Once home to HG Hills Food Store in the early 1900s, an Archway Cookies factory, and a woodworking factory, 1628 Fatherland Street, Nashville, Tennessee is now home to one of my favorite chocolatiers, Olive & Sinclair.
Nashville-based DAAD Architects under Nick Dryden were brought on this project to ensure the circa-1890 building’s historic bones would be preserved, while creating a functional factory. The updated space features elements such as glass deco-lighting from a 1930’s schoolhouse, a gothic communion table from the early 1900‘s serving as the factory’s retail counter, factory pendant lighting was repurposed from an army barracks outside Atlanta , even repurposed wood floors sourced from a neighboring house in Lockeland Springs.
One of the most important benefits of the relocation is the ability to officially open Olive & Sinclair’s doors to the public. Chocolate fans will now have full view of the O&S team at work and have the chance to experience the delicious smell of cacao beans roasting, watching the "old school" hands-on chocolate making process, and enjoy tasty samples. Tours are given Saturdays, every hour from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
I had the pleasure of meeting Scott at The Southern C Summit in Nashville and learned all about his famous chocolate and the factory restoration project. I'm consistently encouraged by the growing number of small businesses that choose historic/old buildings over new construction. The patina and layers of an old building make the space all the more interesting.
We talked about the South, historic preservation, and our mutual love for old stuff. He contributed many of the antique and architectural salvage pieces himself and was excited to have found a building with "good bones." From what I've read and seen so far, the space has turned out beautifully; providing adequate space for production and a unique setting for customers to get more acquainted with the company. Can't wait to visit for myself and hopefully sample some goodies!
Side Note: Terrapin's White Chocolate Moo-Hoo released in late 2013 featured cocoa nibs from Olive & Sinclair. Their classic Moo-Hoo, a not too sweet stout, layered with hints of vanilla and white chocolate. It was pricey, but worth every penny.