Gainesville’s one-stop shop for locally sourced meats, produce, small-batch wines and other specialty grocery items is officially open for business.
As of Aug. 1, Grubs Market’s shelves are stocked with foodstuffs that are hard to come by at the run-of-the-mill box store.
“We started first and foremost as a butcher shop, but we’re way more than that,” the market’s co-owner and chief mastermind Daniel Stribling said.
From quiche and cinnamon rolls from Grubs’ resident bakery The Colored Egg to sandwiches, salads and pasta salads made in-house daily, custom cuts of beef and take-and-bake entrees, the market covers all the mealtime bases, right down to dessert, like safe-to-eat cookie dough sourced from Alumni Cookie Dough in Athens.
According to Stribling’s business partner and brother-in-law Robert Turner, Grubs is “working diligently” to partner with more North Georgia farmers to add “more local flavor and flair” to the market’s meat selection of chicken, beef and pork.
Right now, the offerings come from different pockets of the Southeast, including Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Kentucky.
For custom cuts, patrons can count on butcher Jarrett Ashley. Those who call ahead with their orders can arrive to find their meats cut, packaged and ready to go home and get on the grill. Ashley’s services also span to smoked ribs and pre-marinated meats.
For folks who live life on the go, the ready-made items at Grubs pose a quick, healthy alternative to the drive-thru.
“Grab-and-go doesn’t have to be fast food,” Stribling said. “It can be healthy and good, with minimal effort from the consumer.”
Although customers do have to get out of their car to fill their baskets with food and drink, they can expect to spend a minimal amount of time standing in line, as efficiency is also part of the Grubs clientele experience.
“If you’re waiting in line for a minute, that’s too long for us,” Stribling said. “We try to be as quick as possible.”
Grubs’ proximity to Solis Gainesville and the downtown square is garnering a good deal of foot traffic, but the market has been a popular destination for folks traveling from as far as Atlanta, Dawsonville, Commerce, Athens and north of Lumpkin County to see what all the fuss is about.
“To hear people say, ‘We’ve been waiting for this, this is exactly what Gainesville’s wanted,’ that’s really made (Stribling) and I feel resolved a little bit,” Turner said. “You start a business and you’re always wondering, ‘Is it going to work?’ The amount of support and the amount of people that are coming from Gainesville proper has been incredible, but also the amount of people coming from all these other counties around us to check us out, has been incredible. It’s not surprising that the community’s supporting us, but it’s surprising that it’s not just our micro community; it’s the entire Northeast (Georgia) region.”
Grab-and-go deli items like the house-made pimento cheese and ham, apple and Brie sandwich disappear almost as soon as they’re made, Stribling said, “so we’re trying to double it every day and see where we wind up.”
“We can’t keep things on the shelf, which is a good problem to have,” Turner added. “We’re really trying to dial in our inventory so we can ensure that it’s always here.”
For Stribling, introducing his hometown to a farm-to-table market like Grubs has been the ultimate dream for 15 years, and its fruition runs the gamut of emotions.
“Exhausted, excited, starting your own business is also nerve-wracking, as anybody who’s done that knows,” he said. “But mostly, we’re excited; we’re excited about the feedback and we’re looking to grow. We’ve got a lot more that we want to do and we’re going to start doing once we get into a great rhythm. The customer support’s been overwhelming. I guess I’m a little bit surprised, but not really — Gainesville’s a great place to live and I’ve always known that.”
As Grubs settles into a fine-tuned rhythm with adequate staffing, the owners aim to “move the needle a little further,” turning their attention toward forecasting what customers will want and getting those items onto the shelves.
“We really want to become a one-stop shop for local, good, healthy food choices — and unique choices,” Turner said. “We don’t want to become this extravagant place only catered to one group of people. We want to cater to everyone.”
As a result of customer feedback, Grubs houses gluten-free and vegan options as well.
“If community members want something that they don’t have in their local stores, (Stribling) and I want to know about it so we can offer it to them,” Turner said. “We really want this to be a community-focused business where we hear the needs, we respond to the needs, we bring you what you asked for. We really want to solidify that we’re here for the community.”
Grubs Market is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.For more information on the market and its offerings, visit grubsmarket.com.