Nashville is like my second home. With four scoop shops, I am here a lot. The theme of this leg of the trip: Nashville hospitality. A pure, authentic, open-armed welcome is what we got at every stop along the way.
We started with a surprise ice cream social for the staff at Husk—paying forward the hospitality the Husk Team showed Ellen and I when we went back for dinner that evening. The Husk Team is so welcoming. Sometimes at Jeni’s, I think my real job is being a host. I’m welcoming people into our shop, our home, wanting to create a wonderful experience. I’m always inspired by the true, authentic hospitality of teams. The front and back of house staff of Husk live and breath this idea.
Also, always order the vegetable plate at Husk because it’s one thing that no one else does, not on this level. It’s an incredibly luxurious meal, but it’s only vegetables.
After Husk, we took the truck over to my favorite shoe maker, Nisolo, to help them celebrate their fifth anniversary. Nisolo means “not alone,” and Patrick (one of the founders) and his team have been working so hard to build a community here and in Peru. They prove that when you make something of quality, people will buy it. The fact that this ethic, of creating a community, is how the company runs, makes me devoted to Nisolo in a way that is very personal. It’s not just a pretty pair of shoes anymore. It’s supporting something I truly believe in. It does work to do good things as a business. Entrepreneurship does really incredible things. We can only hope to live up to these kind of standards.
We popped up in West Elm and greeted a steady crowd. Shout out to the Jeni’s superfan who showed up with two boxes of homemade candles—each one a different Jeni’s ice cream flavor (Whisky & Pecans, Thai Curry Pumpkin, you get it). The West Elm staff was incredible to work with—just another dose of Nashville hospitality.
City House + Meet the Makers
Before heading to our East Nash scoop shop, we parked the ice cream truck at City House, one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Nashville since they opened in 2007. We scooped ice cream for Tandy Wilson and his team pre-dinner service. Tandy is so incredibly admirable—so talented and sweet, and also kind of a bad ass. I have so much respected for this restaurant.
After we jetted to our East Nash scoop shop to hang with customers. Shout out to Brooke and Sunny on the Jeni’s squad, who were friendly, helpful, and explained each flavor perfectly!
We wrapped up the day at The Hutton—my favorite hotel in Nashville (get a suite if you go). They were kind enough to offer Ellen and me and our whole team a free place to stay for the night (heavenly shower included). Thanks to The Hutton for sponsoring our trip!
JBB + Ellen Brunch
Before hitting the road to Atlanta, we hosted brunch for our longtime Nashville friends and supporters at the Food Sheriff, run by Jesse Goldstein, who I met seven years ago at the Loveless Cafe. Everyone brought a dish like a giant potluck. My contribution: Waffles and ice cream. We carried our waffle mix (remember the waffles from day one of the road trip?) all the way from Ohio, keeping it refrigerated on the RV and various hotels. The batter tastes so good after it sits for a few days.
The brunch was about this idea that Ellen and I have, which is we can know so many people across the county, spark ideas, and have great conversations online—but, to us, we don’t feel fulfilled until we come together in person. That’s what this road trip is about. Connecting everyone and meeting each other. To our surprise many people at brunch didn’t know one another even though they all live in Nashville. Many of the people in this community have been here for us since day one, they show up to every event, and I feel like they are our core group of friends and supporters.
Nashville, I am overwhelmed with the love as always. But we must keep rolling down the road—off to Atlanta. Catch-up with Ellen and me, or follow along with #IceCreamAndApronsForAll.