Four generations of dairy know-how will soon be offered in the form of ice cream and other local farm products at the Nash Family Creamery in Chapel Hill, Tennessee (actually closer to Union, Tennessee), on Highway 41 North. While they are still working on perfecting their building for guests to visit, the family is hoping to be open in August.
“Using outdoor space so people can enjoy the surrounding farm and scenery is something we are tying into our business,” said owner, Cody Nash. “So many people, especially with COVID-19, are looking for weekend trips to get out of city centers. We believe with outside activities we can give people of all ages something fun to do! There will be outdoor seating that overlooks the surrounding farm that is especially pretty at sundown. Sunflowers will be up about four to six weeks after opening, with fall activities opening soon after.”
The Nash family has always liked the idea of selling dairy products directly to consumers, as that is how they got started in California in 1929. To gain experience beyond working on the family farm, Cody Nash worked for several different dairy operations across the country that made ice cream and dairy products. He fell in love with the process of making a quality product for people to enjoy. After attending ice cream school at Penn State, he was certain opening Nash Family Creamery was the direction he wanted to go.
“The ice cream recipe is something we have been working to perfect for some time,” noted Nash. “A lot of trial and error, along with tasting ice cream from across the country, has gone into shaping our very own recipe. We’re proud of the quality ingredients and large percent of cream in our product — that is missing in a lot of other [ice cream] products nowadays. It’s extra special since customers know where the product is made, and that local farms are being supported by our ice cream.”
Plans are to offer 16 to 20 flavors, which will be available at any one time. They will be available by the scoop, or made into sundaes or milkshakes. To-go options will be available for customers to take home in pints and half-gallons. Some of the flavors to be offered include Premium Homemade Vanilla, Chocolate Brownie Batter, Buttered Pecan, Minty Chocolate Swirl, Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Cookie, Sundrop Sorbet, Tennessee Orange Creamsicle, Cotton Candy Crunch, Peaches and Cream, and Fairground Carmel Corn.
There will also be a cafe on site that will be open for both lunch and dinner. The menu includes an assortment of grilled cheese sandwiches, many using locally made cheeses. One example is, “The Favorite” made with American, Cheddar and Gruyere cheese; crumbled bacon; and Dijon mustard on sourdough bread. Another is the “BBQ Pulled Pork and Cheddar” made with pulled pork and sharp cheddar cheese on rustic white bread served with a side of barbecue sauce. They will also offer plates, like Sliced Brisket served with a choice of two sides, including tater tots, baked beans, and cole slaw. The full menu is online for viewing, but it is still being perfected.
The Nash Family Creamery Story
The Nash Family Creamery’s story began in central California with Wallace and Ida Nash. Three years after starting the farm, their cows grew ill and died, forcing the family to start all over during the Great Depression.
“Wallace and Ida, like many other families, kept cows to use the milk for the family and sold what was left to people in their community,” said Nash. “Even though there are a lot more cows milked on our farm today versus back then, we still share the same idea to provide quality milk to the surrounding area.”
Their son, Howard Nash took over running the farm in 1935, after it was moved to a new location in the central valley of California. Under his care, the business grew from 30 to 200 cows, while the farm increased in size from 60 to 280 acres. Howard’s son, Steve took over managing the farm at 20 years old when his father fell ill. He took the herd from 200 to 1,200 cows, while winning many awards for quality products. He also oversaw moving the farm to Tennessee in 2014 when water resources dried up in California. All the cows, tractors, employees, and the Nash family moved across the country to continue the family business. With the move, Howard’s son, Cody, decided to open the creamery.
Along with ice cream, they will be selling local cheese, farm products, meat, and dairy products. Branded merchandise along with ice cream accessories will also be available. The Nash family has put an emphasis on selling Tennessee made products in their store for customers to enjoy.
“We are working on plans to sell at farmers markets,” said Nash, “so stay tuned on our social media to see when that might happen!”
An excellent day trip, the creamery is about a 45-minute drive from Murfreesboro on 99W or 840 to 41S. Once there, tours of the farm will also be available.
“This project has been many years in the making,” said Nash, “and we are extremely excited to see it come to completion. It has been so uplifting to see people’s excitement for this business. We look forward to seeing everyone when our doors open soon!”