Keeping it Local


Photo by Sarah Cochran

Photo by Sarah Cochran

Whether it be fresh, local produce or one of the largest varieties of craft beer and local wine in Lumpkin County, the Tomato House has it all. This classic country grocery has been drawing in both locals and tourists for over three decades.

Dahlonega local, Jeffrey Grindle, has been in the grocery and wholesale produce business his whole life. He started the Tomato House about 31 years ago as an open air produce stand that sold jams, jellies and of course tomatoes. It was only about five years ago that the grocery part of the Tomato House expanded into its main location with the gift shop.

“The day that Jeff got in the car and moved from the old location to here…but when he moved down here everything just came together. It made a lot of difference in everything,” says Angie Grindle, Jeff Grindle’s wife.

The gift shop connected to the grocery was added 12 years ago and carries a wide variety of different items. Mrs. Grindle operates the gift shop and makes all the fudge in house. There is also a large garden section connected to the store that is almost as large as the store itself. 

Photo by Sarah Cochran

One of those most distinguishing features of the Tomato House is their cheap prices and high quality items. Grindle tries to keep local items in store as much as he can, but it must be up to their standard of quality. A couple of times a week Grindle drives to Atlanta to purchase wholesale produce. This cuts out the middleman, thus reducing the price. “We didn’t want to be like Walmart. We try to do things differently than they do,” says Grindle. This keeps a continuous rotation of different seasonal produce and other food items. 

“To really be successful with what we do, you got to be here seven days a week,” says Grindle. The Tomato House is located at 22 Stephens Circle, Murrayville, Georgia and is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday with the exceptions of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.