For several weeks we’ve been exploring local businesses across Nashville. This week, we’re telling the story of a soon-to-be-gem.
The Terminal Café.
For several weeks we’ve been exploring local businesses across Nashville. This week, we’re telling the story of a soon-to-be-gem.
The Terminal Café.
It’s summer in Nashville. Temperatures are in the 90’s and it’s 60% humidity. You’ve just spent the day outside, working your 9-5, or sitting in the stagnant Nashville traffic… now your only want is an ice cold treat. Continue reading “Nashville Gem: Blue Monkey Shaved Ice”
In the past 5 years, the Nashville Food Truck scene has exploded. Now, there are close to 100 food trucks serving up their own specialties and creating a vibrant and diverse food scene.
Nashville, home of the creatives. Musicians are the most obvious, and while this next business owner does sing (Nashville Symphony Chorus), his medium of choice is wood. Continue reading “Nashville Gem: CRT Creative”
Pineapples, mangoes, and red pepper salsa.
Peanut butter and Sriracha sauce.
Not your typical hot dog toppings, but Dawg Daze is not your typical hot dog truck. It’s 22-feet long with a paint job that can only be described as tie-dye. It’s not subtle.
Meet Jim and Amber Farmer. They started Dawg Days almost three years ago. They like spending time with family, playing dominoes, grilling, and love dogs — they have 4 (adorable) rescues.
My father was a huge hot dog fan. It’s what he wanted to eat pretty much 5 out of the 7 days in the week. In fact, my father passed away, and his very last meal was a hot dog. I had gotten tired of managing retail businesses, so I decided to go out on a limb and start a hot dog truck.
Oh yea. My mom still works the truck with me. My wife helps me out on weekends or if we have a big event. Very much a part of my family.
During the week we go to different office parks. Around here there are a lot of places that only have 30-minute lunch breaks. Nashville has grown so much, which means lots of traffic and construction. 30-minutes isn’t enough time to get out, drive some place, and eat your food. So it’s great to be able to go to an office park and offer a quick bite to eat.
On the weekends you have your festivals, school events, we even do catering. We stay really busy, in fact, it’s only August but we’re booked all the way through November.
We try to run 10 different hot dogs on the menu. Some are mainstays, and others rotate on and off.
Our most popular has to be the Hippie Dawg: Bacon, peanut butter, and Sriracha. It started when a food critic from Portland, OR came down and met us at a festival. He said “This is what’s taking off up there right now, and if you don’t try it… you’re stupid.”
I was skeptical, but thought “Alright,” and tried it. I was still unsure so I started handing out samples and people loved it. So, I put it on the menu and the rest is history.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a chili dog. It’s such a classic.
When it gets to be 125 degrees! Like I said, I work with my mom and a Sunday school teacher. They’re both over 60. They have so much patience. I never hear them complain or speak a negative word. You have to have that when you’re in a food truck because the kitchen is right there. If an employee complains the customer is right there.
Time management is hard, too. For example, if you have two events on the same day, you have to figure out travel time, restock time, figure in traffic – there is a lot of coordination that goes into it.
The freedom and getting to meet all these different people. I drive a hippie truck, play lots of 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s rock-n-roll. I have people who walk by, hear the music, then get in line to wait 30 minutes. It’s incredible.
I’m part of the Food Truck Association. There are about 80 trucks in the association: we do events together and help each other out. Say you called me and want me to come to your office, but I’m booked. I’ll refer some of the other trucks, and they do the same for me. It’s a very supportive group and we’re always looking to help each other out.
We also get a lot of community support. The Mayor, Megan Barry, has been a huge supporter of food trucks. She works hard to get us places to park, and it was her idea to have trucks park outside of the government buildings on Thursdays so all government employees could grab lunch.
Honestly, stay away from credit. Pay for things in cash. If you can’t, then you can’t afford it.
You do need some kind of credit, of course. You need that credit history for big purchases, but you should do everything you can to stay debt free. Pay it off every month. Don’t get in over your head. Live within your means.
Also, start saving early. We were all that dumb 18-19-20 year old. Going out and partying. But in 20 years you’re going to have a house note. Going to have bills. Going to have insurance to pay for.
Go ahead and start putting money away, so in case something does happen, you have money to fall back on.
Want to #GetMore Dawg Daze? Check out their website or follow them on Twitter. Have a business you think we should know about? Mention them in the comments below or shout them out on Twitter using #GetMore.
The Nashville Gem series explores why doing business locally is the smart way to go: better products and supporting the local economy. Whether you’re looking to eat, shop, or bank — check out Nashville local businesses and institutions first.
Close your eyes. Wait, never mind… you have to read this. Keep your eyes open but use your imagination.
What comes to mind when you read the phrase Country Music? It might be the twang of stringed instruments, lyrics about broken hearts and pickups trucks, or a pastoral scene – life out on the farm.
At least, that’s what came to mind for us. It’s no coincidence that Nashville is the capital of country. It has plenty of all of the above. But we think we’ve found possibly the most country combination: The Farm & Fiddle.
Meet Samantha Lamb.
She and her husband, Daniel, moved to Santa Fe in 2015. Him to play fiddle with Parker Millsap and her to farm. Together, they started the appropriately named Farm & Fiddle. We wanted to learn more about life on the farm, so
We’re a 20-acre farm in Santa Fe, just southwest of Nashville. We do specialty vegetables, all organic. We like to concentrate on heirloom varieties and rare vegetables, but we also do cow and sheep’s milk. Produce beef, chicken, duck, pork, and lamb. And sell eggs from ducks, geese, and chicken.
Our focus is quality over quantity, but diversification is also very important to us.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. People can become a member of the CSA and in return they get a weekly “bounty” or share. We offer different kinds of shares, like vegetarian, CSA share, and a full share.
You pay month-to-month and then pick up a basket of goodies. The vegetarian share is full of seasonal vegetables. The full share includes meat and other specialty items. It’s a great way to supplement your diet. You can base your meals off of it and then go to the grocery store for the small in-between items.
Local makes sense on every front. Your food is fresher, which means it tastes better and has less of things you don’t want – like preservatives and chemicals. There is no middleman, so it’s better for your pocket. Plus, it stimulates your local economy.
I’m a strong advocate for eating and buying locally because I am local. I survive off of those people, so I want to be one of those people.
Number one, I’m a farmer, which has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world. I tell people I work 36/7. There is no off time. No vacations. No getting away from my farm… but I love it.
I absolutely love it.
You have to love it to do it. I feel very fortunate to be a farmer. I get to tend to animals every day. Whether it is a good or bad situation, I get to be a steward of the animals and the land.
I get to grow delicious food, which means I personally get to eat fresh every day. And, part of having a diverse farm means that I get to do a bunch of diverse things.
I’m a pastoral person. Getting to live this lifestyle is incredibly rewarding.
I don’t have to be as scared as I thought. There is a really great foundation already here in Nashville. People are willing to support my farming and my food. Nashvillians have a really great mindset about that.
I’ve learned that you should do what you want to do, and there will always be a customer base.
In general, spend your money wisely.
I grew up with very thoughtful, not always frugal, but thoughtful parents. They were all about teaching us kids about finances, like finding the best deal. Knowing your warranties. Being thoughtful about your purchases and your future.
Another one is to set goals. Goals are huge for us.
Working as a farmer, with a husband who is a musician, we get worried about the future. We want to expand the farm and start a family, but it’s difficult. Our credit is good, but the stability is more difficult to prove. Financial freedom to me means having a bank that understands us, knows we’re hard workers, and helps us pursue that lifestyle.
It’s a tie between the really fun characters I get to meet and the food. As a farmer, I really appreciate well-cooked, delicious, interesting food, and the culture that comes along with that. Nashville has a great food scene.
Are you craving the pastoral life? Or, just want to learn more about The Farm and Fiddle? Check out their website.
Have a business you think is a Nashville Gem? Let us know in the comments or by using the hashtags #GetMore #Nashville!
Cheese: The not-so-secret ingredient that makes everything taste better. Admit it, to this day it’s the only reason you semi-enjoy eating broccoli. Continue reading “Nashville Gem: The Bloomy Rind”
It’s 6:45am and my alarm goes off. Most mornings I’d be weeping about the early start, but today I’m actually ready to hop out of bed.
I look at my phone and see that Justin Rearden of The Peach Truck has emailed me.
“Meet you at the Nashville Farmers Market at 8:30am.”
Nestled in the backdrop of high-rises from the Nashville skyline, the farmers market looks like a giant Victorian green house; with what reminds me of concrete grain silos to mark the entrance.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with the delicious smells of a local pizza favorite, Bella Nashville, and B&C Market BBQ. The outdoor portion of the market is where you’ll find produce vendors, all sourced from local and regional farms around Nashville.
Walking around outside, there’s a sense of urgency in the air, as vendors work to set up their stands before the long morning ahead. Trucks are pulling up to deliver beautiful baskets of perfect red tomatoes, fresh corn, squash, and peppers. People are pulling handcarts around, and customers are beginning to walk the isles.
Watching the scene, it dawns on me that the Nashville Farmers Market is the perfect representation of local feeding local. Vendors rely heavily on the local economy to support their farms and businesses. In turn, customers rely on locally sourced ingredients to stay healthy.
As I’m talking to a local vendor I see Justin walk over to The Peach Truck’s stand and begin setting up the table. Justin runs the operations side of the business.
We introduce ourselves and instantly start chatting about the event and how he got involved with The Peach Truck.
I ask if this is his only gig. It is.
“That was one of the concepts behind Stephen and Jessica starting this business. They wanted to have that freedom.”
Stephen and Jessica Rose are the owners of The Peach Truck.
Justin explains that Stephen originally moved to Nashville for a job. Upon arriving, he noticed that he could not find a perfect peach anywhere in town. Seeing that he still had family in Georgia with a peach farm, he began selling his family’s Georgia peaches out of the back of an old beat-up pickup. The peaches were a hit, and the business quickly turned into a large operation that was able to support his vision of freedom.
They work their tails off throughout the late spring and summer and then have the fall, and winter to do as they please. For Justin and his wife, this usually involves traveling. He’s getting ready to take off for 6-weeks to Europe in a few days.
For Stephen and Jessica Rose, the owners, it’s about family this year. They have a two-year old daughter, Florence, and twins on the way.
It’s 8:15 now, and two more people show up to help. A local college-bound girl named Tori, who has been working the Farmers Market stand all summer, and Matt Niehoff – founder of the Nashville blog www.experiencenashville.com.
Matt was the person that connected Kasasa and The Peach Truck for this event. He runs his blog, posts delicious local food and cocktails on his Instagram, freelances as a digital marketer, and has been working The Peach Truck’s stands all summer.
As 8:30 nears, all of them begin loading up the bags of peaches. First off, these peaches are magnificent. Each one looks like it was picked for a photoshoot. No bruises, just deliciousness.
Each bag contains 6-7 peaches and sells for $8. You get a $1 discount if you buy two bags. And if you’re feeling extra peachy, you can buy a 25 lbs. box for $39.
Today, the first 100 are going for free as part of a promotion with Kasasa and a line has already formed. It’s clear that Nashvillians love them some peaches.
Despite it being a work day, Nashvillians show up in waves to get their hands on the last peaches of the season. In 2 days, The Peach Truck will close up shop for the season and their delicious peaches will be unavailable until late May of 2017.
This is serious.
Within 2 hours the 100 bags are gone. People happily accept the first bag and some immediately buy a second or third.
At one point, a gentleman comes up and buys 6 boxes. He explains that he bought 10 boxes yesterday. This is referred to as peach mania.
One thing that is immediately noticeable is how familial The Peach Truck’s staff is with each other and their customers.
There were a handful of times where customers showed up and immediately started joking around with the staff like they had been friends all along. First names are preferred and laughter is a must.
With me, the outsider armed with a camera, customers were quick to say, “Thank you so much for the free peaches,” shake my hand, and ask me what I have planned for my stay.
Towards the end of the morning, Jessica Rose stops by with her daughter. As I’m chatting with Jessica about the business, two-year old Florence wastes no time. She steals a peach from one of the boxes and immediately chomps into it.
All at once, as if we’re at a family barbeque, Jessica, the staff, and the customers burst into laughter.
There is something contagious about seeing a community support each other.
Watching a local business have such a clear impact on its customers is heart warming. But this relationship is not one-sided. Because of all that love The Peach Truck receives every summer, they strive to always do right by their customers.
This type of relationship brings communities together. Having a supportive community pushes everyone to live up to their fullest potential. A supportive community encourages those in it to pursue their dreams. You are able to lean each other when times get tough, and share the love when things are going great.
While the 2016 season has ended, if you’re able to find some last minute peaches The Peach Truck has a handful of mouth-watering recipes on their website.
Peach and Pork Kabobs? Yum.
You can keep up with The Peach Truck by following them on:
Keep up with Matt Niehoff and Experience Nashville on Instagram for all things food and drink related.
Last Friday we had the chance give away 100 bags of peaches from The Peach Truck. Through the course of the day, one thing became apparent: Nashvillians love peaches. Like, really love them. I’m talking in an emotional way.
We had to know more about this relationship and the story behind how the local phenomenon got started.
Meet Jessica Rose. She and her husband, Stephen, are co-owners. They started The Peach Truck almost 5 seasons ago.
Stephen and I had just gotten married and moved to Nashville for his corporate gig. I’m from an entrepreneurial family, so I knew that working 9-5 kind of sucked. With me being from Seattle, and his family in Georgia, I knew that we’d be spending every vacation visiting one of the families.
And that would be it. That was going to be the rest of our lives. It felt so trapping.
Around the same time, we went back to Stephen’s home. I was eating the peaches, they were insanely good, and the idea naturally came up in conversation. We had this old truck, so we got creative and said “Let’s call it The Peach Truck.”
It started very simply – just as a hobby that first year. We’d work it on the side, after work or on the weekend. But then we saw the success and thought we might really be on to something.
Peaches hit on something, the string in the heart of southerners. We started hearing stories like “Oh, this reminds me of spending time on my grandma’s porch.” That’s when we knew we had to chase this.
Seeing our team get the vision and selling with pride. Seeing how it affects the customers. Seeing them tear up.
There are crazy stories of people buying a bag of peaches and taking it to the hospital to enjoy with their father who is on his deathbed. So many sincere moments of bringing people back to simpler times.
What we do is really hard – these peaches were on the tree yesterday. And we have to sell them within a day or two to ensure the freshness, and we’re not a business that can sit on inventory. It’s a lot of work, but it’s those stories and moments that make it all worth it.
I’m from Seattle, and I don’t think the company would have taken off there like it did here.
When we first started we spent two weeks knocking on restaurant doors, places we really loved, asking them “Would you buy peaches from us?” They said “Sure, we’ll give you a shot. Just bring them up.”
And when the peaches were good the chefs told all of their chef friends. Word spread, and we grew. Nashville so embraced us and celebrated us.
What I learned and love about this town is that there is enough to go around for everyone. When one person wins it doesn’t mean someone else loses. We can all win. We can all benefit. One thing I love about Nashville is that feeling of being loved and supported.
There are so many hard parts to running any business. The big one for me is that you have to be honest with yourself as an owner. All problems end with you.
If your team isn’t running properly, that reflects on you. You have to take responsibility for it and correct it.
If your product isn’t up to snuff, that is on you.
As an owner, you have to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and ask if you are working as hard as you could be. Ask “Am I sharing the vision? Am I getting these things in line?”
It’s a pride thing. You want to protect your ego and blame other people, but it’s on you.
I’m a very practical person, so here is one: Rent before you buy.
People want to feel special and have their own office downtown, but really they could work from their dining room table for another 4 or 5 years and be fine. Rent everything you need until you feel the pain of “I need to buy this.” Don’t be too proud to borrow things or ask around for help. Be lean.
We have a one-and-a-half year old, with two more on the way. There is no number. It’s about contentment with your life and being grateful.
We are time wealthy and that is huge. Being home with my kids. Having Steven around. We’ll get to be a family together. We’re able to create space and have room to make decisions. That is where real freedom comes from.
Oh, man! Who do I praise right now? There are so many. The new bar at Mas Tacos – we love Mas Tacos. The Burrata at Salt and Vine. Or, the Peach Pie at 5th and Taylor. All of them are amazing.
Want to hear more from The Peach Truck? Check out their website. Know of a Nashville business with a great story? We’d love to meet them. Shout them out in the comment section, or shoot us a tweet using the hashtag #getmore.
Leave Nashville heading south on scenic 31 and you’ll come across Gateway village; a community on the southwest corner of Franklin Road and Lynnwood Way. In this unassuming neighborhood there is something amazing going on: Herban Market.
At first glance, the market might look like any other. Yes, they sell food, but their goal is radically different from other grocers. Their focus is on the community’s health; both physically and economically.
We wanted to hear the whole story, so we sat down with the owner, Matt Hogancamp.
We wanted to create a cleaner market with more transparency. A market that paid the farmers around us – not sending money out of the community. A market where people didn’t have to check every label of every product. Everything has already been vetted.
I was born into an organic family, so I’ve always cared, but in my early 20’s I ventured off the path. I would go home and eat frozen pizzas, but then I would get swollen and feel terrible. I experienced that there was a 100% link between physical, and mental, well-being and what you eat.
Oh, man. I learn something new every day… Get the right team in place. You can’t do everything by yourself. You have to let go of things and let people run with their pieces. You have to place trust in your team.
Most big grocery chains have 3 big vendors that will pull stuff out of warehouses and take care of the supply chains. With our model, getting things as local as possible, I have 150 people I have to talk to every week. It’s a lot to keep up with.
Transforming people’s lives. Everyone loves great tasting olive oil, but then you can transition into eating more organic produce. You give them a couple weeks and they come back saying “I have more energy. I feel better.”
We also have an impact on the community we live in. This is an economic model that pumps money back into the community. It’s money given to local farmers, instead of being spent on shipping food from across the world.
You can eat local, and you can eat really well. Especially in Nashville, and we want people to know that.
This. No question. It’s very, very hard – a lot more work that what people see. But this.
We’ve got great customers. We really do. It’s unique people. People who are into health and what nutrition means to them physically and mentally. Or what sourcing food locally means for the environment. Some people get it. Some people are on their way to getting it. It’s so satisfying to be a part of.
Take risks while you’re young. Of course, it needs to be a calculated risk, but if you have an idea — try it. You can always find ways to change the idea or find an exit.
Caring about people. Caring about the economy. Caring about the environment. Three reasons why we think Herban Market is a gem of Nashville. Want to #GetMore on Herban Market? Check out their website or social media profiles.
Know of another business that makes Nashville better? We’d love to meet them! Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting us (@Kasasa) using the hashtag #GetMore.