The Truck Patch Wants Better Food For All

By Destini Lattimore
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO, Ark. — Eat real food. Since 2010, The Truck Patch’s mission has been to deliver clean, quality food to the residents of Arkansas.

Co-owner Sarah Adler started The Truck Patch, a natural food grocery store, with her husband, opening their first store in Mountain Home. The Jonesboro location opened in October 2015 on Southwest Drive.

Adler said natural foods have become a passion for her family. Her husband handles the business aspect of the store, while she is often seen in the store interacting with employees and customers.

Jasmine Jacobs spends her time working the cash register and assisting customers throughout the rest of the store. Jacobs, a new employee at The Truck Patch, said she has enjoyed her time there so far. (photo by Destini Lattimore)

“Our hope is that we offer better quality, cleaner food that you can’t find anywhere else,” Adler said. “And I know we pull that off.”

Adler also said the store focuses on offering clean ingredients. They do not sell any food items that contain high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial flavors or colors.

“I want customers to have an experience where they can come in and shop with ease, knowing that we won’t ever let that kind of stuff in the products,” she said.

She also noted a number of health issues are related to the processed foods consumed each day.

“If you look at how our food has changed over the last 50 to 60 years, I mean, now we all eat processed, unidentifiable foods,” Adler said.

Though other grocery stores like Walmart and Kroger offer some natural foods, they are often mixed in with various other products. so customers must search for the healthier options.

The Adlers noticed Jonesboro lacked a natural food store. Residents drove to Memphis to shop at the nearest Whole Foods or traveled to Mountain Home to shop at the original Truck Patch location. The healthy options offered at The Truck Patch were virtually unavailable to Jonesboro residents.

“It seemed a little ridiculous for a town this size to not have those options,” she said. “We just really felt like the need was there.”

The Adler’s wanted to ensure Jonesboro citizens had easy access to cleaner sources of food without the stress of having to search through larger grocery stores.

The Truck Patch offers a variety of features to attract and maintain its consumers. They have a loyalty program available that allows customers to earn 2 percent back on all purchases.

Their store also offers monthly sales that feature about 200 items each month, along with various coupons that are available. Adler said she knows this helps customers be more cost effective while shopping at the store.

“We honor coupons from manufacturers. So if someone wants to be a fairly savvy shopper, they can really shop this way and still get their money’s worth,” Adler said. “You do have to be smart about it.”

Adler advised following specific sales, using coupons and utilizing the store’s bulk section to stretch your dollar while shopping.

Another unique feature offered at The Truck Patch is its café housed at the back of the store. The Stem and Spoon offers a variety of juices, smoothies, sandwiches and many other items. Customers can also use a salad bar.

“The café is a big thing for us as far as growth and possibility. It’s been doing really well,” Adler said.

Customers enjoy the delicious and fresh options available at the Stem and Spoon café inside The Truck Patch grocery store. The café features a Grab’N’Go section, a salad bar and various smoothie and juice options. (photo by Destini Lattimore)

The Stem and Spoon also features a “Grab’N’Go” section.

“I go every few weeks,” A-State student Emily Moran of Sherwood said. “It’s close to work, so I go for a sandwich on my lunch break.”

The Truck Patch may also be the ideal destination for Jonesboro residents with restrictive diets and food intolerances or allergies.

“I enjoy shopping at The Truck Patch because it has some of the best things nature can offer,” Arnelle Jones of Osceola said. “Likewise, it has more foods and products for more morally conscious individuals, such as vegans and vegetarians.”

Although it may be easy to make assumptions about the “typical Truck Patch” customer, Adler said there really isn’t one.

“(Our customers) are really across the board. You know, you would assume sometimes it would be a more affluent customer, but some of our best customers pay with EBT,” she said.

The same goes for employees, as well. Adler said the Truck Patch hires anyone from high school students to retirees.

“Organic is something we should get back to because you don’t have to worry about all the unhealthy stuff in foods,” employee Jasmine Jacobs said. “It’s good to eat as natural as you can.”

As the company enters its seventh year in existence, Adler said there are still a number of goals they’d like to reach.

“We just want to keep growing and help people find their health by just learning that eating cleaner food is such a key to living healthier and longer,” she said.

Adler said they plan on expanding the options offered in the Stem and Spoon Café, and will do what they can to remain above the competition when it comes to customer service. The Truck Patch employees are available throughout a customer’s shopping experience and will walk around the store to assist customers with finding products that best fit their needs.

She also said the store will continue to support the community by selling locally grown products.

As The Truck Patch continues to grow, the Adler family hopes to help the Jonesboro community develop a new, healthy lifestyle.