Nashville Chocolate Kitchen a finalist for Martha's ‚ÄúAmerican Made‚ÄĚ award
By REBECCA BAUER
For Brentwood Home Page
Nashville Chocolate Kitchen, which has been teasing taste buds with their succulent chocolate and acclaimed Nashville Little Cakes, was recently included in the 100 finalists for the Audience Choice Award in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s American Made Program. The award, in partnership with Avery Dennison and The UPS Store, celebrates American artists, artisans and entrepreneurs. A few days are left to cast your vote and support this local confectionery favorite.
|Miley Barcus and her chocolate-chef-in-training son Thad share a sweet kiss.|
Brentwood resident and the company's "Chief Confectionery Enthusiast", Miley Barcus, is thrilled to share her own American-made story, and it could be just the right ingredient to deliver her artisan cakes to sweet-lovers nationwide.
“It’s wonderful, with Martha Stewart getting the word out, it will enable us to open an online store by the holidays,” said Barcus.
Nashville Chocolate Kitchen was chosen by the Martha Stewart Living editors from over 2,000 entries and was the only food company in Tennessee to make the final list. The Audience Choice winner - the finalist who receives the most votes—will receive $10,000 to further assist their business and will be featured in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living.
“Jill Smith, our Lead Artisan Baker, truly has a gift from the heavens,” said Barcus. “She’s been my right hand, bling-wearing friend. She suggested we enter the contest.”
Their story is a journey of conviction for chocolate, creativity and family. Miley and her husband, Brent, gave up their music and real estate careers to focus on their “chocolate cheer” that was once a gift to clients. Requests continued to come in.
“The economy started to go bad and real estate was slowing down, but people were still eating sweets. My ship was going in that direction, taking on a life of its own,” she said.
In the kitchen daily, Barcus said, “It’s Jill, myself and the big ole’ mixers!” She has added support of friends who most proudly and confidently work while donning rhinestones and red lipstick. Brent also adds to the operation (minus the lipstick and jewels) as Miley says, “He’s been amazing help, very savvy with the business side.” Most importantly, “It still allows me to be a wife and mom.”
Their fine chocolate recipes and cakes have been sold at Whole Food Stores and delivered for special occasions.
“We’ve been the chocolate kitchen behind spectacular events including the CMT Awards, for the Predators and Opryland. Our goal now is to get into the public more and into more stores.”
The Nashville Little Cakes are baked with the finest ingredients into a perfect handful-size cake, generously filled with icing to create a flavorful collection like Chocolate Noir, White Wedding and Pumpkin Maple. The artisan baker calls it, “A glorious cake experience!”
“I like to support our local businesses when I can by using their products like Hatcher Dairy Buttermilk that goes into the red velvet cake, printing locally with AlphaGraphics in Cool Springs and Nashville Wraps that ties it together,” Barcus added.
As a finalist for the award, Barcus said, “I see it as a win for our community. We’ve worked hard for something we’re proud of and want to make our community proud.”
Supporters can vote for the chocolatiers every day until Sept. 24 by visiting www.NashvilleChocolateKitchen.com. Winners will be announced online Oct. 8.