This Columbia, Tennessee, Creamery Churns Out Super Southern Flavors and Ships Them Nationwide
From banana pudding to Bushwhacker, Hattie Jane’s Creamery sells nostalgia in a scoop.
It started with a good name.
When Claire Crowell had her first daughter, Hattie Jane, in 2013, her dad remarked that it would make a great name for an ice cream shop. Three years later, Crowell made good on the lighthearted family banter, opening Hattie Jane's Creamery in her family's grocery and restaurant space in Columbia, Tennessee.
Beyond already having a sweet name for the shop, ice cream felt like a natural fit for Crowell. "It was definitely a pastime for my family," she says. "When we'd go on vacations, we would always find a local ice cream shop. But it was also our favorite treat at the house. In the summers, one of my dad's best friends, who was Amish, would come out on the weekend and crank ice cream with fresh peaches and strawberries. It was one of those things interwoven into my childhood."
A desire to share these food memories with others is baked into Crowell's DNA. Her family owns Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, a small Leiper's Fork grocery store that opened in the 1950s and has since grown into a chain with six comfort-food-focused restaurants across Middle Tennessee.
As with her family's business, Crowell celebrates local flavors and Southern traditions at Hattie Jane's Creamery, churning out artisan ice creams that feel simultaneously sentimental and inventive. The current menu, for instance, includes seasonal flavors like Sweet Corn & Blackberry and Bushwhacker (after Nashville's favorite frozen drink), along with "here to stay" staples like Nana Puddin' and Honeycomb.
She often partners with area farms and makers to create the hyperlocal treats: Peaches for summer's Roasted Peach & Bourbon scoop are sourced from Alabama and Tennessee, and the Mulekick coffee flavor is crafted with beans from Muletown Coffee Roasters, located just around the corner from Hattie Jane's Columbia scoop shop.
"I feel like I came up at a really cool time," says Crowell. "I kind of got to see the before and after for the Nashville food scene. We have so much here, so much agriculture, so many cool brands and great makers…It's easy to reach out and collaborate, and [I want to] showcase what other people are doing and utilize what's around us as much as possible."
And even as she is motivated by the present, so too is Crowell inspired by the past. "I love digging through old cookbooks my grandmother gave me," she says. "My mother-in-law has a bunch too. [An upcoming fall flavor] came directly from a 1930s, falling-apart Watkins cookbook… I love looking for those kinds of historical references."
Folks who live in Tennessee or are traveling through can sample Hattie Jane's nostalgia-fueled scoops at one of the creamery's four locations (Columbia, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Nashville), but for the rest of us, thank the Lord, Hattie Jane's ships nationwide. And what's better, really, than ice cream delivered right to your door?