Middle Tennessee State Alumnus Stokes Grocery Store to Regional Restaurant Chain

After growing up working in his father’s grocery store, Andrew E. “Andy” Marshall (Delta Lambda–Middle Tennessee State ’81) started his own career in the grocery business after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 1984. He grew his footprint to four grocery stores in Kentucky and Tennessee until tragedy struck. Andy lost his father in a car accident in 1990. His passion for the grocery business followed, and he sold his stores.

However, in 1998, Andy and his wife, Jan, purchased another smaller grocery store, Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork, more of a crossroads than a town. Without a firm plan in place, the couple inherited a 12-inch griddle and some morning regulars with their little 1950s-era grocery. Seeking to expand their grocery to more of a restaurant, Andy proposed the idea of purchasing a $8,000 smoker to his wife.

By 2004, Puckett’s was well-established as a destination for comfort food, not just for breakfast, but also lunch and dinner, and the couple sought to expand again. This time to nearby downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

Today, Puckett’s has seven locations, six in middle and east Tennessee and its newest in Cullman, Alabama. Each is unique, but all include a stage for live music and a smoker out front for those passing by to see and smell the smoked chicken, ribs, and pork cooking.

The success of Puckett’s helped to finance the launch of other restaurant brands. With more than 400 employees, A. Marshall Hospitality includes restaurants such as Sout’s Pub, Deacon’s New South, Americana Taphouse, Burger Dandy, and the food truck Puckett’s Trolly.  Additionally, Pukett’s offers its unique spices, sauces, and merchandise online and on the shelves of certain Kroger, Publix, Meijer, H-E-B, and Food City stores.

You can read the full feature article by Middle Tennessee State University in Enterprise magazine.