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- [Narrator] 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. - [Narrator] Averitt's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitt's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at Averitt.com. Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made-in-Tennessee experiences, showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at TNTrailsandByways.com. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we'll exit I-40 near Waverly to take in a family-owned country food tradition. Then we'll head to Murfreesboro to discover a conservation-minded woodcarving business. We'll see how a Nashville man turned an abandoned factory building into a picturesque shopping destination. And finally, discover how a Watertown Coffee Shop is giving back to its community. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore. So glad to have you for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Just off I-40 near Waverly, you may have seen signs for the Log Cabin Restaurant. Well, the Davis family has been cooking up good old-fashioned country foods since 1966. Laura Faber went to see what all the fuss was about and she says she is still stuffed from lunch. - We're in Hurricane Mills, a little town called Buffalo at the Log Cabin Restaurant. - [Laura] The kind of food you serve. - [Wade] Country food. - [Laura] And it is. - [Wade] Yep. Soul food. Good country soul food that you would eat at your grandmother's table. - [Laura] Wade Davis should know. He's been eating this food his whole life. - I grew up with it. But I grew up eating good food, And all over the country it's hard to find a place that has, you know, just you sit down and you have a, "Oh my gosh, this is good. This is like I would cook, my mother would cook for me at home or my grandmother would cook. You know, when we had a family get together." - [Laura] His family has run the Log Cabin Restaurant since 1966. They also used to own the motel next door. - My grandfather had this bright idea that he was gonna he told my dad, said, "Boy, I got a good idea. We're gonna buy this piece of property here and build us a motel and we'll sell it and then we'll have some place to go stay when we go fishing. Well, when you had a motel back then you had to have a restaurant 'cause there was nothing here, besides the old Skinner store, but they bought the old, it was old log cabin. - [Laura] Wade is now the owner and general manager though he started working here at 12. - I used to cry to go to work and my dad let me start working when I was 12. I started at the motel when I was 12 doing maintenance, cleaning parking lots, whatever you know, whatever, washing windows, cleaning air conditioners, you know you name it, mowing grass. And then 13, I was working there and then get off there and come here and wash dishes. And then 14, I was waiting tables; 15 I was bread, you know, all the way up to being a manager. - [Laura] The menu is loaded with country cuisine. - [Wade] The most popular thing here is probably catfish. We sell more catfish than we do anywhere. - [Laura] The fried chicken is also a favorite, so is the meatloaf, chicken livers, pasta dishes, and the ribs sell too. Lee Story has worked in the kitchen since 1993. - [Lee] Put apple juice on them. About two cups. Yeah, they're really good. And we tip 'em to where they're like 180, give or take, and we put the round side down on them. - [Laura] While the Log Cabin attracts tons of tourists traveling up and down I-40, locals have made this place their own too, like Helen, Delilah, and Peggy. - Today I have the vegetable plate, I've got green beans, I've got corn and I've got okra and cornbread. We live in Waverly and we come probably once a month. - It's just a very comfortable place to be in. Great food and great service and it's just part of our home. - I have the fried chicken and green beans and okra. - [Lee] Okay, and is that usually what you get? - That's what I usually get. - I grew up here, I grew up half a mile up the road and I'd ride my bike to work. I know most everybody in the community and what, you know they'd tell me all the time, "Stopped in there, ate. It was great." And I tell 'em, "Look, you know if something's wrong let me know." I've got a whole country of restaurant critics, I got. - [Laura] Everything is homemade and you can tell. - [Donna] We put sugar in our cornbread. Makes it so good. - [Patron] Is that the key? - No sour cream. The sour cream keeps it moist. - [Laura] The sky high meringue on the pies is the work of head baker Donna Green. She's been here since '97. - For every six pies it, it's three cups of coconut. The coconut's my favorite. Meringue is the big part. It takes a case of eggs to do 12 pies, literally right. And if you get any yellow in it, forget it. it's not gonna work. Leroy! - [Laura] Miss Donna makes 15 to 20 pies a day and they all sell out. - [Donna] Smells so good. No wonder we sell so many, they really are good. - Everything you eat at the Log Cabin Restaurant, from the desserts to the food, is homemade and comes from recipes that the Davis family has enjoyed for generations. And they don't keep it secret. You could actually go home with a cookbook full of those family recipes. - See that they look yummy. - [Wade] Cook with a smile, serve with a smile, cook with love. It always makes the food taste better. - [Laura] Whether it's the okra, roast beef, potatoes and gravy, the catfish, sweet potato casserole, collared greens or the homemade cole slaw, it is the food and the people that keep customers coming back. - Seeing customers happy, smile when they leave, full, taking the go plates, taking to dessert to go and hearing about it all over the country. You know, when I travel everybody says, "Yeah, I've ate there, I know where you're from. I've ate at a restaurant called Log Cabin Restaurant. Thank you for your business, you own it?" I'm like, "Yeah," they're like, "I eat there all the time. Every time I come through." People plan their vacations, plan their trips to stop here on the way and stop on the way home. - Thanks Laura. One of Tennessee's most precious and beautiful resources is its forest. Breathtaking to look at and a shame to see go to waste. Well, Miranda Cohen found a father and son woodcarving team in Murfreesboro that is turning abandoned wood into one of a kind pieces of art. - [Miranda] On this peaceful farm in Rutherford County, you will find two generations of master craftsmen. Tucked away in this rustic workshop, Tom Kale and his son Anthony are quite literally turning abandoned or fallen trees into works of beautiful art. One of Tom Kale's earliest memories is working with his own father, an Italian immigrant, who taught him the meticulous craft of woodworking. - I look back, the biggest thing I can remember is when I was probably six or seven years old. My father was helping me to build a dog house. Couldn't wait for him to get home to go to the next step, working on the doghouse. And ever since then, it's just been in my blood always using my hands to do whatever. - [Miranda] And the talent runs in Anthony's blood as well. - If I'd see him carving or whatnot, I'd pick up a piece of wood and just start whittling. Whether I was making something or not, I really don't know, but you know, I just thought I was doing good so following his footsteps and trying to make something outta nothing. - Pick up like I said, old crates or whatever. And then they join in as if they could hold a hammer. They could pound nails to pull 'em outta the wood and that's where basically it all started. - [Miranda] With a shared love of working with wood and working together, the dynamic duo have turned their attentions and sharpened their skills, making more artistic works like intricately carved bowls, platters, and decorative pieces. - [Tom] At first it might give you an idea of what you're looking for but then as you are working on it, all of a sudden it'll start revealing certain things and it gets you to kind of shift to go in the direction that it's pulling. And sometimes it works out and sometimes it just doesn't. - [Miranda] And these masterpieces aren't just beautiful to look at, when carved by true craftsman, tighter grains of wood can be shaped into handmade pieces that are food safe and usable. - [Miranda] To have a bowl that you can eat a salad out of or soup or cereal or oatmeal or whatever out of is, to me it's more personal. It's just the feel of the eating out of a wooden bowl and off of a wooden plate. It's so much more, I guess you could say it's just a warm feeling, you know just more back to the old days. - Now here in the woodworking shop they can make almost anything but the one thing they don't use is paint or stain. That's because the Kales believe in letting the natural color of the wood shine through. Look at this cup made entirely of box elder wood. The brilliant reds almost make it look marbled, but in fact it is nature's palette. And with a deep respect for the majestic beauty of mother nature's bounty, there is another thing that Kales don't do, and that's cut down trees to create their art. - [Anthony] I hate to take a beautiful living tree just to create something like that when there's so much waste out there. - [Tom] There's so much that's being thrown to the wayside and just being wasted in general that it's just a pity to cut trees down that are alive. So I'd rather use things that are available and such as when Anthony and I will walk through the woods and we'll see pieces that are on the ground and if it looks like there's something that we think is interesting within it, then we take it with us. - [Miranda] Most of the Kales' raw materials come from Rutherford County, like hackberry, walnut, box elder, mulberry, ash, oak and more. And they will spend hours turning, shaping, sanding, and perfecting their pieces. Even many of the tools that they use to hone their craft are handmade, vintage, and once owned by other craftsmen. And Tom Kale believes they hold secrets and talents of their own. - [Tom] It's all hand tools, old tools that I can find that are still functional rather than just hang them on a wall and look at 'em, I'd like to be able to utilize them. I have some hand planes that are made back in the 1800s and when you hold the actual handle, you can feel the shape from the person that obviously owned it ahead of me 'cause you can actually feel their hand where they had grasped it. And so those things are still functional, and they've got a lot of history behind them and plus they know what they're doing. You just guide them. - [Miranda] And the Kales don't just spend their time with whittling away. After all they are on a working farm and under the watchful eyes of Boris and Doris. - Come on it's low calorie, come on. - [Miranda] Father and son find it peaceful and relaxing doing what they love to do. That is most of the time. - [Tom] 99.99% of the time. There's that little percentage that you know you'll get aggravated at something, where the wood just doesn't wanna cooperate with you. Everything you try to do it just, you think you wanna make this out of it, and it's trying to tell you, "No, that's not what I wanna be." And then you just get aggravated. So you have to walk away just kind of take a breath and reassess the situation and come back at it when your blood pressure's lower. - I gotta finish sanding in it by hand because... - [Miranda] And the flow seems to come natural to father and to son. Whether it is in his genes or his years of observation, the younger Kale's admiration for his father is obvious. - [Anthony] Very fortunate. There are many people out there that don't have or the luxury that I have to have someone that has taught me the things that I know. If it wasn't for him, I doubt I'd be doing what I'm doing - [Miranda] And the feeling is mutual. - He's just kind of followed, you know, in my footsteps. However, I truly believe he's passed me because of his expertise. I have no words for it. I'm so proud of it. As long as it stays with him and he gets such satisfaction out of it the way I've been all my life, and that's exactly what I'd say I'm looking for. - Thanks a lot Miranda. Preservation of an old Tennessee landmark's always a momentous occasion, especially when the result is a new place that people can enjoy. Well, such is the case of Nashville's L&L Market. An old structure that might have been destroyed had it not been for the vision of its current owner, a man who wanted to give something back to his adopted hometown. About 40 years ago, Tamay Ozari moved to Nashville from Turkey and fell in love with the city. When he discovered the L&L building, it had been vacant for years after a history that goes back to the late twenties. That's when apparel manufacturing joined printing and publishing as a leading local industry. The L&L building housed the hosiery mill making silk stockings. - All the people around the neighborhood, all the ladies, they worked in this hosiery mill. And years went by, and during the war, they start manufacturing parachute here 1941 for Fort Campbell. - [Narrator] Years later, Genesco made shoes here. Then the building sat empty until Tamay bought it, first for his restaurant supply business. Then as years went by, he decided to share this architectural gym by making it a home for local retailers. So the national landmark went from this to this, 55,000 square feet of locally owned stores. - I want people with love and passion what they do and they brought it here and whoever comes in here, they will feel it. They will see it. And Southern hospitality, well goes with it. - [Narrator] Now it doesn't get more local than this, which according to manager Jenny Webb is everything the name implies. - Well Made in Tennessee is the easiest way to shop all of your favorite local products. Anything from Goo Goo Cluster to Moon Pie to Loveless. So the big names that you know and love, you can always count on us to be fully stocked in those items. But then we have so many other just maybe newer up and coming local artists and creators that we're proud to carry as well. - [Joe] According to Jenny, the number one attraction for visiting millennials is everything and anything about Dolly. Yeah I'd vote for her too, I think. An anonymous philosopher once said, "Coffee is a hug and a mug." An Honest Coffee Roasters is a top gathering spot for visitors here to grab a mug and gab with a friend. Plus their baristas take their coffee making craft quite seriously. Good. If you want a pastry to go with that coffee, Five Daughters Bakery is right across the room. And for a unique dining experience, it's hard to beat Culture and Company. It's an open space, cheese, charcuterie and wine-focused place. And get this, thanks to a rotating conveyor belt, it's an interactive experience like none other. See something you like? Just grab it. Need some jewelry? Well here's a place where you can watch yours being made before you make a purchase. All thanks to Judith Bright. Since 1995, Judith has been a leading designer of handmade jewelry. Here at the L&L Market store, you can watch these talented ladies creating everything from earrings to bracelets. - We love to make jewelry by hand, and I always say it's, you know, jewelry handmade by women for women, one piece at a time. And so having an open studio concept really drives that home so you can actually see what you're purchasing and see the people that are imbuing your piece with all of their love in their heart. - [Joe] Now Judith says her jewelry is for purposeful gifting, and the stones have more purpose than beauty alone. - If you're going through a hard time, you know, for example you might purchase Labradorite and that's for strength and perseverance. So when you look down at your piece, you just remember, "Okay, keep going." So it's really with that kind of spirit that we encourage people to really look at what they're buying, so that it means something to them. - [Joe] Well, that's just a sample of the merchants that the L&L market has attracted, and the best part for Tamay. - We are a hundred percent lease. We don't have any room left. - [Joe] The history, the timeless architecture, the ambience, they could have gone away in the name of progress with the new building, but Tamay Ozari had a vision of something better, something he could share with the people of his adopted hometown. - I'd be able to give back to Nashville, Tennessee, and this community what I done. I think this place will be years to come, and a lot of people will be happy. - When you live in a small town, you don't have a coffee shop or bakery on every corner, but in Watertown there is a coffee house. It's not only serving great Java and food, but also giving back to the community at the same time. - Take the vanilla. We fell in love with Watertown. My business partner and I both lived out this direction and we both just kept saying like, Watertown just needs, it needs a neat little coffee place, someplace that the community can go and just be. All right dear, there you are. - [Narrator] Ali O'Reel and her business partner Austin Floyd were wooed by Watertown in Wilson County. The two grew up just down the road in Gladesville. - Alright, thank you. - All right, you have a great day. - You too. - [Ali] All right, here's that iced Americano dear. - Think I love it. - Thank you. - You're welcome. See you later. - Bye. - [Ali] Watertown is a small map dot, but with a big heart. - [Austin] We feel like we're the heart of the community here. We're on the center of the square, right on the corner. People walk in any day or time and realize, "Oh this is good. This feels like home." - [Narrator] Allie and Austin own the Adopted Farmhouse Coffee Company. - It was kind of born, it really wasn't something that we planned out. In fact, the building that we found available for rent, we rented it with half my husband's tip money, half her husband's tip money. It's really very interesting. It was kind of an accident. - [Narrator] The ladies call it the Adopted Farmhouse 3.0 because it's the third location. Although the address may have changed a few times, the vision is still the same. - [Austin] We actually started right over on the square, on the other side of the square, I should say, and then a few doors down next to Monalisa Pizza. That was Farmhouse 2.0. And then this is Farmhouse 3.0, and this was our dream space. We love this space. There's so much history. We call it the Farmhouse on Milton Block and we love all the windows. It's just so homey in here. I'm just such a great place for the community and it's just peaceful. - [Narrator] Their goal is to offer an oasis for people to come in sit a spell, have a great cup of coffee and conversation, share a meal or a sweet treat. But there's much more to this menu than meets the eye. And it's found in the name. - Adoption also for us, we take it very literally that we are adopted in. So in God's word, it talks about us being adopted in, in Romans 8:15. So we are adopted in. And so that was another part of it for us. But also farmhouse is our theme. And when you think of a farmhouse, coming home, the comfort, the peace there, that's a really big part of it for us. - [Austin] The coffee shop ended up playing a really big part of helping her bring her son home, Alex. And we helped walk through the fundraising. The community just really stepped in and just really helped to provide the funds to bring him home. We decided after that we wanted to help other families do that as well. So we called it the Adopted Farmhouse, so that way we could walk through that adoption journey with other families. - [Narrator] And another local connection is in the naming of the drinks. From Antique Jim's Honey Bourbon Latte to Simply Known as Latte, it's all about connectivity to those doing life around you. - [Austin] Mr. Jim, who owns the antique store just down the road, he loved our Honey Bourbon Latte, which we make the Honey Bourbon from scratch. So we named it Antique Gym's Honey Bourbon Latte. And then Monalisa who owns the, it's Monalisa Pizzeria. She would come in and order the same thing all the time. And so we named that drink after known as Simply Mona Latte. And then Farmhouse Mocha, everyone refers to us as The Farmhouse in town. So we named the Farmhouse Mocha 'cause it's actually one of our most popular drinks. - [Ali] We incorporate it into everything all the way through. So our local berries that we get for our baked goods like the blueberry muffins, blackberry muffins, our Kickin' Fig Sandwich, which is ridiculously good. We have a Watertown Club Sandwich, Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap. I mean, really, the possibilities are endless. - Thank You. - You're welcome. All right, I had to order Antique Jim's Honey Bourbon Latte. And I'm not even a bourbon drinker, but I gotta try this. Wow, that is tasty. I love that local honey. And you really don't taste the bourbon. Ali and Austin have brought two other ladies in to help run the kitchen. Kim does the savory and Heather does the desserts, all working together to bring this little slice of heaven to the Watertown Square. - [Ali] It's so peaceful. We get the word dreamy a lot. We have a lot of people say it's so dreamy when you walk in, but we just want them to feel at home, even if they're not from here. And you know, we want it to be a spot that they're like, "Oh I have to go back." When you are coming to someplace new, I think people feel lost. Again, as a believer, we want people to feel like they're coming home and to know that piece and that piece is definitely here. - Well, that's gonna take us to the end of another edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Sure thank you for joining us. And why don't you visit our website when you get a chance tennesseecrossroads.org. While you there, download that new PBS video app. That way you can watch our show and all others anytime, anywhere. And we'll see you next week. Take care. - [Narrator] "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. - [Narrator] Averrit's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averrit's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at averitt.com. Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at tntrailsandbyways.com.
July 20, 2023
Season 37 | Episode 03
Laura Faber heads to Waverly to take in a family-owned country food tradition. Miranda Cohen visits a conservation-minded wood carving business. Joe Elmore sees how a Nashville man turned an abandoned factory building into a picturesque shopping destination. And Tammi Arender discovers how a Watertown coffee shop is giving back to its community.