February 19, 2018

About Us

Gourmet Meats, Foods and Wines in Roanoke, VA

We take our Vision Statement seriously: To become the Standard for Quality and Service. Our customers are the measure of our success and we appreciate your business.

At Tinnell’s Finer Foods, fresh meats, produce, and deli items are what we do all day. From our freshly-prepared ham biscuits and talk-of-the-town pimento cheese to our superb selection of new and unique wines and beers, you can count on quality and excellence in every aspect of your shopping experience with us. We are proud to feature many made-in-Virginia products.

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Tinnell’s History

A long-time landmark of Roanoke, Virginia — celebrating 80 years in 2017 — Tinnell’s Finer Foods has built a reputation on unique products and excellent customer service. Our history speaks of the innovative people and family commitment to quality which have remained at the heart of our business over the years.

Tinnell’s Finer Foods started in the early 1930’s, when Russell “Buddy” Tinnell moved from selling groceries and produce with his father at C.R. Tinnell’s on Tazewell Avenue, and then with his in-laws, to his own store on Marshall Avenue. His first store was financed by the sale of the family automobile. At one point in its history, during the heyday of the American Viscose factory, Tinnell’s started to get a reputation with the factory workers as a good place to get sandwiches and groceries.

In the early 1940’s, Tinnell’s moved to Crystal Spring Avenue in South Roanoke, first to the building that now houses Stedman House Interior Design and Martinique Gifts, and during the early 1950’s, to the present location, 2205 Crystal Spring Avenue.

Buddy Tinnell became known across the state as a grocery innovator, and he served as President of the Virginia Grocers Association, the Virginia Retail Food Dealers Association, and the Asparagus Club, a national grocers association. He was involved in both the Optimist Club and the Roanoke Better Business Bureau, and many other civic pursuits. He owned the first machine to barbecue chickens in the state (known today as a rotisserie). Buddy loved serving his customers and finding new products and ways to serve them. Tinnell’s became well-known for cooked Smithfield hams, steaks, pimento cheese, and ham salad and unique and hard to find items (chocolate covered grasshoppers and ants in the 1950’s!). Charge accounts and personal delivery service were hallmarks of Tinnell’s emphasis on customer service.

When Buddy Tinnell died in 1966, Buddy Ford, a long-term employee, began to manage the store with Kitty Tinnell, and eventually became a part owner in the business with Kitty. Buddy Ford remained the manager of the store until Fall, 2000, when the store was purchased by Everett “Rett” Ward, grandson of Buddy Tinnell and Kitty Tinnell Marechal.

Rett has worked to continue the excellent service for customers that has been Tinnell’s reputation. During the past few years, Tinnell’s has become well-known for sales of fine wines, including many hard-to-find highly rated and reasonably priced selections, Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses, cooked or ready to cook meals and more extensive produce. Tinnell’s Finer Foods has always been known for the neighborhood atmosphere, high-quality products, and convenience that continue to make it a special place to shop for its loyal customers, and newcomers alike.