Smaller companies offering local products that shoppers seek
As part of a recent trip to Tennessee, Shelby Publishing President and Publisher Stephanie Reed and Jackie Krapf, business development manager, visited with many local vendors. Some of the company profiles appear below. Nearly all are listed under the Pick Tennessee Products.
Naked River Brewing Co.
Based in Chattanooga, this brewery is distributing its flavors beyond home these days.
“Part of our mission when we started up was that we weren’t going to have one set style, but we’re also going to brew a little bit for everybody,” said Jake Raulston, owner.
The brewery offers different twists on familiar brew styles. Some flavors include the popular Moon Pie Stout, Squatch Watchin Wheat Beer and Naked Light Pilsner.
Naked River also has a 200-barrel facility in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Two Heads Hot Sauce
Two Heads Hot Sauce is co-owned by Jeremy Fyke and Casey Maples, two bald guys who have a passion for food, flavor and spice. They started Two Heads in 2020 with a small batch in Maples’ kitchen.
Fast-forward seven months and Two Heads is sold in 40 plus stores around middle Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as shipping anywhere in the U.S.
“Our goal with all our sauces is ‘heat you can taste.’ In other words, heat is good, but it has to have great flavor,” they said.
The sauces are made from blends of peppers, with ingredients like agave nectar and fresh fruits. The result? A signature sweet and smokey flavor.
Two Heads donates 10 percent of all sales to support first responders, military, the hungry and others.
Lynchburg Cake & Candy
Bill Thomas and his wife started Lynchburg Cake and Candy Co. in 2003. He took a 135-year-old family recipe and modified it into the Lynchburg Whiskey Cake, which uses Jack Daniel’s Green Label Whiskey.
The company also offers Lynchburg Whiskey Balls, Lynchburg Whiskey Praline Pecans and Old-Fashioned Jam Cake. Lynchburg Cake and Candy Co. has been featured on The View and Food Network. The company also was featured in Paula Deen’s sons’ book: “Road Tasted.”
Lynchburg Cake and Candy’s headquarter has become a popular tourist spot as well, having recently won TripAdvisor’s 2020 Traveler’s Choice Award.
Royal Red Stew by Comfort Foods
Johnson City-based Royal Red Stew captures the flavors crafted by West African mothers and grandmothers in a ready-to-eat sauce. Made with all-natural ingredients (tomatoes, fresh onions and spices), the stew is gluten free, vegan and contains no MSG, added sugars or preservatives.
Royal Red Stew comes in four flavors: Original Mild, Curry Flavor, Spicy Hot and Extra-Extra Hot. It can be served with rice, potatoes, beans, fufu, pasta, plantain and vegetables.
Cooking and baking fish, chicken and meat with the stew results in gourmet-tasting dishes, according to the company
For more information, visit getcomfortfoods.com.
For more than 80 years, Wampler’s Farm Sausage in Lenoir City has been making sausage and pork products via its original methods.
According to the company’s website, co-founder Ted Wampler Sr. always said, “Our competition are real nice people, we just make a better product than they do.”
Today, the company sells sausage rolls, patties, taco meat and chorizo, to name a few. Wampler’s also has a focus on making its products sustainably sourced.
The power output of Wampler’s 680kw of solar arrays feeds clean, renewable energy onto the grid, according to their website. Wampler’s Farm Sausage is also the launch site for the first commercial Proton Power CHyP system in the world.
Family Brands makes a variety of retail processed and packaged meats. Some of its brands include Cades Cove BBQ, Mayo’s Sausage and Elm Hill Meats.
The company dates to 1965, when the Baltz Brothers of Nashville and the Wampler family of Lenoir City created a meat production company under the joint venture, Elm Hill Meats, according to their website.
The company name eventually changed to Family Brands. Its facility features digital monitoring systems for smokehouse and refrigeration units, automated lines for increased output production and safe-handling mechanisms to ensure product quality.
For more information, visit familybrandsllc.com.
Top Shelf/Pouncey Partners
Kim Pouncey began Pouncey Partners in 1998 to provide classroom training to servers and bartenders needing a permit to serve alcohol in Tennessee. In 2004, TopShelf was born to provide programs that include the specific state laws pertaining to their job. There also was a need to begin providing niche services to those taking the classes and the businesses that employed them.
When the wine in grocery stores bill was passed in Tennessee, TopShelf created a suite of online courses and services to meet the requirements in the state. Their TopShelf TRAX System human resource managers, or anyone needing privileges, can track all training certificates, expirations, employee rosters and online course status.
Courses can be purchased in bulk and assigned to stores or individual employees. Today, TopShelf’s client base includes companies that range from single locations to Fortune 500. While most clients choose to use the LMS and TRAX Systems, the courses are able to integrate with other LMS systems.