OUTSTANDING STUDENT RECEIVES FIRST A. MARSHALL FAMILY FOODS SCHOLARSHIP

Exciting news, y’all! Madison Suit, a rising college freshman from Sevierville, Tenn., has been named the first-ever recipient of a $5,000 scholarship from A. Marshall Family Foods Inc., in partnership with the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Education Foundation. Madison will use the scholarship to further her educational pursuits in the hospitality and tourism industry (taking a page from our book!)

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Madison found her love of cooking at an early age. A five years old, she began helping her grandmother in the kitchen. Since then, this interest has become a passion and guided her career path. She will soon begin her freshman year at Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky., pursuing a degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.

An honors student, she served as president of the Culinary Arts program at Sevier County High School and logged more than 400 hours of community service while taking AP classes and maintaining a high grade point average.

“I have invested myself in my future and my dreams over the last three years,” Madison wrote in her application essay. “This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams and give me the chance to go to college.

The scholarship is particularly meaningful to Madison, who could have missed out on the opportunity to attend college: she and her parents have been a single-income family since her father suffered an accident when was in fifth grade. The award of $5,000 will help her attend her university of choice, and we at A. Marshall Family Foods are more than happy to support her in this endeavor.

“Madison is an impressive young lady who will represent our industry well for years to come,” said Andy Marshall our CEO. “As the scholarship’s first recipient, she will always be special to our family.”

Madison’s plans to keep it local struck a chord with us, too: she intends to return to Sevierville after college to pursue a managerial role at a local restaurant, hoping to ultimately gain enough experience to open her own concept one day. 

“I want to invest the skills I learn at school back into the community in which I grew up,” she said.

Madison and other scholarship winners will be recognized at the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association ‘Stars of the Industry’ awards gala on October 5 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Please join us in congratulating her and wishing her the best of luck at Sullivan University!

DON’T MISS IT :: THOMPSON’S STATION FARMER’S MARKET IS TONIGHT!

If you’re a fan of Puckett’s, then you’re a fan of supporting local businesses (and our homemade, authentic Southern recipes don’t hurt, either!) We’re just sure that if you love Puckett’s, you’ll love the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market, where our vendors sell goods that are all homegrown, homemade, home baked and hand crafted. As a matter of fact, tonight is an extra special event: the last Night Market of the #TSFarmersMarket season!

In May, we welcomed over 800 people to the property for our first-ever Night Market, and we’re thrilled to host our last one of the season. As before, tonight’s market will be happening from 4 – 7 p.m. in the barn at Homestead Manor.

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Look for your favorite vendors you see week to week at the market, along with a few new ones. Be sure you come hungry so you can enjoy food from Yayo’s O.M.G.! While you are walking around the barn enjoying your dinner and shopping all the local vendors, you’ll hear live music from local singers/songwriters. The lineup will include Marcus Whybrew, Tessa Victoria, and Alicia Smith. And don’t forget to top off your evening with s’mores by the fire pit!

We hope to see you tonight! Please note that there will be NO DAYTIME MARKET. Stop by on your way home from work or for a nice evening outing with the family! Feel free to bring picnics and blankets to enjoy the property. There will be plenty of places to sit, enjoy each other’s company, and fellowship!

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Beat the Heat: Mission H2O Returns in August!

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During a summer season where you can’t step outside without hearing a complaint about the sweltering & relentless heat, our 5th & Church location is partnering with Nashville Rescue Mission for the third consecutive “Mission H2O” campaign. Last year we were able to donate nearly 20,000 water bottles to the Mission, and our goal this year is to provide 25,000 bottles of water to the local homeless community during the month of August!

From August 1 to August 31, diners at our 5th & Church location will have the option to add a donation of a dollar or more to the total of their bill. For each dollar donated, two bottled waters will be given to the Mission. In an effort to make an even larger impact for the organization and surrounding community, our parent company, A. Marshall Family Foods Inc., will match the amount y’all donate.

Cheryl Noe, senior director of development for Nashville Rescue Mission, has been amazed by the continued growth and success of the Mission H2O drive.

“The nearly 20,000 water bottles donated as a result of last year’s Mission H2O were absolutely crucial to the Mission during both the summer and fall months,” Noe said. “Once the heat slacks off, people stop thinking about the need for water. But the need is still there.”

The Mission ramps up efforts to keep members of Nashville’s homeless community hydrated during summer months by sending out “Hot Patrol” teams to traverse the city handing out water bottles when the temperature exceeds 92 degrees, in addition to encouraging those without shelter to come back to the Mission with them.

“Donating to Mission H2O is no trivial act, particularly because we see an increase in the number of women and children we serve during the summer months, ” Noe said. “You are making a difference in the lives of countless individuals and families by contributing.”

The water bottles, supplied by Kimbro Water Company, are delivered to the Mission on a weekly basis throughout August to help meet the demand the summer months create.

In order to magnify the impact of Mission H2O, Kimbro takes on a partial sponsorship by lowering the cost of the water bottles so that $1 covers the purchase of two bottles.

Mission H2O has become an annual endeavor that the entire Puckett’s family looks forward to. 

“We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to rally the Nashville community in support of a cause that has a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of individuals who need support the most,” said Rachel Layton, director of marketing for A. Marshall Family Foods. “Nothing is more rewarding to us, and our team’s enthusiasm is illustrated through the success of this campaign in the past two years.”

We could not have made our past Mission H2O drives so successful without the help of our amazing guests and our giving, thoughtful community. What do y’all say? You wanna join us in making this year’s Mission H2O the best one yet?!

To learn more about Nashville Rescue Mission and all the great things they do for Nashvillians, visit www.nashvillerescuemission.org.

A Musical Match: Puckett’s Gro. & Music City Roots

In addition to delicious home cookin’, music has been the heart and soul of Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant since day one. We built our name on the live performances and talented songwriters that have graced our humble stage through the years, and that’s a tradition we’re proud to say continues to this day.

So, it made perfect sense for us to form a partnership with another community-oriented, music-lovin’ organization in early 2016: Music City Roots! Many of y’all might not realize that when you head to a Wednesday night MCR show at the Factory, you can grab a plate of your Puckett’s favorites to enjoy while you tap your toes to great tunes.

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“We have a lot in common with Puckett’s, which is what makes this partnership so wonderful. We share values, an audience, the spirit of keeping it real, and we both strive to give every guest a great experience,” says Laurie Gregory, Senior Producer and Director of Community Relations at Music City Roots.

Music City Roots, co-founded by John Walker and Todd Mayo in 2009, started out in the Loveless Barn, and moved on over to the Factory at Franklin in July 2014, as Franklin and Williamson County began staking a true claim in the world of Americana music.

“To see Music City Roots blossom and grow from the ground up has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” Laurie says. “My favorite thing to do is to stand at the door at the end of the night and ask people how they enjoyed it. Our guests’ responses, stories and reactions tell us that we’re doing the right thing.”

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With artists like The Doobie Brothers, Blackberry Smoke, Parker Millsap, John Moreland and  Sarah Jarosz jammin’ on the MCR stage, it’s no surprise that the organization has become synonymous with Americana excellence. The folks behind MCR ventured into radio, and they’re live on WMOT Roots Radio daily. In fact, it’s now considered the flagship Americana station! Amazing, right?

These guys put on 44 shows per year, meaning that y’all have no excuses not to make it out to at least one. You’ll get delicious eats plus a great show for a reasonable price, and as an added bonus, you’ll be home in time for the 10 o’clock news.

Thanks to our pals at Rustic River Creations, we recently got some new handmade digs at Music City Roots (pictured above), so be sure to come check us out.

We are incredibly proud to be affiliated with an organization doing so much for our community and  exposing countless individuals to the joy that music can bring. To learn more about Music City Roots, visit musiccityroots.com!

We’re Still Blushing :: Stars of the Industry Awards

(AMFF) 2017 GNHA Stars of the Industry Winners

(L-R) Ryan Blainey, Rachel Layton, Ben Stepp, Donnie Counts, Claire Crowell, Noe Martinez, Andy and Jan Marshall

Proud parent {company} moment, y’all! The Greater Nashville Hospitality Association (GNHA) recently honored several winners from A. Marshall Family Foods at its annual Stars of the Industry luncheon. Our family-owned restaurant and hospitality group collected five (yes, five!) awards at the ceremony, which recognized the best and brightest stars in the Nashville hospitality and tourism industries.

Our CEO Andy Marshall said it best:

“It is a true honor to be recognized by our local hospitality association. Our team is more than deserving, and I’m proud to be part of a company of people who put such care and effort into their work. With these awards comes a responsibility to continue to serve our community well, and we take that seriously.”

Without further ado, here’s the rundown of our company’s superstars and the awards they earned!

Claire Crowell, chief operating officer of A. Marshall Family Foods (and major girl boss!), received the GNHA Women in Tourism & Hospitality Leader of the Year award. The daughter of Andy Marshall, she grew up in the restaurant business and climbed the ranks throughout her teen years and early adulthood, from server to general manager to the position she currently holds today.

As COO, she manages operations of our 12 restaurants and hospitality concepts, including five locations of Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant; Puckett’s Boat House; Puckett’s Trolley; Homestead Manor; Scout’s Pub; two locations of Hattie Jane’s Creamery; and our company’s newest venture, Deacon’s New South, which will open late fall 2017 in downtown Nashville.

Claire is actively involved in various industry organizations, serving in leadership roles for several of them, including the DISTRICT organization in downtown Nashville and the city’s independent restaurant association, the Nashville Originals. She is known as a leader in the community, an authority in the hospitality industry and a mentor to many.

Independent Restaurant Manager of the Year was awarded to Ben Stepp, general manager of Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant in Columbia. From his start as general manager in 2015, Ben and his staff have set standards and expectations to excel, which made 2016 a banner year for our Columbia location. In fact, the restaurant’s profits have increased so much under Ben’s management that we recently announced that we’d extend our Sunday closing time in Columbia from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.!

“My job is easier because of the ownership Ben takes,” Claire said. “With Puckett’s under his leadership in Columbia, I’ve been able to take a step back so that I’m able to spend more time focusing on the company as a whole.”

Noe Martinez received the Independent Restaurant Employee of the Year award. Employed at Puckett’s Gro. in both downtown Nashville and downtown Franklin, Noe didn’t speak any English when he moved to Nashville from Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2008. He applied with A. Marshall Family Foods on the advice of his brother who had worked for us, and he now works for one of our restaurants during the day and the other at night.

Regarded as “the best employee I have ever had” by Ryan Blainey, general manager of Puckett’s in downtown Nashville, Noe is committed to learning English and spends much of his free time studying the language with his wife and two young daughters. Despite being offered a server role as well as the opportunity to advance into management, Noe has chosen to remain in his position as a busser until he feels prepared for more responsibility.

“It’s been proven to me that if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be,” he said. “Because of my job, I am able to buy a car, a house, and support my family and I continue to work to grow more and more. You just don’t have that chance in Mexico.”

Donnie Counts, Executive Chef of Harvest at Homestead Manor, was named Chef of the Year at the awards ceremony. Donnie brings more than 15 years of experience to his role, drawing on culinary influences from the many different places he’s worked, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado and South Carolina. He joined the A. Marshall Family Foods team in 2014 and held multiple positions at its restaurants before taking on current role at Harvest. He recently developed a new menu at Harvest — featuring creative dishes such as root-beer-braised short rib and a grilled elk filet — which has been met with positive feedback from the restaurant’s guests!

“It’s been wonderful having Donnie at the helm of several of our concepts,” said Claire. “His passion, knowledge and creativity are huge assets to our brand and to our guests.”

A true team player, Donnie views his position as an opportunity to grow as both a chef and a teammate, and he credits the entire staff for providing a guest with a positive meal and experience.

Funds 4 Food — a campaign run by the Puckett’s Gro. team in downtown Nashville to benefit Middle Tennessee residents struggling with hunger — received the GNHA Gold Star Public Relations Award for Community Service.

We launched the month-long fundraiser at our 5th & Church location in April 2017, resulting in a $10,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee that provided approximately 40,000 meals to those in need. The donation was raised by our diners who generously added an extra $1 to their total bills and a matching contribution by A. Marshall Family Foods.

“It was really rewarding to share the Funds 4 Food Project with the Nashville community this year,” said Rachel Layton, our director of marketing who spearheaded the initiative. “This town does a great job caring for the needy and this project was simply an extension of those efforts.”

Each of these winners will automatically be nominated for the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association awards, which will be announced at a gala in the fall. The next time you see one of our amazing winners, be sure to give him or her a pat on the back!