expanded to include organic produce and foods.
What's your favorite item that can be found at the Turnip Truck?
Anything that is certified organic and locally grown.
The Turnip Truck West has an amazing hot bar... what's your secret!?
We start out each day with fresh ingredients and prepare all items from scratch each day! We have a great team with great ideas.
Speaking of, will you ever add one to Turnip Truck East?
We sure hope to in the very near future.
Turnip Truck vs. Whole Foods. Discuss.
The Turnip Truck has a great respect for Whole Foods for bringing such a large audience to the awareness of fresh, natural organic, and local foods.
What would you say is the key to a healthy life?
Understanding that food is the fuel for energy and life. Making the best choices in food will help with overall quality of life. Exercising your mind and your body. Slowing down and being patient. Treating others like you want to be treated.
To supplement or not to supplement.
There can be great benefits to adding supplements to your diet. I share this with my staff at all times- when a person comes in for the first time, supplements could be the greatest benefit for them at the moment. But then adopt the approach that the best way to get the benefit of minerals, nutrients, and enzymes is from the fresh natural organic food that we sell. As I say, supplements are to supplement what we are not getting from our food. It also depends on the person, their quality of life, and their personal needs. Each person's body is different. We try to understand what is happening with them and suggest a plan to help them achieve total success. Our juice bar is one of the best ways to get vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in a fresh healthy form that is easily absorbed and digested in the body. If you tried to eat the amount of produce that one juice has, it would not be possible at one meal. We use 100% organic produce on our juice bars when it is available and local produce when it is in season. (At times when it is not available, we will use non-organic and let the customer know.)
You guys have some great local products. How do you find them?
From day one, we have been out having conversations in the community. We are always looking for new local products and have been very fortunate that some find us before we find them. It is always exciting when we find a new local producer. On the produce side, we only focus on farmers that have been certified organic with the USDA. It is a true validation that the food is grown in accordance with guidelines and that the one main focus today is that the seeds have to be truly non-GMO seeds. Ever since we opened, certified organic is very critical for us and the true main focus today is having products that are non-GMO. Seeds that have not been changed from their true form.
When you're not at the Turnip Truck, what are you doing?
Recently I purchased a small farm in Lynnville, TN and enjoy spending the weekends on the land and this season, I am doing some personal organic produce farming.
What are some of your favorite healthy local eateries?
I love and prefer any that have a focus on local foods that are in season. In the East - Café Margot and March'e buy local when in season. Silly goose does a great job on local and fresh. Sloco on 12th is wonderful. Silo in Germantown... Of course my all time favorite is the Turnip Truck. My first grab in the store is a fresh juice made from our juice bar.
So if you're looking for a great bite to eat or just need some friendly advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, you can check out the Turnip Truck on their website, follow them on Twitter (East) or Twitter (Gulch), say hello on Facebook. Or just stop by a store! They'd love to say hello!