When it opened in 1978, enthusiasts raved about Gourmet’s Market’s selection of hard-to-find cheeses, meats, coffees, teas, and cooking utensils. In recent years, the restaurant has grown an even larger following of customers who enjoy the restaurant’s creative cuisine.
Founded by Richard and Barbara Strehlow and managed for years by their son Eric Nelson, Gourmet’s Market established a reputation as an eclectic gathering spot for coffee and conversation, a light snack or a full-blown meal. Nelson emphasized Gourmet’s Market’s casual atmosphere and locally-grown natural ingredients that attracted college students, business people, and families from all parts of East Tennessee.
About the Chef
In October 2015, an investment group lead by Chef Holly Hambright purchased Gourmet’s Market. Holly, a well-known and respected local chef, has a long history with Gourmet’s Market. Beginning as a pastry chef, Holly cooked at fine establishments around the country before, in 2000, returning to Knoxville. Here, she began work at Gourmet’s Market and quickly gained a reputation for flavor-filled foods that tempted taste buds from miles around. As that reputation grew, Holly began her own catering business, Holly’s Eventful Dining, that quickly expanded into offering lunch and weekend dinner service at her Homberg location. From that success, Holly eventually opened Holly’s Corner and Holly’s 135.
“I am so happy to be returning to my Knoxville roots at Gourmet’s Market and Cafe,” Holly said. “While many of my original dishes remain on the menu to this day, we will focus on tweaking and adding new and exciting dishes and services including expanding our catering offering and the new Home Replacement Meal (HMR) services for those that would like to have ready-to-heat meals in their own home. I can’t thank the people Knoxville enough for giving me to opportunity to serve them!”
A Knoxville Institution Continues
Along with the expanded dining room, Gourmet’s Market added group seating to accommodate larger groups and business meetings and additional changes are in store.
In October 2015, the Knoxville Mercury‘s readers poll, Top Knox, awarded Holly the following!