Last Minute Gift Ideas from Tennessee, 2014

Previously (but I missed last year), I’ve listed some last minute Tennessee-related holiday gift ideas. This year, the emphasis is on food grown or produced (e.g. cooked, prepared, collected, etc.) in the state. (And for the few who may read this on Christmas Eve, I’ve even included a couple Tennessee-related products or distribution channels for the desperate.)

These are all products (or collections of products) that can be purchased online, but you need to get your orders in early this week (by December 20) to beat shipping or delivery deadlines. Also, at the bottom of this post is a long list of places (with email and phone numbers for many of them) across Tennessee where you can purchase these and other Tennessee grown and produced products. (Thanks to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Market Development Division’s website PickTNProducts.org for that list.)

Also, if you know of a Tennessee produced food item or source not listed, feel free to add them in a comment. Only criteria: They need to provide shipping by Christmas Eve.

Tennessee Community Supported Agriculture

Before I jump into stuff that all taste great but aren’t necessarily good for you, I wanted to give a shout out to the CSAs in Tennessee. These efforts enable customers to get a steady stream of local products throughout the harvesting season. CSAs are great for customers and producers, alike. Here’s a list of Tennessee CSAs. They would make a great gift that keeps on giving.

rice hams mt juliet tennessee

Rice’s Country Hams

While I’ve mentioned the well-known Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Hams of Madisonville, Tenn., before, they don’t fall into the category of “last minute” shopping options as their shipping cut off date is December 9. However, one of my consistent spotters for this list suggested Rice’s Country Hams (“The Smoke House of Champions”) of Mt. Juliet, Tenn. (“Why are you just now suggesting this?” I asked), a family business run by some of her ‘kin folk’ (although I don’t believe she’s ever used ‘kin folk’ before).

From Rice’s Country Hams website:

Rice’s Country Hams is a third generation family owned and operated business. It is the oldest retail business still in operation in Mt. Juliet Tennessee. We have been curing Country Hams for over 60 years. The Rice Family takes pride in doing things the “Old Fashion Way”. We offer the highest quality country cured meats you will find. Our Country Hams are cured for at least 10 months to give you the best flavor. Not only do we cure country hams, but we also offer thick sliced smoked bacon, hickory smoked sausage and a variety of other southern treats. One bite of our country meats is sure to bring back childhood memories of a simpler time.

More Pork Options

I’ve also noted before that there are two pork ideas that I personally endorse and that I would happily clog my arteries with any day: Loveless Cafe Gift Baskets (Nashville) or a rib dinner shipped via FedEx from The Rendezvous (Memphis twofer).


Goo-Goo Cluster

If you’ve never heard of Goo-Goos, this is all you need to know: Milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts and marshmallow. The candy celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 so the legend about it being named for the “Grand Ole Opry” is obviously an urban myth (although, “urban” is not applicable here either). You can find Goo-Goo clusters lots of places if you live in the south and their website has a directory of retailers where you can find a box of Goo Goos all over.

Moon Pie


Another century-old Tennessee treat are Moon Pies from Chattanooga Bakery. Created in 1917, the company now produces about one million Moon Pies per day.

Sampler Baskets and Boxes


If you want a collection of Tennessee foods (and by foods, I mean things made from pork or sugar), here are a couple of sample samplers from a longer list on the Pick Tennessee Products website.

The Tennessee Gourmet:

Also from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee Gourmet produces a line of sauces, but also has some great “build your own box collection” of all sorts of Tennessee foods that include everything from Moon Pies to salsa. In addition to their online products, some of their items are available through retailers.

A Basket Case

This Spring Hill-based gift basket company, has several made-in-Tennessee food (and by food, I mean candy) collections that can be shipped or delivered locally.

 Tennessee Wineries

While I’ve never tried any of these myself, I’m sure they’re all really swell (and no, I didn’t say swill). From the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Association:

“Home to over 40 wineries and 150 vineyards, Tennessee will surprise and delight you with its offering of award-winning wines.On Tennessee’s fertile, rolling hills, farmers have mastered the ancient art of growing grapes, yielding a locally-grown product superb for winemaking at its best.”

Desperately seeking a last, last minute Tennessee-related item?

While these are a stretch, I’ve included them (as I have before) for the desperate last-minute $generallogoshopper who wants to connect a gift some-way, any-way, with Tennessee: Buy anything from a  Cracker Barrel (based in Lebanon, Tenn.) in 42 states or online at CrackerBarrel.com.  Even more desperate for a Tennessee-connection to food but don’t care if it’s primarily in the form of corn fructose blended and packaged in various weights and sizes? There are 9,600+ locations of Dollar General (based in Goodletsville, Tenn.) in 35 states you can stop by for some holiday Cheetos.

Places to call or visit to purchase Tennessee food products

These stores and producers carry Tennessee food products.
Contact them to place orders for Tennessee products and gift baskets!
(Thanks to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Market Development Division: PickTNProducts.org)
Al’s Foodland1006 N. Cumberland StreetLebanon, TN 37087615-449-8293alslebanon@gmail.com
Al’s Foodland 2910 Highlway 31 WestWhite House, TN 37188615-672-8892alsfoodvalu@aol.com
Breeden’s Orchard631 Beckwith Rd.Mt. Juliet, TN 37122615-449-2880
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery1100 Dunlop LaneClarksville, TN 37040931-645-8867www.caseyjones.com/OldCountryStore
Brook Shaw’sOld Country Store56 Casey Jones LaneCasey Jones VillageJackson, TN 38305731-668-1223www.caseyjones.com/OldCountryStore
Butler & Bailey Market 7513 S. Northshore DriveKnoxville, TN 37919865-694-9045http://butlerandbaileymarket.com/
C & F Meat Company, Inc. 5247 Murfreesboro RoadCollege Grove, TN 37046615-395-4819www.candfmeat.com
Chattanooga Pepper Company 109 Frazier AveChattanooga, TN 37405423-266-6496
Columbia Flea Market and Variety Store 2348 Plus Park DriveColumbia, TN 38401615-491-6529columbiafleamarket.com
Country Gourmet107 East Main StreetMurfreesboro, TN 37130615 -896-3634http://www.beachavenwinery.com
Court Square Market & Deli 115 N. Main St.Ripley, TN 38063731-635-6000https://www.facebook.com/CourtSquareMarket.Deli
Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies5280 Pleasant View RdMemphis, TN901-377-2639http://www.dinstuhls.com/
Dollywood General StoreDollywood ParkPigeon Forge, TN 37863865-428-9606
Falls Creek Falls – General Store2023 Village Camp RoadPikeville, TN 37367423-881-5662
Fall Creek State ParkGift Shop2536 Lakeside DrivePikeville, TN 37367423-881-5298www.tn.gov/environment/parks/FallCreekFalls
Farmers Market of Antioch2510 Murfreesboro Road, #10Nashville, TN 37217615-513-4700farmers37217@gmail.com
Grassland Foodland 2176 Hillsboro RoadFranklin, TN 37069615-791-1091GrasslandFoodland@gmail.com
Green Door Gourmet7011 River Road PikeNashville, Tn 37209(615) 942-8079info@greendoorgourmet.comhttp://www.greendoorgourmet.com
Green Leaf Garden Center7121 Asheville Hwy.Knoxville, TN 37924865-329-0087GreenLeafGardenCenter@gmail.com
Harris Teeter2201 21st Ave S.Nashville,TN 37212615-269-7818
Harris Teeter210 Franklin St.Nashville, TN 37201615-373-0180
Harris Teeter6002 Highway 100Nashville, TN 37205615-352-2567
Hearth & Patio725 Parkway Ste 4Sevierville, TN 37862865-429-9069
Hermitage HotelRachel’s Gifts231 Sixth Avenue NorthNashville, TN 37219615-345-7149
Honey’s Vintage Sweets123 South Margin StreetFranklin, TN 37064www.honeysvintagesweets.com
Miss Cordelia’s737 Harbor Bend RoadMemphis TN 38103901-526-4772contact@misscordelias.com
Montgomery BellState Park Gift Shop1000 Hotel AvenueBurns, TN 37029615-797-3101www.tn.gov/environment/parks/MontgomeryBell/
Nashville Armory Eats4290 Kenilwood DriveNashville, TN 37204615-730-8054nashvillearmoryeats.com
Opryland Nashville Bushels & Baskets
2800 Opryland DriveNashville, TN 37214866-972-6779
Pamela Anne’s Candy & Gifts409 Main StreetOliver Springs,Tennessee 37840865-435-1736
Paris LandingState Park Gift Shop400 Lodge RoadBuchanan, TN 38222731-641-44651http://tn.gov/environment/parks/ParisLanding/
Publix – Bellevue Center 7604 Highway 70 S.Nashville, TN 37221615-646-1870
Publix – Concord Village 10638 Concord RdBrentwood, TN 37027615-941-8871
Publix – Cool Springs 8105 Moores LnBrentwood, TN 37027615-221-9880
Publix – Franklin Marketplace1021 Riverside DrFranklin, TN 37064(615)591-3285
Publix – Greensboro Village 1483 Nashville PikeGallatin, TN 37066615-451-6285
Publix – Harpeth Village2020 Fieldstone PkwyFranklin, TN 37069(615)599-1825
Publix -Indian Lake Marketplace110 Indian Lake BlvdHendersonville, TN 37075615-264-1350
Publix- Marketplaceat Maryland Farms101 Creekside XingBrentwood, TN 37027615-507-1505
Publix -McKay’s Mill Village Center1400 Liberty Pike, Ste 200 Franklin, TN 3706615-591-4061
Publix – Nippers Corner15544 Old Hickory BlvdNashville, TN 37211615-331-4912
Publix -Oakwood Commons4670 Lebanon PikeHermitage, TN 37076615-874-0898
Publix -Parkway Town Centre661 President PlSmyrna, TN 37167-5671615-220-1919
Publix- Spring Hill Village4935 Main StreetSpring Hill, TN 37174615-302-4068
Puckett’sGrocery & Restaurant120 South 4th Ave.Franklin, TN 37064615-794-5527www.puckettsgrocery.com
Rebel Hill Florist, Inc. 4821 Trousdale DriveNashville, TN 37220615-833-8555lisa@rebelhillflorist.com
Red Barn Winery 1805 Tanyard RoadLafayette, TN 37083615-688-6012http://redbarnwinery.com/
Rice Country Ham’s 12217 Lebanon RdMt. Juliet, TN 37122615.758.2362http://www.ricecountryhams.com
Shelbyville Sweet Shoppe 112 East Side Square931-773-0114shelbyvillesweetshoppe@gmail.com
Simonton’s Cheese& Gourmet House2278 Hwy. 127 SouthCrossville, TN 38572931-484-5193www.simontonscheese.com
Strawberry Fields Market 3701 Sutherland Ave.Knoxville, TN 37919865-450-1196www.strawberryfieldsmarket.com
Sun Shine Gift Shop 1912 Church StreetNashville, TN 37203615-329-1281http://www.sunshineshopgiftbaskets.com/
The Bee Hive 334 West Main St., Suite BHendersonville, TN 37075615-822-8110http://thebeehivetn.com
The Chocolate Rose 1104 Main StreetPleasant View, TN 37146615-747-2069http://www.pvgiftdelivery.com/
The Island in Pigeon Forge 250 Island Drive #2104Pigeon Forge, TN 37863865-286-3900http://islandinpigeonforge.com/shop-dine/
The Local Butcher Shop& Market348 S. Calderwood St.Alcoa, TN 37701865-323-3533localbutchertn.com
The Produce Place4000 Murphy RoadNashville, TN 37209615-383-2664www.produceplace.com
Three Blind Mice 907 Erwin Hwy.Greenville, TN 37745423-639-5924
Three Rivers Market1100 N. Central St.Knoxville, TN 37917865-525-2069www.threeriversmarket.coop
Trolley Stop Market704 Madison AveMemphis, TN 38103901-526-1361Fax: 901.526.1362trolleystopmarket@live.com
The Store house4580 East Robertson RdCross Plains TN 37049615-717-5287Cyhuff1965@gmail.com
The Turnip Truck Urban Fare321 12th Ave. SouthNashville, TN 37203615-248-2000http://www.theturniptruck.com/
The Turnip Truck Urban Fare970 Woodland StreetNashville TN 37206615-650-3600http://www.theturniptruck.com/
Whole Foods Market and Whole Body4021 Hillsboro PikeNashville, TN 37215615-440-5100http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/nashville
Whole Foods Market -McEwen1566 West McEwen DriveFranklin Tennessee 37067United States615-550-5660http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/mcewen
Whole Foods Market -Memphis5022 Poplar Ave.Memphis Tennessee 38117United States901-685-2293http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/memphis
Whole Foods Market -Chattanooga301 Manufacturers RdChattanooga Tennessee 37405United States423-702-7300http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/Chattanooga
Wilson Farmers Co-operative 107 Babb DriveLebanon, TN 37087615-444-5212
pigpen glass

A Clearer View of the Future of Google Glass

(See Update)

November 14, 2014, via Reuters:

Of 16 Glass app makers contacted by Reuters, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects.

Last year, I observed in a post–one that included an email exchange  with Don Norman of Nielson-Norman and author of The Design of Everyday Things–that I believed the product release of Google Glass was bungled by Google. As much as I’m a fan and customer of many services provided by Google, they have a way of consistently demonstrating a lack of understanding of the importance of “customer” when it comes to marketing non-search products. (They’re better these days with some categories of business-to-business services, however.)

Continue reading

Enough_with_the_flying_cars_already___The_Verge 1

For Long Time Readers of RexBlog, a Flying Car Video

First: A Flashback to the year 2006 when I blogged all year about stories I’d see regarding flying cars. The truth is, you could pick out any year and read just as many articles about people who are going to start having a commercial version of a flying car next July. For some reason, next July is always far enough in the future so reporters will forget to check back in.

Anyway, I just saw this and thought it was too 2006 to pass up.

At least they didn’t claim it would be available next July.

static_squarespace 3

Review: The Podcast “Serial”

This is the post where I am officially joining the quickly-expanding fan club of Serial (Website | iTunes), the new audio podcast spin-off from Ira Glass’s public radio program, This American Life.

It joins Chicago’s WBEZ’s incredible lineup of podcasts that are setting a high standard for the production and distribution of media that are opening eyes (but more importantly, ears) for a coming revival of audio programming unmatched since the golden age of radio (which I’m not old enough to recall personally, despite rumors to the contrary).

Continue reading


Top Ten List of Reasons to Ignore Top 10 List Blog Posts

Here are the top ten reasons to avoid blog posts that are top ten lists.

  1. They are boring and repetitive..
  2. They are obvious.
  3. No one reads past #3.
  4. So bloggers make up stuff from 5-10.
  5. Moses. Now there was a great list writer.
  6. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  7. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  8. Did you notice #7 repeated #6?
  9. No one else noticed it.
  10. They are boring and repetitive.