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- [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by. - [Phil] I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. Here in Cookeville, Tennessee's college town, we are bold, fearless, confident and kind. Tech prepares students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that living wings up. Learn more at tntech.edu. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we discover a unique concept in food service in Nashville then visit a Dickson coffee shop inspired by the moon. We'll take you on a whitewater rafting adventure on the Ocoee River and meet a pair of nature inspired potters in Burns, Tennessee. That's the lineup for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads" everyone. I'm Joe Elmore. Welcome. We've covered enough restaurants over the years to know that owning and operating a successful one is not something anybody can do. Well, what if you could test out your idea for a dining establishment in a smaller setting without an actual brick and mortar space? Laura Faber headed to East Nashville and a place that will give your taste buds an international workout. - [Beau] So, originally, this was a car wash. That's why it's called The Wash. - [Laura] If you've been living in Nashville a long time, you might remember the old car wash that sat on this corner in East Nashville. Today, the six bays are used to feed the community not clean its cars. It's space for chefs who may not want to or not be able to invest heavily in a permanent space. Beau Gaultier is an operating partner at The Wash. He's in charge of Bay 6, the cocktail bar. - The intention overall is to have these, like, affordable, you know, first steps for restaurant owners. The front of house space is the most expensive part of a restaurant. So, whenever you can remove the, you know, like, the necessary parts of buying tables, buying chairs, having a staff, and all you have to do is pay for the square footage of your kitchen and then, you know, serve out onto this common area patio. It's much more accessible for new business owners. - [Laura] In each bay, an upcoming restaurateur is cooking and serving up special recipes in an incubator space. While designed for takeout, the covered seating area gets packed on nice days. The food choices are diverse and delicious. Partners pay rent and get the basics. Inside Bay 5 is East Side Pho, where authentic Vietnamese pho is made. - Well, it's all of her family recipes. We had our first popup that we kind of like debuted East Side Pho. They're always in here, checking and make sure everything tastes authentic and up to their standards. - [Laura] Mary Nathanson says beef pho is the number one seller. The bao buns are a close second. - [Mary] So, we do all Vietnamese pho, which is Vietnamese soup. We also have some non pho things like spicy pork noodles. We're debuting a veggie curry in the wintertime, and then we also, every once in a while have some of Grace's famous pastries that she does. But yeah, our main focus is kind of the pho. - [Laura] Inside Bay 4 is Tootsie Lou's Tacos, which features homemade tortillas. The taco sampler is a big seller. - The bold thing about our tortillas is we import the corn from Mexico and we grind the corn ourselves in house. And then every day, we have the freshest tortillas you can get probably on this side of Nashville. - [Laura] Bay 3 is The Poki, serving up Hawaiian poke with a twist. - So, I'm making the game spicy tuna, comes with the cucumber, green onions and the breakfast radish, and we put it in the metal bowl so we mix it all up evenly and then we put it on top of the rice. A lot of people like adding the edamame and mango with it so it's like a spicy and sweet. We have three locations. We just opened our third, and I would say this is definitely our most popular bowl for sure. - [Laura] Bay 2 is Soy Cubano. Owner and chef Javier Salado is from Miami but has been in Nashville more than 20 years. - We can find here is traditional Cuban food that you might have gotten from your grandma's house in Miami and your mom's, your tia's, which is your aunt's house, maybe your old Cuban spot in Tampa, Florida. That's what we're kind of serving you here. - [Laura] The traditional Cuban coffee is the real deal, and they just might serve the best Cuban sandwich in town. - [Javier] No question the Cuban sandwich, because everyone knows the Cuban sandwich, and I think we do a pretty good job in doing that. It's super popular. - [Laura] For Javier and other partners here, the concept of The Wash is great, not only as a way to test out recipes, but to learn from others around them. It's become a community. Last but not least, in Bay 1, you can find 2 Peruvian Chefs. Their crab ceviche. - [Peruvian Chef] And we put ceviche on top and Peruvian corns. - [Laura] And steak stir fry are perfection and are number one sellers. - [Peruvian Chef] It's a stir fry with onions, tomato with Peruvian oriental sauce and over fries with white rice. Yeah, it's the most popular thing. - Regulars tell us the best thing is to try something from each bay. You can truly have a global dining experience just by coming to East Nashville and The Wash. We have food from Cuba here, recipes from Peru, Hawaiian recipes, Mexican, Vietnamese. It's time to take your taste buds traveling. Whether you have a group that can't decide what to eat or a pack of picky eaters, The Wash may be the perfect Old East Nashville spot made new again to satisfy every craving. - Thanks, Laura. Have you gazed up at the moon lately? From the days of ancient folklore, most cultures believe the moon is kinda magic. Well, in our next story, Miranda Cohen travels to Dickson and finds a trendy coffee shop that's making up some enchanted treats, all inspired by the owner's love of all things lunar. - [Miranda] NaKayla London makes owning and running a hip and trendy espresso bar and bakery look easy. This sweet spot on Mulberry Street in Dickson is filled with homemade goodies and what many claim is the best cup of coffee in town. Even the name is cool, Moon Draped Espresso Bar & Dessert Lounge. - I've always been a lover of the moon, spiritual person. I feel like the moon, the phases of life, just in general, us being a woman owned business, the moon is feminine. Everything about my life is draped by the moon. It's a word that's not used very often, lounge, you're just like, a little kickback place. - [Miranda] A delicious array of coffees and teas are brewed early and served until late into the evening so you can have your cake or cookie or savory sausage ball and eat it, too, all in this cozy and spacious dessert lounge. NaKayla started out dipping strawberries in chocolate to help raise money for her grandmother who had lost her home in a natural disaster. The word got out and the people came out, standing in line for almost an hour to get the delicious, beautiful berries. And as it turns out, sometimes mother still knows best. It was mom, Paula Coleman, who insisted NaKayla looked for a brick and mortar and open her own shop. - It took 45 minutes to clear a line, and I looked at her and I said, we'll never do this again. And that's when we started looking for this place, but it's been a journey. It's a lot, but she's so magnetic. She has such a magnetic personality that she'll do well. - [Miranda] To run her successful and growing business, NaKayla enlisted the help of some of the most important people in her life and one of the best bakers she knew. - [NaKayla] So, my mom comes from a huge line of baking. Her mom, the oldest of 10 siblings, white thumb, completely. So, my other granny lost her house, and that's kind of what started the Moon Draped. - [Miranda] Today, you will find Paula Coleman baking up southern favorites like cinnamon rolls, cobblers, cheesecake, cake pops, cookies, savory sausage balls and much more, even mastering temperamental macarons and labor intensive baklava. Like mother, like daughter, both talented and driven. Both share a passion for the community and of working together. - [NaKayla] We know what it means to get in here. We both have the same. We want to serve the people and for them to love our products. So, there we meet hand in hand, but also just working with the family. It's a family affair. - I don't even like cake pops, and I would eat theirs every day of my life. So yeah, everything that I've had here is delicious. And they have just been really wonderful to be a part of our community. - No doubt one of the hottest selling items here at Moon Draped is these beautiful handmade cocoa bombs. You just dropped this beauty into a cup of steaming milk and true to their name, the rest is pure magic. - [NaKayla] We serve the things that we love. We're gonna give you the best of what we love. Especially, you know, growing up, there are recipes my granny made, my mom made. Those are what you're gonna get. - [Miranda] And just as popular as the desserts and high-end coffees and teas is one of Dickson's most fun baristas, Tony Primm. Everyone knows him by name, and he knows exactly how to make the perfect cup of coffee. - It's super cool getting to serve the community, meeting different people, all different walks of life. It's super fun. I really enjoy it. They're great people. They're hilarious. Like, they just feed off each other and it's laughs all day. - [Miranda] And while you are lounging at Moon Draped, take a look around. It is filled with locally sourced honey, candles, mugs, clothing and much more, all created by local artisans. - [NaKayla] Anybody can buy corporate stuff, but small town, it's made with love most of the time. So, I have a lot of people that I work with. If we can help support, get people out there, they've done that for us, so, 100%, I'm gonna give it back. - [Miranda] NaKayla London has dedicated countless hours to owning and growing her own business, working with her family and giving back to the community. She is finally realizing her dreams. She may have been reaching for the stars, but she found the moon along the way. - We've built a huge family just with our customers that come in every day. So, just building a relationship with these people, they're not customers, I mean, friends, family, for sure. For sure. - Thanks, Miranda. Spring's in full bloom, and with the weather warming up you might be looking for a Tennessee outdoor adventure. Well, here's a refreshing idea if you don't mind getting wet. Just head down to the Ocoee River for the beauty of nature and the thrills of whitewater rafting. It's just a bed of rocks when TVA's using it to make electricity. But when they release water from the dams, the river roars to life. And this gorge becomes a premier sports destination for kayaking and whitewater rafting. - The thing about the Ocoee is it is so consistent. The middle section is something special. You know, there's, it's just rapid after rapid. You're constantly doing something. After all these years, we've really figured out ways to make the most out of all these rapids. - [Joe] That's Jake Rogers, a young yet veteran guide of Ocoee Rafting, the oldest of 22 outfitters along the river. Every season, owner Angie Arp welcomes thousands of adventure seekers, many of which are first timers. - They're a little nervous to start with, but once they go, they come back and I ask 'em. I'm in the office, and I ask 'em, did you have a good time? "Oh, we had a blast. We had so much fun." Once they do it and get over that nervousness and they feel comfortable with their guide, you know, they're fine. - [Joe] After you check in at the welcome center and grab your gear, there's a group safety talk with a little bit of levity thrown in. - You'll find yourself underneath the raft. If you're underneath the raft, please come on out from underneath the raft, okay? There are exits at the front, back and both sides. Pick one. But don't try and go up. - [Joe] Next, the five mile ride upstream to the dam. - Show of hands, who has never done anything like this before. All right, well this is real easy. This is called a bus ride. If you can keep your hands and feet inside the windows at all times, no running up and down the aisle, that would be phenomenal. Thank you very much. - [Joe] Before the launch, Jake has a few more pointers for our crew. - Sit down in there. The further and tighter the better. Lemme see what we got. Just like that. - [Joe] Most rafts carry six people. Ours is only populated by our guide, Jake, a couple from West Virginia, Patrick and Angie, Paul, manning the GoPro and me. - [Jake] We're gonna start off at Grumpy's Ledge. That's the very first rapid. And you really put straight into it. There's no practice time. You go straight into the class three rapid. - [Joe] The guides have nice little names for the places you encounter, like Broken Nose, Table Saw and Hell Hole. There are only a few commands you need to know like paddle forward. You hear that a lot. And another one, hit the deck, which you'd best obey. - [Jake] Hit the deck. - Water line went down 'cause I swallowed part of it. I didn't know we'd get wet. Of course, gotta enjoy it while you can. - We got a new paddle command for you guys. It's called left side forward, right side back, left side forward, right side back. So that means that Joe and Patrick, you guys are gonna go forward really hard. Amy and I, we're gonna go back really hard and that's what's gonna spin us around all the way through this rapid. - [Joe] Eventually, we pass the Ocoee's powerhouse. The river altitude drops about 250 feet on the five mile journey. The water level's always the same, thanks to TVA but the success of the ride is up to your guide. - [Jake] It really comes down to a game of inches. I mean, it is inches of where you're keeping your boat to, you know, stay on the ride line and also work your people as little as possible. You know, I try not to get people huffing and puffing out there and just wearing themselves out. - [Joe] Before you know it, an exhilarating hour and a half has passed and it's the end of the line. You're a little tired, totally wet and full of wild, wonderful memories that'll stay afloat for years to come. - Joe, hey, great to have you, man. All right, good. I'm glad you guys enjoyed. Thank you guys so much. If you see us on social media, click like, swipe right. Thank you and good night. - No doubt few art forms put you in touch with nature like making pottery. You're literally molding the earth with your hands. Cindy Carter recently met a Burns, Tennessee couple who found they had a knack for creating art all inspired by the leaves on their trees. - [Cindy] What makes a good potter? Hard work, careful consideration, passion and patience. - [Patty] I enjoy it completely, you know, so I don't want to quit. - [Cindy] What makes a good marriage? Ditto. - I had to teach him how to glaze once he quit working. He retired. He'd get the- - Yeah, she had to teach me how. - Yes, I did. - [Cindy] Ronnie and Patty Thornton are a pair of potters who every day work side by side in the garage of their Tennessee home. The pieces they press and push into shape are inspired by the rustic scenery that surrounds them. The couple spends a lot of time together, a lot, not necessarily unexpected once they reached retirement, but they certainly didn't expect this. - We just started doing it and say, hey, it worked for us. - [Cindy] A second career, a second calling, a second chance to redefine their lives as professional artists. - I got this wild idea to make my own mug because I love coffee. - [Cindy] Patty's coffee craving brought her into Dickson Tennessee's Renaissance Center, a place where students of all ages can pursue a variety of artistic expressions. But she says the buzz she got once she actually started getting her hands dirty was a rush she did not anticipate. - It was fun, but it also, it would make me cry sometimes because I could not get it as soon as I wanted to make, get that mug to look like a real mug, you know. - [Cindy] Over time, Patty started improving, often bringing her work home to Ronnie for inspection. - Actually, she got me into pottery. - [Cindy] A year later, they both were taking pottery classes at Pegram's Mud Puddle Pottery Studio. - Once he started taking classes, it sort of just rubbed off. He couldn't go backwards. He liked it. - [Cindy] Soon, this couple's so-called hobby started shaping into something more. Friends and family pointed out their work was good, real good, good enough people might actually pay for it. - It takes a while. It takes a good while for you to get your confidence. - [Cindy] And once the confidence and creativity started colliding, the couple decided to take a chance and sell a few pieces at the Clarksville Farmer's Market. The response was so strong, Patty and Ronnie started selling more and making more. - We were both working full-time jobs and then trying to do that show every Saturday and build up inventory. We would come home of a, during the evening and work down here till bedtime and then do the same thing every day. - [Cindy] Something had to give, and that's how the Thorntons decided to retire from their previous professional lives and grab hold of their new identities as artists. - I never thought I would do it. No, no, not in the least. It's just happened. That's all I can say. It just happened and it's been great. It has been great. - [Cindy] Their work reflects the Tennessee foliage that surrounds them. - Figs. See the figs all over it? - [Cindy] Redbud leaves, sycamore leaves, they all wind up carefully etched into or painted on to the various pieces. It's their signature, really. - You don't wanna copy someone else. You want to have your own ideas. And it just worked out. People loved it. - When lush Tennessee vegetation is your signature, it can make creating art in the winter months a bit challenging, which is why the Thorntons have a freezer full of inspiration to choose from. Remember, this is all done by hand. It's a slow process, creating a single piece. There's the shaping, the drawing, the heating, the glazing, the drying and so on. - If she throws a mug today, we would be lucky to get it done, finished, completely finished in two weeks. - [Cindy] For the Thorntons, the retirement years are not about taking a step back. And again, there's a lot of togetherness. - We have our moments sometimes where we, oh, you should do it this way, you should do it that way. Everybody does that. So yeah, we really enjoy it. We enjoy working together and, like I say, we've done it for 10 years. - [Cindy] Which is why the Thorntons are glad they decided to reshape their lives as potters, as artists. - [Ronnie] I think it's therapy. I really do. And meeting all the people that you meet. - The freedom to do something you enjoy. That's what I love. - Well, that's gonna do it for this time. In the meantime, why don't you check out the new PBS video app we've been telling you about, and you can watch all your favorite shows anywhere. Also, check out our website, tennesseecrossroads.org. Follow us on Facebook and I'll see you next time. - [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by. - [Phil] I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. Here in Cookeville, Tennessee's college town, we are bold, fearless, confident and kind. Tech prepares students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that living wings up. Learn more at tntech.edu.
April 06, 2023
Season 36 | Episode 32
Laura Faber discovers a unique concept in food service in Nashville. Miranda Cohen visits a Dickson coffee shop inspired by the moon. Joe Elmore enjoys a white water rafting adventure on the Ocoee River. And Cindy Carter meets a pair of nature-inspired potters in Burns, Tennessee.
Watch Clips from this Episode
Few art forms put you in touch with nature like making pottery. You're literally molding the earth with your hands. Tennessee Crossroads met a Burns, TN couple who found they had a knack for creating art inspired by the leaves on their trees. Watch this and more episode segments of Nashville Public Television's Tennessee Crossroads.