John Dyke, and his locally owned grocery chain, The Turnip Truck, has been part of the Nashville community for years, focusing on bringing organic and natural foods to our neighborhoods. His passion derives from growing up on a farm and being nourished by his family’s own land. The Turnip Truck is not just a place to buy food: it’s a place that is building community, feeding the body as well as the soul. Walk into any Turnip Truck location and you will find a variety of foods, as well as of people.

Whether it's getting people back to enjoying food or introducing someone to a new food they may have never tried, The Turnip Truck seeks to engage people with food by offering a plethora of ways to excite your senses.  John feels that some have lost the sense of how wonderful food is and where it comes from.

Soon, you'll be able to experience this vibrant food community feeling in a new way East Nashville as the Five Points location moves to a much expanded Woodland Street facility. John's vision for how to build a community around food, it seems, is never ending. The new Turnip Truck will be a place not only to shop, but also to learn about cooking, gather as a community, eat in the restaurant that will overlook the store and much, much more. This store is going to be so much more than just a place to buy food.  People connect with each other every day over food and what better way to do that than with locally grown products that help you give back to the community you belong to?

John feels that being part of both the Nashville community at large and its LGBT community is important. His biggest contribution to the LGBT community is in being who he is, living as an open gay person, showing who he is and using the gifts he was given to serve his community. Those ideals are all very evident when he speaks about his passion, The Turnip Truck.

"What am I giving back to my community?" John pondered out loud. After a brief moment, he continued, "Growing the Nashville community, having pride in our land and the people around us… Everything goes back to the community." Those attributes are the founding principles he has used to grow his ideas into a reality.

John and his team want to keep developing the community in Nashville, providing healthy, nutritious options for food. But ultimately, by building an amazing team, he hopes he can step back and focus on the land, possibly helping build some new community farms in the area. He sees others, also, that have this vision and passion, and he hopes that, as he moves forward, he will be able to help those that want to give back, wanting to farm and to learn to use their gifts to help others.

The team that John hopes will make all this possible is coming together nicely. This summer John has added two new members, Kim Tozke and Adam Williams. Tozke will be the Chief Operations Officer and Williams will be the Chief Financial Officer. These two have a long history of culinary experience, both having served their current roles at Provence. Their skills will not only allow the stores to thrive, but open up the way for John to expand his vision of building a great Nashville community at the ever growing table he has so lovingly crafted. So be ready come early Fall to join in the community that is ever growing at The Turnip Truck’s new location in East Nashville.




This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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