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Just Ripe is growing our food community by opening a shop for real food, seasonally delicious and locally rooted in Knoxville, TN. Read more

Knoxville, TN Food
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pledged of $12,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on February 13, 2011.

Just Ripe is growing our food community by opening a shop for real food, seasonally delicious and locally rooted in Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville, TN Food
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Just Ripe
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Just Ripe

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About this project

Just Ripe makes good food choices easy. The local food movement has a good foundation in Knoxville, Tennessee and we are proud to be part of the community growing it. Even as we see its strength, we know it is time to reach out, grab a bigger chunk of the community, and invite them to share our table. It's easy – all they have to do is eat lunch, . . . or breakfast, . . . or dinner . . . oh, the possibilities!

We're making the local food movement more accessible in our community by opening a storefront, a brick and mortar venue dedicated to the sale of local and regional foods. A place where people can come any day of the week and participate in their local food system, by buying groceries and prepared foods. They'll see it's easy and delicious to make local foods part of their diet. Without even trying, they can get their hands dirty in the local food movement.

Out of a small 1,200 square foot space in downtown Knoxville, Just Ripe furnishes convenience and community. This storefront builds on relationships fostered through many years of participation in area farmers' markets, food conferences, and food-centered travel in our region. We are fortunate to live in a verdant agricultural area and are choosing to feature the bounty of local and regional products in our storefront. Our shoppers provide demand for these products, and their purchasing supports the work and livelihoods of area farmers and sustains farmlands. We are facilitating the network of a local, sustainable food system.

Just Ripe's outreach to our community of eaters focuses on the positives of promoting a local food system and encourages people to acknowledge and enjoy the food in their lives. We host product tastings, featuring regional farmers, cheesemakers and bakers to connect eaters and food producers. We screen food films and host food book groups. We are creative in promoting engagement, sharing, dialog and excitement about food. Food is a sensory experience and a community experience, and we want to heighten its enjoyment on both levels. We love food and cooking and we love to share it with others.

Just Ripe has an approximate 50/50 split between food-service and retail in our storefront. Grab & Go prepared foods provide quality, convenient food options. Made-to-order meals allow our customers to enjoy simple, delicious, seasonal food in our dining space or to-go. Our retail space provides grocery basics and features local and regional products.

This project costs $160,000, which includes operating capital for our initial operations. We have $129,000, a lease, build-out of the space underway, equipment on order, our product selection and vendors established, and our winter menu planned. We need the support of the Kickstarter community. We still have a lot of money to raise, more than our funding goal asks. So, if we happen to have met our funding goal and you want to contribute, please pledge!

Just Ripe is a worker owned and operated cooperative. We utilize workplace democracy, with the principle of one member, one vote to operate our business. Worker ownership provides a great opportunity to work in a constructive environment where each worker's voice and opinions help shape the business and in which the rewards of the business are returned to the workers. We currently have 5 members and will expand to 10 members when the storefront opens. We are excited to grow this business model in our community. Help us grow!


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  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    84 backers

    assorted cheese and condiment selection for 2 people to enjoy in our shop
    OR a breakfast kit (for shipping) consisting of housemade maple nut granola, housemade fruit preserves from local produce, housemade biscotti

  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    42 backers

    choice from $20 reward level [+] 1 lb of our house blend coffee, locally roasted by Three Bears Coffee Company & an assortment of housemade dark chocolate truffles

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    31 backers

    $60 reward level [+] custom made cutlery wrap, which makes it easy to carry your own reusable cutlery wherever you go & just ripe branded tote bag, to carry anything else you might need

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers

    $100 reward level [+] east tennessee eats (a seasonal calendar of local foods) & Ashley English's book Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    $250 reward level [+] set of 3 hand-painted "boxie" vegetables by our sweet friend and Boxie Pets artist, Rachel B. Travis.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    $500 reward level [+] special southern selection of goodies, including a southern cookbook, ingredients, condiments, and handcrafts characteristic of our particular locale in the southeast OR forfeit all lower rewards and choose to enjoy one family-style dinner for 8 in our storefront created especially for you and your dining companions.

Funding period

- (30 days)