Here’s a little help for those of you who are wondering exactly what it is we do these days at Just Ripe. We did a fairly major re-working of the store this past Spring and we want to paint a picture of what we do now. Even if you come into the store regularly, you may not have picked up on all the details. We’ll start with the basics and then elaborate. We call ourselves a food shop. We sell grocery products and we also offer many housemade foods.
We are open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-3pm. Closed on Sundays. Any time we are open, you can get a variety of made-to-order drinks, creative grab & go deli foods, our scratch-made baked goods, and hot biscuits in any of three daily “biscuit sandwich” combinations or plain or with housemade preserves. We have also started serving housemade soup with cornbread now that fall has arrived.
In our grocery, you can pick up basics and specialty items. Our selection is predominantly focused on products made in the South. Some of these are everyday foods, such as Cruze Farm milk, Flour Head Bakery breads, Sweetwater Valley Farm cheeses, Dreaming Cow Creamery yogurts, Smokey Ridge Apiary honey, Three Bears Coffee Co beans, Tito’s hummus, and Roots & Branches crackers. Some of these are specialty foods – items you might want to serve as snacks when hosting a party or offering as gifts to friends and family, such as Southern artisan cheeses, cured salamis, small-batch tonic and grenadine, deliciously creative preserves, pickles, and chow chow. A few products in our selection reach beyond the Southeast, some in the specialty category such as Lucques Olives from France, and some in the basics category such as chicken broth, canned tomatoes, and bulk herbs & spices. We offer a small but useful selection of bulk foods as well, including brown rice, quinoa, black beans, pecans, flour, and sugar, to name a few. We also have a small produce selection, featuring local and organic options, including basics such as bananas, apples, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, and garlic, with additional options dependent upon the season.
In our housemade items, we strive to offer foods in keeping with the seasons as well as a few standards. Every day in our Grab & Go Cooler, we offer our pimento cheese, chickpea salad, and sandwiches made from each with fresh lettuce on our housemade bread. We also offer a seasonal Grab & Go sandwich. Every day we offer our kale salad, curry quinoa salad, and a green salad. We offer 4 juices and 4 smoothies. 3 juices and 3 smoothies are standard options and the 4th of each is a seasonal selection. We just finished up our summer smoothie and juice options and we are contemplating our seasonal selections for the fall. We offer a seasonal quiche option and a seasonal vegetable tart option. We offer two seasonal pie options and assorted baked good standards, such as cookies, scones, and muffins. We use local produce in our housemade foods whenever we can get it and we try not to use foods out of season if they are grown locally by area farmers (meaning, we don’t use strawberries and asparagus in December, for example). We brew Three Bears coffee in house, serve their cold-brew coffee, and use Cruze Farm milk in our espresso drinks. We serve Charleston Tea Plantation hot teas (as far as we know, this is the only tea commercially grown in America). We utilize local and regional foods as much as we can. We believe it is important to support small, local producers, and we also know that it is delicious.
In addition to our housemade foods, we have quite a variety of other ready-to-eat foods that suit the needs of travelers, downtown workers and residents. These are quality snack foods and sometimes are just what you need on a day in downtown Knoxville. Options include fresh fruit, single serve yogurts, nuts, beef jerky, dried fruits, trail mixes, chips, crackers, cheeses, olives, hummus, and bottled beverages.
We offer Pick-up Catering, predominantly for meetings or friend and family gatherings, and you can find our menu on our website. Currently, the options are focused on breakfast and dessert foods. We can do platters for cocktail hour snacking, such as cheese platters also, though they are not represented on the current catering menu. Contact us for details. We also have a small gathering area in our store, appropriate for groups of 6-8 people, which may be reserved for meetings or gatherings, with minimum food purchase.
It’s nice to meet you again. We look forward to seeing you in the store. Thank you for reading.