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VOL. 43 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 20, 2019

Farmers’ Market a great place to find local products

By Catherine Mayhew

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Batch store manager Caroline Espy holds a gift basket containing Nashville made products for making homemade hot chicken.

-- Photos By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

Selecting that perfect gift for a loved one or friend can take considerable thought and even more time to track down.

But if you think Tennessee for all your presents this year, you can narrow the focus to artisans right here in your home state and contribute to local economies.

You can find Tennessee-made products at a variety of retailers, but several businesses sell nothing but home-grown gift items.

Head to the Nashville Farmers’ Market and venture in to the Market House to find Batch, founded in 2013 when three friends – Sam Davidson, Stephen Moseley and Rob Williams – decided they wanted to make it easier to discover and share the unique products made in Nashville.

Batch’s motto is “hand-crafted, hand-picked happiness.’’

“It’s curated by us and handcrafted by locals,” store manager Caroline Espy says. “And we hope it delivers happiness and delight.”

Artisan products are never boring or predictable. How about Southern artisan small batch chocolate or a selection of the pillowy Bang Candy Company’s handmade marshmallows? Olive and Sinclair’s Muzzle Loaders are salted bourbon, caramel-filled chocolate spheres that the makers suggest you pop in your mouth whole. The Loveless Café’s iconic jams and biscuit mix also make an appearance.

Tennessee-made sweets and treats at Batch

-- Photos By Michelle Morrow |The Ledger

On the non-food side, enjoy Latika Queen Bee Soap, shaped like a honey comb, or a Hot Chicken cookbook. One of the more unusual offerings is the Little Seed Farm Rose Quartz Facial Roller, which is an actual rose quartz you roll all over your face. Little Seed promises the roller will “elevate your daily skincare routine.” If you’re buying for a man, Batch has a full line of Olivina men’s grooming products.

“We have a purveyor pitch day every month where artisans and makers can pitch their products to us,” Espy says. “We have a lot of close relationships with artisans and makers. That’s what’s really important to us.”

Like Batch, Made in TN also has close relationships with their suppliers.

Made in TN was founded two and a half years ago by Ilex and Sarah Pounders. Ilex had been the director of marketing for a local company and he needed gifts for his corporate clients. That led him on the hunt for Tennessee-made products.

The ethos of gift giving now permeates the company.

“My wife has always had a heart for everything local and she very much likes to have thoughtful gifts and only gives gifts that are a great quality product,” Ilex explains. “Tennessee has so many quality makers.”

Made in TN carries more than 600 products from 100 vendors. Some are rotated seasonally, while others are all-stars permanently on the shelves.

Goo Goo Clusters and Olive and Sinclair chocolates are always on display. Some of their more whimsical products include a variety of handmade soaps wrapped in sheet music in honor of Music City, a Cotton Candy Wash Me Whip Sugar Scrub with a cotton candy scent, the Saturday Morning Cartoon Fruit Loops Bath Bomb (and it does smell like Fruit Loops) and a candle that smells like Tennessee whiskey.

“We do a lot of research and we do a lot of shopping ourselves,” Ilex adds. “We try every product because we only want to deliver quality products.”

High Note Gifts has an extensive online offering of local artisan products. They specialize in pre-selected and customized gift baskets and sets that can be designed for individual giving or corporate clients. Shop their collection at highnotegifts.com.

Both Batch and Made in TN do a healthy online business and offer custom gift boxes. Stop by Batch’s store at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., or Made in TN’s stores at The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road, or L&L Market, 3820 Charlotte Ave. Order online at batchusa.com or shopmadeintn.com.

And take joy in the holiday cheer you’re providing to Tennessee’s artisans and makers while you enjoy truly one-of-a-kind gifts.

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