October 23, 2017

WFIR Has the Story on Our 80th!

Celebrating 80 Years

Thank you WFIR for telling our story. And thank you to our customers for helping to keep writing it. 

Listen to it here. And come see us today until 8 pm and tomorrow from 9 am to 8 pm.

We’re Celebrating 80 Years!

Tinnell's Finer Foods

Tinnell’s Finer Foods

What are you doing this weekend? There’s a lot going on the the Roanoke Valley, but you will want to make time to come by Tinnell’s for our 80th Anniversary Celebration. There will be wine and beer tastings (including Deschutes!), samples from some of our vendors. And a gift basket giveaway! The fun is from 9 am to 8 pm on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14.

Tinnell’s was founded by current owner Rett Ward’s grandfather, Buddy Tinnell, the store opened on Marshall Avenue in 1937. The store moved to South Roanoke in the late 1940s. After his death in 1966, his wife, Kitty, ran it until 2000 when Ward bought it from her.

Since then, Ward has brought automation to the checkout and charge accounts. He also increased the store’s wine grocery stores in Roanoke, Va.and craft beer selections. He also moved the store into selling specialty items, with a focus on local products, such as Gunther’s Gourmet, Homestead Creamery and maple syrup from Highland County. In addition, Tinnell’s is known for its iconic ham biscuits and pimento cheese, hand-cut steaks, fresh ground beef, chicken salad and local produce, as well as other prepared foods.

Here’s what’s going on this weekend:

Friday, October 13
10:00 am -2:00 pm: Homestead Creamery
10:00 am -12:00 noon: Red Rooster Coffee
12:00 noon -1:45 pm: Wine tasting by Free Run Wine Merchants
2:00 – 4 pm: Wine tasting by TNT Wines
4:00 – 7:00 pm: Gearhart Chocolates
4:30-7:00 pm: Wine tasting by Solutions

Saturday, October 14
9:30 – 10:30 am: Caramels by Sam
11:00 am -12:45 pm: Wine tasting by International Cellars
12 noon -2:00 pm: Deschutes Brewery will sample Pacific IPA, Fresh Squeezed IPA, Black Butte Porter, seasonal selections
12:00 noon -7:00 pm: Boars Head– meat and cheese tray sampling
1:30 -3:00 pm: Kneadfull Things-cheese wafers and other treats
3:00 -4:00 pm: Dickies Fudge

There also will be cake, fresh-squeezed orange juice and meatballs to sample. A gift basket of Tinnell’s specialty items will be given away.

WHAT?!?!? You’ve Never Tried Tinnell’s Pimento Cheese?

Pimento Cheese

Tinnell’s Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese.  We’ve all had it.  We all love it.  On the face of things, however, it seems to be a pretty simple affair: some cheese, mayo, canned pimentos.  Oh, but think again Dear Reader!  If you have never tried the pimento cheese at Tinnell’s Finer Foods you will not believe the difference!For decades now our pimento cheese has been the number one selling item in the store, and for good reason.  This stuff is DELICIOUS and unlike any you have ever tasted.  Last Christmas alone we shipped orders to Chicago and Manhattan and it is not at all uncommon for out-of-town folks to stop by the store on their way through Roanoke because they remember it from 10 or more years ago!

Tinnell's Finer Foods

Tinnell’s Finer Foods

How did this all start?  Kitty Tinnell – wife of our founder Russell “Buddy” Tinnell (and grandmother of our current owner, Rett Ward) – had a recipe for pimento cheese that was just a little bit different in composition from more traditional formulas but oh, what a difference that little change made (before you ask: no… if we told you we would have to kill you)!  At the time she was attending what was then known as Radford College and decided to start selling the product to help underwrite her tuition.  She ended up entirely putting herself through college with sales of her delectable cheese spread!  Naturally, her devoted husband decided if it it was good enough for Radford… and the rest is history!

Kitty Tinnell

Kitty Tinnell

Get this: last year Tinnell’s sold 6,590 pounds of Pimento cheese.  That is more than 3 TONSof the stuff!!!  These days we make it at least four times a week and produce not only the original recipe but a “Tex-Mex” version as well, to which we add jalepenos.  Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor.  If you are one of the few who don’t yet know the joy of Kitty’s Pimento Cheese swing on by and ask for a sample… it will be a revelation!

Russell "Buddy" Tinnell (on right)

Russell “Buddy” Tinnell (on right)

Smoked Trout Dip at Tinnell’s!

Alright.  Everyone knows that Tinnell’s Finer Foods has a bunch of great prepared specialty foods.  Think ham biscuits, pimento cheese, cheese slaw, country ham… the list goes on and on.  The popularity of the newest addition to our portfolio, however, has surprised even us!  A few weeks ago our Meat and Deli Manager, Daniel Scott, started making Smoked Trout Dip.  On a Tuesday he made a substantial batch.  Wednesday he made twice that much.  Thursday?  You got it: a quadruple batch.  And by Friday he was making twice that!

Tinnell's Meat & Deli Manager Daniel Scott

Daniel - Tinnell's Meat & Deli Manager

We literally cannot keep this stuff in stock.  During a recent Friday evening wine tasting we sampled some out and, without exception, every single person who tried it bought it (even the folks who didn’t want to try it because they “don’t like smoked trout”)!

It’s really pretty straightforward.  Daniel starts with Duck Trap Smoked Trout.  Duck Trap is fantastic product naturally smoked in Maine using no artificial preservatives or ingredients.  He then adds some lemon, scallions, cream cheese, sour cream, etcetera and the end result is sublime!  In texture, it has a mouthfeel more akin to a mousse than that of a dip.  It is light and refreshing and the trout is prevalent but does not overwhelm.

Do yourself a favor:  the next time you are in Tinnell’s go to the meat counter and ask Daniel for a sample… you will not be disappointed!