The Store community empowers and dignifies individuals and families who are seeking self-sufficiency by providing choices for healthy food.
The Store is inspired by Unity Shoppe, located in Santa Barbara, California. Unity Shoppe has been helping families in the community for more than 100 years. Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley first visited Unity Shoppe with their sons. “We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need,” says Paisley. “And we came away surprised by what the organization had taught us. Most people don’t want handouts. They want dignity and respect. Most people want to become self-sufficient.” They were so inspired by the way Unity Shoppe empowers people, including volunteers, that they wanted to expand on that model here in Nashville. The Store is its own unique spin on a free grocery store that offers a healthy food shopping experience.
What We Do
The Store will operate as a year-round free grocery store allowing people to shop for their basic needs. Clients are given the opportunity to come to The Store for a one-year period. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency.
A philosophy of community empowerment means we aim to solve hunger issues in our community by developing programs to meet the needs of the community, including partnering with other organizations on issues of food security. We believe in cooperation and collaboration between organizations to better serve the population. Over time, we plan to develop additional supplemental services beyond the grocery store, such as job training, cooking and nutrition classes.
How We Do It
The Store is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit referral-based program that will offer a variety of foods that will help individuals strive for healthier lives through choice, dignity and sustainability. The Store does not, and shall not, discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
Our goal is to serve at least 3,000 people a year.
We are pleased to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and others in providing a variety of products both perishable and nonperishable. We can operate as a free grocery store because of the donations we receive from individuals and corporations. All the food in The Store will follow guidelines set for us by dieticians from Second Harvest Food Bank.
In doing their own shopping, our guests not only have a sense of dignity, but also a higher satisfaction with the food they are able to choose.
We will offer donated food, as well as purchased, deeply discounted food from Second Harvest Food Bank and other sources.
We are also thrilled to offer a private line of specialty body care products in collaboration with Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN.
Board of Trustees
- Brad Paisley, President
- Megan Zarling, Chair
- Peter Fisher, Vice-Chair
- Doug Paisley, Secretary
- Elaine Bryan, Treasurer
- Jaynee Day
- Becca Stevens
- Hope Fisher
- Olivia Munn
- Michael Stagg
- John Zarling
- Kimberly Williams-Paisley
- David Minnigan
- Scott Scovill
- John Schario
- Sarah Cates
- Dawana Wade
- Gina Hancock, Executive Director