Turnip Truck, a Nashville-based natural foods store whose reputation for quality prepared foods is helping extend its reach beyond core natural shoppers, was one of four natural food merchants honored as Retailers of the Year by New Hope Network at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore Friday.
New Hope, publisher of Natural Foods Merchandiser, is a sister brand of SN and operator of Expo East.
Turnip Truck, which operates two Nashville stores, took home top honors in the Innovation category, said New Hope, which also cited the chain's focus on Millennial shoppers and its investments in local suppliers.
Other winners were Native Sun Natural Foods Market (New Store); Nature's Food Patch (Community Engagement) and Alameda Natural Grocery (Sustainability).
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Native Sun won top honors for its newest store in Jacksonville Beach, which opened a year ago with a neighborhood-focused grocery concept in mind.
Nature's Food Patch, Clearwater, Fla. received the nod for Community Engagement for its programs supporting wellness including a series of free classes in its Patchworks Community Room and for its donations to local charities.
Alameda Natural Grocery, San Francisco, earned sustainability honors for its work to convert an abandoned car dealership into a thriving 20,000-square-foot natural food store and related "green marketplace," with nine tenants, New Hope said. The store and tenants in the marketplace, including a wine and cheese shop, coffee shop, bakery and sushi restaurant, contribute to a fund that ensures use of zero-emission solar and wind power.