Words from Jan :: From the Inside Looking Inside

Every once in a while, we have the pleasure of hearing a few words of wisdom from the woman who has been around since the beginning of our story: Jan Marshall. What with opening four new concepts within the last year and welcoming three new grand babies, she’s been just a little busy (if you can imagine that!) We are so glad to welcome her back to the blog today as she shares a little peek into what life is like “on the inside” of A. Marshall Family Foods.

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As A. Marshall Family Foods continues to grow, matriarch Jan Marshall is at the center, keeping herself and everyone around her calm.

I’ve had a few nicknames in my life that have stuck with me through the years… I am the baby girl of two older brothers, who dubbed me as Priss, and still call me that to this day.

Then came Turtle. You see, I worked for years alongside a business associate in our children’s school, who was always in a hurry. I do not like to rush. I never have.

Our peers lovingly called her the rabbit and me the turtle (I liked to remind her who won the race in Aesop’s fable!)

My mother will tell you that I was born three weeks early, and that’s the last time I was early in my life. She is right, about that. I do like looking at life with a long glance.

One of my favorite nicknames, however, is Maw Puckett. That one, is an honor I wear with a bit of motherly pride.  Some of our associates in our early days of Puckett’s began calling me Maw Puckett. I’d like to think it was because they saw me as a comfy spot for them in this crazy business. Whatever it was, it stuck, and is still how our staff officially introduces me.

The restaurant world is a lovely, lively place, full of all kinds of people working together and dining together.  I love it.  At any of our restaurants, I truly love seeing someone who may struggle in life, yet build confidence being a part of our team. I also love sitting back and watching our guests sharing food and their time with their family and friends. When we started our new life in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn. with Puckett’s Grocery in 1998 with 3 employees and our little family, I had no idea what was in store. Yet, I had faith it was going to be fine.

It’s amazing to see how God works.  Who in the world but God would know how this ride came to be. I gotta laugh when I’m reminded of what Andy said to me after we married:

“Honey, hold on! Our life is gonna be a roller coaster ride!  We’re gonna have our ups and downs, but it will be a blast, and we are gonna stick through it all.”  

Well, I’m still hanging on!

It’s been and still is an amazing ride. I am very much a part of our restaurants, yet more in the supportive role. That allows me the opportunity to see with a wider view of how our family business operates.

My hope is that you will enjoy reading some of the long glances I’ve seen through the years and to this day. You’ll just need to slow down a bit, and enjoy the view!

What are the odds?!

One of our absolute favorite things about this job is getting to know people of all walks of life and hearing their amazing stories. We loved this story so much, we just had to share it!

16711803_10100168771733369_2380532781059797072_nIn June 2016, Kevin and Devin Terry came to visit us at Puckett’s Franklin for dinner. They got to talking with their server, Bryan Betts, and told him that they had just found out that they were expecting a boy. After learning that the Terrys didn’t have any specific names in mind yet, Bryan suggested that they name him Barrett.

Fast forward to February of this year. The Terry family came back to see Bryan with a very special guest in tow: baby Barrett!

“When we left the restaurant, we laughed about how funny it would be if we used that name for our future son, but we both liked the name,” Kevin says. “Up until the day he was born, we still didn’t have his name finalized. In the end, we went back to the name Barrett!”

Bryan was “blown away” upon meeting little Barrett and learning that the Terrys had embraced his suggestion.

“I remember waiting on them last June, and I thought Barrett was a really cool name, so I just threw it out there!” Bryan says.

Now that’s a whole lotta #PuckettsLove, y’all! We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — the hospitality biz is the best!

“Funds 4 Food” Begins April 1st!

April 2017 Funds 4 Food flyer
At Puckett’s, there’s a story behind each of our restaurants and our recipes. That’s why we are partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to tell the story of generosity and hope during our first ever Funds 4 Food Campaign, April 1st through 30th, at Puckett’s Gro. in downtown Nashville.

It is disheartening that in Middle Tennessee, 1 in 7 people–including 1 in 5 children–struggle with hunger. In fact, you could fill up the Nissan stadium 6 TIMES with the amount of people in our community who are facing food insecurity issues.

To us, it’s about more than just statistics. It’s about the faces of children who go to bed hungry and the parents worrying about where their next meal will come from–people who are our Middle Tennessee neighbors.

We want to put an end to hunger in our community, and we need your help. During our month-long campaign, diners at Puckett’s Gro. in downtown Nashville will have the opportunity to add an extra dollar or more to their total, which will provide at least four meals to local families affected by hunger. Plus, we will match each donation up to $5,000. That means with each dollar donation, you can provide eight meals to families in need.

“Most people don’t realize that so many in our area go hungry on a daily basis,” said Kyle Williams, senior manager at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.  “We are blessed to be in a community where companies like Puckett’s help to shed light on the issue and are eager to help give back.”

Founded in 1978, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee works to solve hunger issues in Middle and West Tennessee. Second Harvest collects, sorts and distributes food and personal care products to more than 490 partner agencies throughout 46 counties. Their partner agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, foster care facilities, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs.

Our goal during the Funds 4 Food campaign is to provide 40,000 meals through Second Harvest. We are confident that with your help, we can achieve this goal!

Stop by Puckett’s Gro. in Nashville during the month of April to participate in the Funds 4 Food campaign and help us make a difference in solving hunger issues in our area!!

 

 

Spreading the #PuckettsLove

One of the pillars of our company is strong community involvement, and we try to do our part to support other local businesses and organizations whenever we can. We recently presented two deserving nonprofits — Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County — with checks as a result of campaigns we ran at Puckett’s Boat House and Puckett’s Gro. in Murfreesboro, respectively.

Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury

Puckett’s Boat House runs an annual Ceiling Dollars fundraiser that was inspired by the traditions of several restaurants’ along the Gulf Coast who invite diners to pin dollar bills marked with their names, hometowns, and sometimes notes to other travelers, to their ceilings.

Ever seeking to support and positively impact the communities in which his restaurants are located, Andy Marshall elected to create a similar atmosphere at Puckett’s Boat House, but with a twist — each dollar that is pinned to the ceiling of the downtown Franklin restaurant in a calendar year is counted and donated to a preselected recipient of the year’s campaign proceeds, with A. Marshall Foods matching the total donations to the dollar. With A. Marshall’s match, we were able to present $771.42 to Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury!

Puckett's Boat House Ceiling Dollars_Habitat for Humanity Check Presentation

Several members of our team, including Marketing Director Rachel Layton; Marketing and Community Relations Associate Lindsay Curtis and Puckett’s Boat House General Manager Ricki Terry, visited the Habitat for Humanity office — located right off W. Main St. in downtown Franklin — to present more than $700 in proceeds that were collected in 2016. Accepting the donation on behalf of Habitat for Humanity were Susan Shipley, Development Coordinator; Rain Fisher, Volunteer Development Manager; Becket Moore, Executive Director; Wayne Weaver, Director of Homeowner Services; and Jennee Galland, Director of Communications and Events.

Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury seeks to fulfill the need for affordable housing in Williamson County — which is one of the fastest growing areas in the country — and Maury County, relying solely on financial support from local entities and the labor of volunteers to achieve its mission. For additional information or to get involved as a donor, volunteer, or business sponsor, please contact Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury at 615-690-8090 or visit www.hfhwm.org.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County

On the evening of our Grand Opening of Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant on the downtown Murfreesboro square last month, we pledged to donate 10% of sales from the night to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County and were able to donate $826 to the Clubs as a result.

A self-proclaimed ‘product of the Boys & Girls Club,’ Andy Marshall, CEO of A. Marshall Foods, credits the organization for providing strong reinforcements and role models during his youth and often supports the Club’s local branches through charitable campaigns at the company’s restaurants. The Feb. 13 grand opening celebration of Puckett’s Gro. in Murfreesboro included a performance by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County cheerleading squad and an introduction of the Clubs’ 2017 Youth of the Year.

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Andy Marshall and his family– wife, Jan; daughter, Claire Crowell, COO of A. Marshall Family Foods; and son, Cliff, a manager at Puckett’s in Murfreesboro — along with Puckett’s General Manager, Autumn Friese and A. Marshall Family Foods Opening Project Manager, Chris Payne, presented Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County representatives Sheryl Chesnutt, Executive Director; Michelle Clifford, Director of Marketing and Special Events; and Beth Hackett, Resource Development Director with a check for a portion of Puckett’s grand opening proceeds at the restaurant.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides youth with positive mentors and educational and developmental opportunities in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The Rutherford County branch serves more than 2,800 young people daily, relying on private, corporate, individual, and United Way funding to fill the gap between membership dues and operational expenses. To learn more, visit www.bgcrc.net. 

As always, our gratitude goes out to you, our loyal customers, for supporting us so that we can, in turn, support others!

FRIDAY WISDOM :: MEET OUR MARKETING DIRECTOR, RACHEL LAYTON

Happy Friday, y’all! We can’t think of a better way for you to get to know Rachel Layton, our Marketing Director who was recently named one of the Nashville Business Journal’s 2017 Women of Influence, than by sharing this profile from the NBJ. Read on for her insights on leadership, creating a legacy, and tips for other young professionals!

This story was originally published in the Nashville Business Journal on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, written by Nathan Morgan.

Rachel Layton of A. Marshall Family Foods

Marketing Director Rachel Layton oversees all the major decisions for advertising, sponsorships, partnerships, campaign creation and digital strategy for each of A. Marshall Family Foods’ soon-to-be nine locations, including Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, Puckett’s Boat House, Homestead Manor and Scout’s Pub. Layton wishes she had more time in the day and a way to “track the intangibles.”

What are three characteristics of a great leader, and why? A great leader is transparent, empathetic and strategic. Transparency fosters trust with employees, which is important for long tenure. Empathy is a strong people connector. Folks respect someone who can get on their level with them and address a problem. Finally, strategic, in my mind is the most important because it eliminates chaos. If employees know where you’re going and why you’re going there, their barriers to great performance are reduced and they can be better at their jobs by not worrying about things outside their control.

If you could have a super power, which would you choose, and why? My super power would definitely be creating time. Everyone says time is your most valuable resource. I agree. If I had more time, I could do more things.

If the government created a new piece of currency, for what amount should it be, and what woman should be featured on it? What if it wasn’t something tangible? Like, say there was an incentive every time you went the extra mile for someone. And an app tracked it. At the end of the year, you’d get a grand total and ranking to know how well you did in a given year. I don’t know, I guess most of my personal currencies revolve around intangible items, and I like to think that most people are like that. Oh, and Mother Teresa’s face could be on the app.

What is your favorite way to procrastinate on the internet? I’m an Instagram junky. I love pictures. Probably only second to Spotify. Discovering new music and sharing it with people seems to take up a lot of my time as well.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would you title it?“Peart + Grit: The Things Zest and Determination Can Accomplish.”

Tell us a story about an experience you had that changed your leadership style. Well, it’s tough to pinpoint just one because I like to think leadership styles evolve over time. Probably someone who left the largest mark on me was a manager I had who micromanaged every single task she gave me. It was exhausting. It made me resentful, and eventually I lost confidence in who I was and the kind of work I was capable of. It took me some time (and changing jobs) to recover from it. After that, I made a vow (and still use it to this day), to work extra hard at avoiding being a micromanager. Unless I’m specifically asked for help, I will stay out of the way so my employees can do the job they were hired for.

If you could leave one legacy to the world, what would it be? I hope to leave a legacy of creating things that help people. I think the best thing you can possibly do is serve others, so that’s why… I hope folks end up thinking of my legacy as one that represents servant leadership and innovation.

How can Nashville’s business community best empower up-and-coming female professionals? Promote them, invest in them and trust them with responsibilities. Every up-and-coming young professional needs someone to take a chance on them before they can do something that’s ground-breaking.

Where is your go-to place in Nashville for a power lunch? Thistle Stop Cafe! I love their mission and it’s close to my house.

In 10 words or less, what advice would you give girls growing up today? Kindness is timeless. Take the high road and don’t ever give up.

What are you reading now, and what’s next on your list? I just finished “Scary Close,” by Donald Miller. Next up is “What Keeps You Up At Night,” by Pete Wilson.