There is absolutely no shortage of gifts for the foodie in your life around downtown Franklin, and just like any proper Southern town, we love our BBQ sauces, candies, and confections. However, you’ll find far more than your grandma’s biscuit mix in the gift shops around here. Elevated southern food companies have emerged all around the Franklin area, and we are here for it! Below I have included a list of my favorite food items that can be found in numerous gift shops and eateries around Franklin. Each of these locally made edible items would make for a fabulous hostess gift or as part of a Franklin foodie-themed gift basket.
Chocolates and Sweets
At the top of my list is Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Bars and Duck Fat Caramels. Since 2007, this Nashville artisan chocolate company has been churning out uniquely southern chocolate that is slow roasted and stone-ground in small batches. The select single-origin beans are combined with pure brown sugar for a smooth and robust flavor. The chocolate bars come in magical packaging, reminiscent of a Wonka Bar, for adults! Adventurous flavors like Mexican-Stye Cinnamon Chili bar and the Salt and Pepper bar make for a one of a kind chocolate experience. As for the Duck Fat caramels, the rich duck fat combined with the caramelized cane sugar is a match made in sweet and salty heaven. The packaging is nostalgic and lovely, all you need is a red ribbon for a simply delightful gift. These one of a kind chocolate bars and caramels can be found in numerous gift shops throughout downtown Franklin.
Withco cocktail mixers take care of all of the measuring, muddling, straining, and extra trips to the store that typically goes into creating a made-from-scratch, seasonal cocktail at home. Withco began in Nashville using only the freshest ingredients, all you have to do is add the suggested liquor, and your signature holiday cocktail is prepared! The bottling is sleek and the festive names will spark everyone’s interest, such as #SweaterWeather and “Hey Girl”. With all of the cooking and preparation that goes into the holidays, making a fancy cocktail can seem like more work to an already full plate, so a Withco Cocktail mixer paired with a bottle of bourbon is such a fantastic, holiday hostess gift. You can find Withco at White’s Mercantile and the Made in Tennessee store at The Factory.
We can’t discuss Franklin foodie gifts, without mentioning The Savory Spice Shop in downtown Franklin. This is definitely your one-stop shop for unique foodie finds. From unusual spice blends such as Chook which is a flavorful chicken salt to the Ultimate Bloody Mary Gift Box, a tasty gift is easy to find here. A bestselling gift for tourists is the Tennessee Traditions four jar, spice set. This set includes Franklin Five Points Spice, Smokey Mountain Sprinkle, Memphis BBQ Rub, and Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Spices. Not only will you find edible gifts, but the shop also carries a variety of kitchenware gifts, like the Himalayan Salt Block Plate and the White Granite Mortar and Pestle. The friendly staff is super helpful when looking for that perfect gift and taste testing different spices in the store is always encouraged!
Now, I’ll be honest with you, I love fancy chocolate as much as the next girl, however, it’s awfully hard to beat old fashioned, caramel corn. Kilwin’s on Main Street is the candy and ice cream shop you’ve been looking for to satisfy that sweet tooth during your stay in Franklin. Their caramel corn is made fresh in traditional copper kettles and packaged for a mouthwatering snack at any time. Their Nutcracker Sweets combines popped corn, pecans, almonds, and caramel for a sweet, salty, and nutty treat you might not want to give away! For a truly southern confection to bring home to loved ones, try the cashew and peanut brittle. If you can make it home without digging into these goodies, they sure would make for a sweet addition to any gift basket.
Many of us will be skipping the annual homemade, baked goods gifts during the holidays this year, instead, I suggest picking up a freshly baked loaf of bread from Merridees Bread Basket. This would make a particularly wonderful gift for neighbors! We all need a little more comfort and joy this year, and I would submit that a fresh loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Bread offers both. A loaf of the Oatmeal or Sourdough bread would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving hostess gift, ideal for that day after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich! The folks at Merridees have been baking bread for over 30 years, and they have got it down to a science. Every loaf is made from scratch with love, and a slice of Merridee’s bread, toasted and slathered with butter is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
‘Tis the season for pies, and Papa C’s Pies is one of the best-kept secrets around these parts! The owner is a third generous pie maker, who has a passion for the process and creating the perfect pie from scratch. Although his love affair with pie-making began with learning to make his grandmother’s apple pie, Papa C’s carries more than 28 different pies to choose from! The best-seller, Ghirardelli Chocolate Pie with Pecans was named “The Best Chocolate Pie in Nashville” by Nashville Lifestyles magazine. Classic flavors like Coconut Cream Pie and the simply Southern Chess Pie would be a welcome addition to any holiday table.
Last but most certainly not least is The Made in Tennessee store at The Factory in Franklin, which carries a huge variety of locally made, edible gifts. There are so many options it’s honestly hard to pick, but a Franklin themed gift basket filled with jam, chocolate, barbecue sauce, and coffee would be a southern foodie’s delight. A few of their most popular items are Willa’s Shortbread Cookies, simply made with flour, butter, and sugar right outside of Nashville, as well as the Nashville Jam Company’s unique flavored jams such as the Apple Bourbon and my personal favorite, Strawberry Jalapeño. A few more best sellers are the Honest Roaster’s Coffee (which is also located in The Factory), the Nashville Toffee Company confections, and EV Originals salsas and marinades. Grab a cute basket and go to town with the ultimate “Made in Tennessee” gift.