Monday, February 27, 2012

Breaking (Big) News: New Business for Union Avenue: The Tree and Vine

Sign outside Asheville Store (photo from

Here's more big news for Market Square: We are getting a great store called The Tree and Vine which currently has a location in Asheville. The Asheville store sells Olive oil and wine, though the Knoxville store will feature the olive oil, vinegar and wine supplies but will not likely sell the actual vino, presumably due to our arcane restrictions and laws, though I'm not certain that is the case. Also, kitchen supplies are likely to be included in the inventory mix.

According to the owner, the store is going to be located near Tuepelo Honey and, though I'm not clear on the precise location, the lease has been signed and they hope to have the store open in June, which is about the same timetable as Tupelo Honey. They were well aware of the pending opening for Tupelo Honey and one has to wonder if this is a ripple effect from the other restaurant announcing their move. If so, it makes the CBID grant look pretty good

Interior of Asheville Store (photo from

The store focuses on buying the best extra virgin olive oil and vinegar possible from multiple suppliers and they are always searching for better products to present to in their store. Customers are encouraged to taste the different oils when they enter the store and after selecting a favorite oil it is placed in a bottle from the large vats and sealed with a cork and wine bottle-type foil.

Terri and Paul Karlsson, owners try to be environmentally conscious, using recycled paper and offering customers a discount on a next purchase for returning a previously purchased bottle for reuse. The couple have each had successful careers in very different occupations and opened their Asheville store in Biltmore village just last summer.

Terri and Paul Karlsson of The Tree and Vine (photo from

Could it be that we are now only a year behind Asheville in the "cool" department? I'm not so sure about that, but I'm very happy to hear that a new set of products will be offered in downtown Knoxville by a store that seems very much to fit the vibe we are building here.

UPDATE: I'll have more tomorrow from the owners and the developer. Stay tuned!***

Now all they have to decide is whether they will sell Olive Oil to Stacey Campfield. I'll let you know if I get a preliminary read on that one.

Special thanks goes out to reader and very good friend, Marti, who passed along the information for this post. Have a tip? I'd love the chance to be the first to write about it, so pass it on to

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At February 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very good news, indeed! I dreamed of a shop like this being on the Square! Even toyed with the idea of doing it myself ... soo glad they are bringing this to us!!

At February 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM , Anonymous E said...

Neat! Thanks for the heads up.

At February 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM , Blogger MB said...

New Union Shops! Between The Oliver Hotel and The Daylight Building.

At February 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

This is very exciting news! I look forward to seeing what they carry.

At February 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Cindy Ellison said...

A warm Tennessee welcome to The Tree & Vine! This is very exciting news, can't wait to visit the shop.

At February 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

I think many of us will love this new business. I e-mailed with the owner tomorrow and will have more information, but it is clear they love what they do and that always makes a difference.

At February 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I always welcome new business to market square I wonder if this new store will make it in the long run. This store seems awfully specialized and I'm sure it won't be very cheap assuming they are selling high quality products. Is there a large enough market for specialty oil and vinegar in downtown Knoxville? I suppose time will tell.

At February 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Well Anonymous,
I share your welcome and your worries. In this case I'm thinking people who are way into cooking will drive downtown for this place. I doubt there are enough downtown residents to do it all, but I do know that with changes in eating trends, many people who didn't in the past are now cooking with olive oil. I think the idea behind finding another food related store for one of the other slots is so that a critical mass might be achieved with people planning a trip to Just Ripe, The Tree and Vine and what ever is found for other slot. I'm with you - I'm hoping it works.


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