Ten years ago today, we opened the doors to Puckett's in Downtown Franklin. I was a freshman in college at the time, and left my hostess job in Nashville when my dad told me he was opening a restaurant in downtown Franklin to help out.
Leiper's Fork raised me, but the restaurant on 4th Avenue in Downtown Franklin is where I truly grew up. I started there as a server and the day that we opened 10 years ago was the first day I had ever touched a point-of-sales computer. Even though we had been in business in Leiper's Fork for six years before we opened our second location, Franklin was our first full-service restaurant and we still had so much to learn about the restaurant business. I worked here on and off waiting tables while I was in college, and I honestly had absolutely no intention of making a career in the hospitality industry. When I graduated from MTSU, I started helping dad full time as an assistant manager in Leiper's Fork while I decided whether or not to go back to school for a graduate program. A few months in it became clear to me that I had the bug for the business, it was just simply in my blood. I remember being nervous when I decided to tell Dad that I was here to stay, maybe because it felt like such a grown up decision.
My sister Emily and I in 2009, Dickens of a Christmas. (psst - Dickens is next weekend!)
When we sold Leiper's Fork to Rob Robinson in 2008, I went back to work in Franklin as Max Stephenson's assistant manager. Max has been an amazing asset for Puckett's in Franklin since he started as a line cook in 2007 (read his story at downtownfranklintn.com). I learned a tremendous amount from Max in the two years that I worked by his side, and continue to learn from him today.
If you've been to Puckett's in Franklin, then you know Pam. She's been a part of our family since 2005.
It was at Puckett's Franklin where I learned how to manage a business, what it meant to be involved in your community and to give back, where I met some of my closest friends, and even where I celebrated my wedding. So, even though I don't have favorites amongst our restaurants (I swear!) this one definitely holds very special place in my heart. Happy 10th Birthday Franklin, I love you!