Raised By The Fork: Happy 10 Years, Puckett’s Franklin!

This is written December 4, 2014, by Director of Operations Claire Crowell in her blog Raised by the Fork.

pucketts2004

Ten years ago today, we opened the doors to Puckett’s in Downtown Franklin. I was a freshman in college at the time, and left my hostess job in Nashville when my dad told me he was opening a restaurant in downtown Franklin to help out.

Leiper’s Fork raised me, but the restaurant on 4th Avenue in Downtown Franklin is where I truly grew up. I started there as a server and the day that we opened 10 years ago was the first day I had ever touched a point-of-sales computer. Even though we had been in business in Leiper’s Fork for six years before we opened our second location, Franklin was our first full-service restaurant and we still had so much to learn about the restaurant business. I worked here on and off waiting tables while I was in college, and I honestly had absolutely no intention of making a career in the hospitality industry. When I graduated from MTSU, I started helping dad full time as an assistant manager in Leiper’s Fork while I decided whether or not to go back to school for a graduate program. A few months in it became clear to me that I had the bug for the business, it was just simply in my blood. I remember being nervous when I decided to tell Dad that I was here to stay, maybe because it felt like such a grown up decision.

Read the rest of the post here.

Hatch Show Print & Puckett’s: Be Real, Get Local Y’all!

It’s that time of year, and we’re making your gift-giving guide easy this year: Puckett’s has once again teamed up with historic Hatch Show Print–a Nashville institution!–to offer a present that keeps on givin’ this holiday season.

Our own Amy Whidby has worked with Hatch to create 100 limited-edition “Be Real Get Local” posters to sell at Puckett’s downtown Franklin, downtown Nashville and downtown Columbia locations…. with all of the proceeds benefitting the Nashville Rescue Mission, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County, respectively!

Through the season, each restaurant will offer one-of-a-kind, numbered prints for a minimum donation of $25. The poster sales kicked off during Small Business Saturday, and our head honcho Andy Marshall said he hopes they can help raise the profile of the three non-profits through the effort.

“All of these groups do so much for our communities in Middle Tennessee, and our family here is honored to be able to give back to them this season. It’s something tangible that people can display as art or give as a gift, while directly supporting a non-profit that will use the funds toward their missions,” says Andy.

The iconic Nashville-based Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the nation, and has become a Music City treasure since its handbill printing days 133 years ago. In recent years, Hatch prints have been commissioned by Anthropologie, CNN, the New York Times, Nissan and Nordstrom, among others. Now, they can put Puckett’s on their list!

It was a real honor to work with Hatch, and Amy had a good ole timing doing it: getting a say in the design, taking a tour of their new facilities, and getting to see ’em hot off the press:

 

Another cool part of this whole story? Puckett’ Staff at the restaurants’ locations identified the community-centered organizations.

Take our 5th & Church location, for example: The Nashville Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the hungry and homeless, and offers programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment and life-recovery. Puckett’s Director of Operations Claire Crowell said the Mission’s work hits close to home for her team and their guests.

“The Mission makes such a difference for people in downtown Nashville who are struggling, people we see face-to-face every day. We can become numb as a community to the challenges they’re facing, and this is one way we can help,” she says.

To get your poster (and donate to a great cause at the same dang time!), visit one of our Puckett’s locations. Or, you can call & place your order… we ship!

 

2014 Hatch Show Print poster

Time Flies: Puckett’s In Franklin Celebrates 10th Anniversary

This appeared in Franklin Home Page December 3, 2014. By Michael Ackley.

Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in downtown Franklin will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary Thursday.

Claire Crowell, director of operations for Puckett’s and daughter of owner Andy Marshall, said she “can hardly believe” the restaurant is entering its second decade.

Crowell was waitressing tables as a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University in 2004 when the restaurant first opened its doors.

“When we opened the Franklin location in 2004, the restaurant scene was completely different,” she said. “There was Sandy’s Downtown Grill, which closed, and the Mellow Mushroom was just opening up; that was about it for dinner options downtown. It was a ghost town at night.”

Puckett’s has become an institution in downtown Franklin; however, Crowell said its success was not a sure thing.

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Read the full story here.

A Guide To: Creating Claire’s Holiday Spread

Womanista_oyster dressing

 

The holidays are here, and it’s snuck up (as always) so fast! If you’re like the rest of us with busy lives and little time to plan that far ahead, you’re probably stressing a bit about what in the world you’re going to lay on your seasonal table.

Like we’ve been telling y’all, it’s time to stop frettin’ and let us help! Each year Puckett’s offers extensive to-go menus full of holiday favorites, with that special Puckett’s touch.

But it’s a mighty big list though, so we’ve asked Director of Operations Claire Crowell (also blogger at Raised by the Fork) to help us out on narrowing down the options. We were able to catch her for a brief moment—she’s a busy woman, y’all!—and ask her what her favorite items from our holiday to-go menus were.

After giving it some thought… and considering the fact that she’s feeding a baby girl for the first time this year… Claie listed these items that would spread on her dream holiday table:

  • Smoked turkey (yes, Puckett’s does all the work for you!)
  • An additional meat option: Glazed ham on a biscuit or roll
    Are you a fan of mixing it up? There’s nothing like a little oyster dressing or peel ‘n’ eat shrimp to wow your guests! See Puckett’s Boat House‘s quirky holiday to-go menu here.
  • Cornbread dressing AND cranberry relish (she likes all the fixin’s when it comes to the holidays)
  • Sweet potato casserole (hint: she makes hers slightly savory by adding a sweet crunchy pecan topping)
  • Creamy mac & cheese
  • Green beans casserole (Claire personally prefers the green beans amandine — crunchy healthy green beans to balance everything else, but it’s Thanksgiving… so she’s game to gobble up casserole!)
    Fawn over Chef Carlos’ genius at Puckett’s Boat House? Us too! Claire would choose pineapple casserole and cabbage with country ham!
  • Pumpkin pie and more pumpkin pie.
    Oh, and PBH’s carrot cake too — with a cup of black coffee, please!

 

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Sides, Holiday & Chicken-13

Not on Puckett’s holiday to-go menu—but still one of Claire’s favorite categories—is red wine. She said it’d be a sin to eat all this amazing food without it! And since this is her dream table, she indulged and said she’d be sipping on Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir. Though she’s not a big pinot drinker (she likes bolder wines), she could drink this one allllll day long.

So there you have it: Claire’s dream feast! Feel free to take her list to heart, or mix it up a bit with your own tastes and preferences.

View the holiday menus + order from:

  • Puckett’s in downtown Nashville HERE.
  • Puckett’s in downtown Franklin HERE.
  • Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin HERE.
  • Puckett’s in downtown Columbia HERE.

Coming up: be on the look out for our suggestions on designing holiday tablescapes for your perfect seasonal feast!

 

PBH-Carrot-Cake [web size]

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Green Beans Side

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Sweet Potatoe Casserole

Thanksgiving traditions from Jan Marshall

Marshall Family Thanksgiving, circa 1995

Marshall Family Thanksgiving, circa 1995

Fall is such a busy season, and one of my absolute favorite times of the year. But my most treasured time of autumn is Thanksgiving. It quietly ushers its way into the calendar–reminding us all to take pause, reflect on our blessings, and be thankful to God that we live in such a bountiful nation. For our family, Thanksgiving holds some great traditions.

Every Thanksgiving morning, I love to start the day with a light breakfast of spicy pumpkin breads, coffee and a small protein. We all gather to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and know that when we see Santa that the holiday season is officially beginning! I admit that I’m a purist on this matter… I don’t even think about prepping for Christmas until this moment, and until Thanksgiving Day has had its moment in full.

We eat two family meals on this day, and are blessed to do so. Most of our family lives in and around Nashville, so we get to have Thanksgiving Brunch and Thanksgiving Dinner–whew! Walking is a must!  At each gathering, we talk about what we are thankful for, and slow down to visit those we love most in this world. And of course, there is always football to watch!

For the past several years, we’ve had at least one meal at Puckett’s. This one is a new tradition for us. Our extended family loves getting together there, taking our time visiting and having a great meal. An added bonus for me is to watch other families at our place doing the same. I can’t begin to say how special that is to me. It makes all that turkey cooking worthwhile!

When Andy and I first started our version of Puckett’s years ago, the tradition was to for Andy to fry, smoke, and roast a bunch of turkeys, while our kids and I–along with our small staff–would box up literally hundreds of Thanksgiving meals. Now that we have restaurants to share with so many families, it’s special to see this day within its own new tradition.

Some Thanksgiving traditions are always the same, even as times change. When I was a girl, we would go to my grandparent’s farm every Thanksgiving Day. The guys would watch football, while I got first dibs on the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. Grandmamma, Mom and I would go over all the deals in the paper, and let the holiday shopping begin! Though we may read now more online than on paper, it is still the same first step into the holiday shopping season.

Yes, all together, Thanksgiving Day is one holiday that is most special to me, and I hope for you as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jan Crouch Marshall is the quiet, steadying force behind the Puckett’s hospitality brand that encompasses Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant, Puckett’s Boat House, GRAY’S on Main and now Homestead Manor. Along with husband Andy, Jan worked to build A. Marshall Family Food while raising their three children, a son and two daughters. A native Middle Tennessee resident, she loves faith, family, friends and sharing a culture of hospitality and good food.