Hello Friends! We are excited to let you know about the future of Just Ripe. Our founders, Charlotte Tolley and Kristen Faerber, decided they didn’t want to be business owners any longer. Rather than closing the business, they set out to find someone to buy Just Ripe so that it would continue to exist for our community. They found just the right buyers – Century Agricultural Products. Century Agricultural Products has already brought Century Harvest Farm and Hoof Truck to the local food scene in Knoxville. In the coming months, they will be expanding their role by introducing a line of foods manufactured in their on-farm commercial kitchen and an online marketplace which will make buying local food even more convenient! Just Ripe will be a retail component for their larger work in the local food system and will feature many of the foods they manufacture in their on-farm kitchen. Expect to find many of your favorite Just Ripe products and a lot of new ideas, energy, and offerings as they adapt the store to fit their business concept. It’s possible that this website may not accurately reflect business operations as these changes get implemented, so be sure to ask questions of the staff in person or over the phone if you need any information clarified. Here we just wanted to share a few words to introduce you to them. Expect to hear more from the new owners in the future! And here is a lovely article that was written about the sale of the business. We are so thankful for your support over these past years and are excited for the future of Just Ripe!

http://insideofknoxville.com/2015/01/just-ripe-sold-to-century-harvest-farms/

 

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.

Need something special but easy for a morning meeting, breakfast with friends and family, or a great dessert for an evening meal? We are now offering several options to make your life easier and your events more successful and memorable. Any occasion can be improved by delicious food!

Start your morning meetings off right with a selection of housemade baked goods, biscuit platters, vegetable quiches, granola parfaits, or coffee service.  Combine different offerings to meet your needs.  For dessert, we offer a variety of pies and sweets that are perfect for any gathering.

Our baked goods are made with organic and/or local ingredients, like Organic Valley butter, Cruze Farm buttermilk, organic cane sugar, and organic unbleached flour.  We make everything in-house from scratch so you know you are getting high quality products made fresh just for you.  Visit the pick-up catering tab on our website for details, and let us know how we can make your next gathering a delicious one!

In May, we will celebrate two years open in our tiny food shop in the Daylight Building. We dreamed big and started a complex retail & food-service business to meet lots of needs for Downtown residents and workers, as well as to fulfill our excitement and passion for food. In these two years, we have learned much about our strengths and limitations, our customers’ expectations and joys, and how things change over time. Now it is time for us to refine our efforts, to emphasize the foods and processes which bring us joy, and to share them with the public in new ways.

Just Ripe is being re-invented.

We will briefly close the shop in order to make some changes to our layout, our product selection, and our services to our customers. Our last day as Just Ripe as currently known will be Saturday, April 20. We will be closed starting Sunday, April 21 to execute our re-invention. We anticipate re-opening on Tuesday, April 30.

Expect to find a new food shop and re-kindled passions for what drove us to open Just Ripe in the first place, with a more measured approach to sustaining our small business.

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New business hours will be:
Tuesday-Friday 8am-6pm | Saturday 8am-3pm | Closed Sunday & Monday

In refining our focus, our shop will emphasize the following:
Southern Specialty Foods, Handmade Baked Goods, Fresh Juices & Smoothies, Quality Snacks

We will highlight the Southern Specialty Foods (which are small-batch, artisanal products made throughout the South) currently in our shop and expand our selection to include new producers, offering increased opportunities for customers to sample these delicious provisions.

We will expand our House-made Baked Goods selection, to include a much wider variety of breakfast-y baked goods and sweet treats, including pie! Seasonal options of savory meal-appropriate products, such as quiches & tarts, will also be available for customers’ meal-time needs. We will feature a rotating selection of other meal-appropriate baked goods, as well, in a convenient Buy & Go format. An example of this is a pimento cheese biscuit sandwich, which will be already assembled for purchase.

We’ll be offering an expanded menu of Fresh Juices & Smoothies. We love to offer the convenient healthfulness that juices and smoothies provide our customers.

Quality Snacks in our food shop, such as fresh fruit, yogurt, trail mixes, dried fruit & nuts, crackers & chips, sweet treats, and bottled drinks, will continue to be a convenient resource for a quick bite for Downtown workers and residents.

We’ll also have an exciting new service! We will offer a menu of Pick-up Catering options. The menu will feature house-made baked goods for platters or buffets and our Southern cheeses with food pairings for snacking and entertaining. Our Pick-up Catering menu will offer perfect options for morning business meetings, conferences, or brunch with friends and family. The cheese platters will offer the chance to enjoy unique Southern cheeses and products with friends, and are a successful and effortless solution for any host.

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Wondering about our other housemade foods? This part is important – please read.

We will no longer offer meals made-to-order. We have faced many logistical challenges in our food service. We did not envision that our food offerings and dining area would cause our customers to perceive us as a restaurant (which seems a bit daft, in retrospect) and we were unprepared for the demand for meal service. Our space is not outfitted as a restaurant would be, and we are lacking much of the equipment a restaurant or cafe requires for efficiency of use (we do not have a stove, for example). We are pleased that our customers have enjoyed having meals here so much, and we are sorry to disappoint them. As demand has grown, the limitations of our set-up to serving growing numbers of customers have become obvious. As it was never our intention to run a restaurant, we have decided to make changes to our services, rather than figure out how to become a restaurant through making expensive changes to our facility. This means there will be no more burritos, hot sandwiches, build-a-biscuit menu, breakfast biscuit, dixie biscuit, deli salads, or soup. We will continue to make Kale Salad and Pimento Cheese (our no-cook deli items), which will be packaged as Grab & Go options.

Good News & Great Savings!

This week, you can come in and get all your favorite menu items. We’re also running clearance sales on products we won’t have in the new shop. There are deep discounts (50% off!) on lots of pantry items such as molasses, vinegar, and curry paste. There are lesser discounts on a multitude of items throughout the store. Just look for the colored dot stickers to find the savings.

We appreciate your support, patronage, and understanding. We’d never have made it this far without you, and we hope you trust in us to build a delicious future for Just Ripe.

With Gratitude,
Kristen & Charlotte