#PuckettsLove(s): Autumn Friese

This is the final installment of our employee spotlight series we’ve run this week in conjunction with the Nashville Downtown Partnership’s Employee Appreciation Week. It has been our privilege to brag on these amazing employees, and we hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about the people behind our fantastic company!

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(L-R) Autumn Friese, Claire Crowell, Rachel Layton at the 2016 Greater Nashville Hospitality Association Awards

As General Manager, Autumn Friese keeps Puckett’s 5th & Church running smoothly, even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle that comes with being located downtown. In fact, she’s the best manager around. It’s true–she’s got the award to prove it!

In June 2016, Autumn was named “Restaurant Manager of the Year” at the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association Stars of the Industry Awards.

No stranger to the restaurant business, Autumn spent her summers working in her mother’s restaurant in Northern Michigan, learning the ins-and-outs of the business.

However (lucky for us!), she didn’t see herself staying in Michigan forever. After several visits to Nashville, Autumn fell in love with the city. In 2006, she packed her bags and made it her home.

Before finding her way to Puckett’s, Autumn was a server/bartender and then a manager at Ruby Tuesday in Murfreesboro. After five years with the restaurant, a friend introduced her to Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant when it first opened in Nashville.

“I was fortunate to have her as my assistant manager when we opened, but it was obvious she deserved to be the GM when the time came,” said Claire Marshall Crowell, former general manager of Puckett’s 5th & Church and current chief operating office for A. Marshall Family Foods Inc. “She shows great devotion to her staff, and they return the same loyalty to her.”

In Autumn’s opinion, AMFF provides a sense of family that makes them stand out from the rest.

“A. Marshall is different because of the close relationships you develop,” Autumn said. “You are not a number. They care about you and also like your input on how the business can grow, develop and run.”

Autumn has now been with the restaurant for six years, and says she loves working downtown.

“I love how it is full of life. You meet people from everywhere,” she said. “Nashville has so much to offer and it is great to be apart of such a growing city.”

In her opinion, Nashville locals are the best around.

“People here care about the community and are constantly looking for ways to make the city better.”

Like many AMFF team members, she says the highlight of her job are the people she gets to work with every day.

“It makes my day getting to know the staff and how different everyone is,” she said. “Everyone has something going outside of work, and it’s great to hear what they are passionate about.”

When she isn’t working, Autumn likes to spend her spare time outdoors with her husband–working in the garden, mowing the lawn or simply hanging out.

We are lucky to have you in our AMFF family, Autumn! Thanks so much for all you do!

IT’S (ALMOST) TURKEY TIME – WHO WANTS FREE DESSERT?

pucketts-food-pecan-cobbler-21Puckett’s was built on the idea of serving home cooked, Southern favorites to customers who feel more like family to us in comfortable environments more reminiscent of their own kitchens than restaurants. So y’all know we aren’t letting Thanksgiving go by without offering a full catering menu + Thanksgiving Day reservations in our restaurants to whomever wants to do Turkey Day the Puckett’s way!

Puckett’s Gro. in Franklin, Nashville, Columbia, and Chattanooga and Puckett’s Boat House will all offer to-go catering for your family gathering or on a larger scale, say, for an office party! Or, you can dine in at any of these restaurants on Nov. 24 and enjoy a special Thanksgiving menu at each. Additionally, we’ve got two private rooms and a larger event space in Columbia that you can rent out if you want to let us do the cooking AND the cleaning (we don’t mind!)

To place your Thanksgiving to-go order for Puckett’s, click here; to inquire about a Puckett’s holiday catering order with Puckett’s, click here. To make reservations for dining in the restaurants, or inquire about booking a private room, please call the restaurants: [Puckett’s Franklin: (615) 794-5527 | Puckett’s Nashville: (615) 770-2772 | Puckett’s Columbia: (931) 490-4550 | Puckett’s Chattanooga: (423) 708-8505]

To place a Thanksgiving to-go order or learn about holiday catering orders from Puckett’s Boat House, click here. To make Thanksgiving day reservations at Puckett’s Boat House, please call the restaurant: (615) 790-2309.

Because we love the holiday (and you all!) so much, we’re extending a few special offers to those early bird planners in Middle Tennessee who want to get ahead of the madness [hint: it includes free dessert!]

— Book your to-go catering by Nov. 1; receive 2 free pies or a half pan of cobbler with $100 min. purchase.
— Book your office catering order by Nov. 1; receive free dessert with $500 min. purchase.
— Book your holiday party in one of our Columbia private rooms/ event space by Nov. 1; receive free dessert with $500 min. purchase.

The cut-off for booking your catering order is Nov. 20, so why not make your plans a few weeks earlier this year and get free dessert out of the deal?!

Thanksgiving Day hours for the restaurants are:
Puckett’s Franklin: Seating at 11AM; 12:30PM; and 2PM
Puckett’s Nashville: 11AM – 4PM
Puckett’s Columbia: 11AM – 3PM
Puckett’s Chattanooga: 11AM – 4PM (EST)
Puckett’s Boat House: 11AM – 3PM

PSSST…. WE’VE GOT NEW MERCH!!

This story was originally published on Style Homepage on Oct. 11, 2016 by Cathi Aycock. This is a first look at our new merchandise, which will be available online only here beginning 10/17.

On a recent trip to North Carolina, I noticed a man wearing a Puckett’s Grocery hat and asked if he was from Tennessee.

Nope, he was a North Carolinian, but snagged a hat when he came to town on vacation.

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First look at new Puckett’s merchandise, including hats in brown, orange and green, $18 available Monday, Oct. 17 online at store.puckettsgro.com and in Puckett’s restaurant beginning Nov. 1.

For locals, wearing Puckett’s swag (hats and tees) is part of living in Middle Tennessee. We love showing our affinity for eating local and supporting great eateries. For tourists, the locally produced merchandise is a chance to take home a piece of an iconic food destination.

While we love the standard Puckett’s merchandise offerings, we are excited to share a sneak peek at the newest designs for hats, tees and a few new items from the folks at Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurants.

The goods are available starting Monday, Oct. 17 only online at Puckett’s Grocery. Then, on Nov. 1, all the new items will Puckett’s Grocery shelves.

“We added bibs, canvas bags and new designs in our hats and tees to our merchandise mix,” explains Rachel Layton, the marketing director behind all of the A. Marshall Family Foods restaurants and products.

The bibs are an especially timely addition to the mix according to Layton.

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The Puckett’s family is growing with new babies so a Puckett’s bib was a natural to add to the merchandise mix. Puckett’s Bib, $8, available Monday, Oct. 17 only online at store.puckettsgro.com and in all Puckett’s locations starting Nov. 1.

“Our brand is growing and so is our Puckett’s family. Emily and Claire, company founder Andy Marshall’s daughters are adding to their little families as well. Emily gave birth to twin boys earlier this year and Claire is due with her second child any day,” says Layton. “The bibs were just another way for us to keep incorporating the family story.”

The other new offering, two new canvas bags were inspired by the brand and its roots in the grocery business.

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Canvas bag with two different logos, $15, available Monday, Oct. 17 online only at store.puckettsgro.com and in all Puckett’s locations starting Nov. 1.

“We are paying homage to the original Puckett’s Grocery with canvas bags that are functional enough to use when you are headed to the grocery or Farmer’s Market–but cool enough to carry your daily clutter with a little Middle Tennessee Puckett’s love,” says Layton.

Layton, who designed the new merchandise with the local graphic design firm Twine Graphics, says the new tee shirts offer comfortable, on-trend pieces that are uniquely Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

The new Low & Slow tee is an insider reference to the famous Memphis-style barbecue that Andy Marshall is known for, while the new hats feature a simplified design that feels modern and fresh.

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The Low & Slow tee, $20, available Monday, Oct. 17, only online at store.puckettsgro.com and in all Puckett’s locations starting Nov. 1.

#PUCKETTSLOVE(S): DEB ABEYTA

img_0353This is the second post in a three-part series of employee spotlights we are sharing as part of the Nashville Downtown Partnership’s Employee Appreciation Week. Today, our hats are off to Deb Abeyta.

Deb Abeyta, a Nashville transplant, says the sense of family that A. Marshall Family Foods has provided her so far has been wonderful.

“You really are family with this company,” she said. “I have only been a part of it for six months, but I already feel so wanted and appreciated for all the work I do and ideas I have.”

In a short amount of time, Deb has made quite the impression on her co-workers.

“She started with us in April, and by June she quickly worked her way up to a full time shift leader,” Autumn Friese, general manager at Puckett’s Gro. at 5th & Church, said.

“Deb always shows pride in her work and maintains a professional attitude.”  

Deb, along with her husband and their two daughters, relocated to Nashville from Colorado because they were inspired by the agriculture.

“We moved to Nashville to find our way to buying a piece of land to build a farm on and retire with something to leave the kids and to help the environment,” Deb said.

Deb said she loves how fast-paced Puckett’s is and that there is never a dull moment in downtown Nashville.

“There is always an event or convention or concert which brings us so many types of people to serve. We get to serve Nashville inspired food to people from all over the country and the world.”

Her favorite Puckett’s menu item is definitely the brisket taco salad.

“It’s the perfect salad,” she said. “After that, it’s probably the homemade chicken salad sandwich.”

Deb feels that serving at Puckett’s allows her to put her degree in psychology to good use as she is constantly anticipating the needs of her guests and co-workers.

“Deb spends time with her guests and makes them feel very welcome,” Autumn said. “We are looking forward to what she has to offer in the future.”

In addition to serving at Puckett’s, Deb is also a teacher to her daughters.

“We homeschool, so I try to use my time to teach the girls and myself different aspects of life and Nashville,” she said.  

The culture of music and fun in Nashville is what Deb enjoys most about her new home.

“I enjoy the way it is growing and changing,” she said.  

We’re glad Deb found her way to us in Nashville!

#PUCKETTSLOVE(s): Brianna Dills

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Monday, Oct. 10 through Friday, Oct. 14 marks Downtown Employee Appreciation Week in Nashville. Puckett’s Gro. at 5th Ave. & Church St. is participating by offering downtown employees ½ off of breakfast platters and free coffee with the purchase of a breakfast platter all week (available 7AM – 11AM), in addition to ½ off appetizers all day on Friday.

We truly believe that our team of people is the best of the best, and to show our appreciation we will spotlight three of downtown Nashville Puckett’s star employees this week on our blog, beginning with Brianna Dills.

Brianna Dills has been at Puckett’s for just six months, but Billy Hearn, Kitchen Manager at 5th & Church, already refers to her as a “rockstar line cook.”

“Brianna started out as dishwasher here at Puckett’s, but very quickly we saw that she was eager to learn and do more,” Hearn said. “Brianna learned a few stations on the line and excelled at all of them. She now can run any station and is always a positive motivating presence. She is one of those employees that you appreciate and makes everyone’s day a little better just for having worked with her.”

This guitar-playing California girl said she had her sights set on Nashville from the age of 16.

“I love the music. Plus, Nashville always seemed like such a cool place,” Brianna said.

Brianna said she enjoys working downtown, in the center of Music City.

“There are always lots of people everywhere,” she said. “It’s convenient, the atmosphere is great, and music is everywhere.”

Music– what drew her to Nashville in the first place– is very important to Brianna. She loves to listen to Kacey Musgraves, her favorite artist.

In her spare time, Brianna enjoys making her own music–she not only plays guitar, but also writes music as well. Her favorite genre is country, just one of the reasons Puckett’s has been a great fit for her.

“I love the awesome staff here,” she said. “I enjoy making people happy with good food.”

In her opinion, A. Marshall Family Foods is unique compared to other companies, especially when it comes to their hands-on involvement with the restaurant and its employees.

“They’re different because they really care about the employees. They give us good benefits and treat us really well.”

Although the people are at the top of the list of reasons Brianna loves working at Puckett’s, the food is a close second.

“My favorite thing to eat at Puckett’s is the pulled pork,” she said, “in any form!”

We’re so happy to have Brianna on our team! Stay tuned throughout the week for two more employee profiles!