Grocery store offers all-natural foods

By Melissa A. Palumbo
Delta Digital News Service

MOUNTAIN HOME – Local grocery store Truck Patch offers bulk foods and spices, all-natural beauty products and plant-based meals. 

Named after small farmers’ markets from the 1800s, the Truck Patch grocery store opened May 23, 2010 in Mountain Home. From there, the store added a larger Jonesboro location.

“We don’t currently have plans for another location, but we’re always open to expand,” said Mountain Home Manager Virginia Embry. 

Truck Patch sells ingredients by bulk, allowing customers to bring their own reusable jars, bags and containers with which to shop. 

Tori Forkum, assistant manager at the Truck Patch Jonesboro, said they tare the container before the customer shops. 

“You can bring your own jar and we weigh it,” she said. “Then we take the weight of the container off the final price.”

Many ingredients cost less to to buy in bulk than in individually packaged portions, such as spices and grains.

Olivia Simpson, an employee who works in the kitchen at the Jonesboro location, suggests reusable glass bottles and jars to cut back on waste.

“Buy bulk and ditch plastic,” she said. “Use glass whenever you can.”

The store carries plastic-free, plant-based and biodegradable household products. Products made from plants have a lower environmental impact than hard plastics made from oil, and paper packaging decomposes much faster than plastic wrapping. 

They also sell pet products, like biodegradable doggie bags, organic treats and food.

Truck Patch focuses not only on reducing plastic packaging, but also increasing healthy eating. Employees at Truck Patch help customers find ingredients to suit any diet, from vegan to paleo. They also help those with allergies, diabetes and other health needs find appropriate meals.

“Our staff is well versed in different diets, and we are more than happy to help,” Embry said.

Camron Collins began working at Truck Patch as a cashier about four months ago. He said he was drawn to his job because of his interest in health-conscious eating and reducing environmental impact.
“When we started damaging our environment, it was fast,” he said. “We’re starting to revert that now. It took a lifetime to realize it, but we’re a force.”

Truck Patch strives for zero-waste within the business and community, according to Embry. Because of the large population of farmers in the area, the Mountain Home location established a composting system. 

“We are considerably smaller than the Jonesboro location, but we do pack a big punch,” Embry said. 

The Truck Patch Jonesboro plans to carry composting supplies in the future.

When the Jonesboro location opened in 2015, the Stem and Spoon Cafe was added within the store. The cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, sides and drinks. All the ingredients Truck Patch uses stay organic and hormone-free.

“We use ingredients from the store,” Forkum said. “The kitchen workers will ‘grocery shop’ for the cafe.”

To avoid waste, fruits and vegetables that aren’t as pretty as the rest are turned into smoothies. Food that doesn’t sell is often given to employees.

“We don’t throw anything away,” Embry said. 

Editor’s Note: Photos by Melissa Palumbo.