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David Andrews, owner of one of Nashville’s newest high-end bakeries, is a Nashville boy, I found out when we chatted this fall. His love of cooking inspired him to seek his passion in one of the world’s culinary capitals, New York City. There he studied Pastry Arts at ICE. “The good one,” he was quick to point out—The Institute of Culinary Education. There he learned the skills that would take him to some of New York’s best kitchens, where he honed the craft that he has brought home to Nashville.
If you haven’t had a chance to eat at D’Andrews, his bakery, or to at least grab a pastry to go, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. With fall upon us, and in the month of the “trick or treat,” D’Andrews is truly an invitation to treat yourself.
So you are a local. What took you out of Nashville?
My family owned a clothing store in Belle Meade, and that closed. I needed something to do, and I always loved cooking and desserts, so I took that as an opportunity to go to New York and go to culinary school!
While you were in New York, did you work in any well-known bakeries?
The dirty little secret is I've never worked in a bakery before! This is my first bakery!
So, out of culinary school, I worked at Gotham Bar & Grill Martin, which is a really prestigious restaurant in Greenwich Village. And then, after that, I did a couple of forgettable things, as we all do. Then I became the pastry chef at the Kimberly Hotel, which is on 50th between Third and Madison. Within six months, I was elevated, and I was named the executive chef of the hotel, which was an amazing, cool, fantastic job. It's really a fun environment to work in, but you definitely have to look the other way a lot, just let it go over your head, which I'm good at. You had to put your ego aside.
So what point did you meet your husband, Matt?
Matt and I met New Year's Day 2006... Within three years of moving to New York, I found Matt and it's pretty amazing. We met at Hero, which was a nightclub in the Meatpacking District. We just ... on the dance floor, we just kind of saw each other. He said, "Hi." I said, "Hi." Then he bought me a drink. And here we are, 12 years later!
D'Andrews Owner David Andrews, with husband Matt and their french bulldog. Photo by Mayter Scott.
At what point did the idea that you would start your own business come into play?
Before I left for New York, that was the end goal, to open my own place. So I was working on it, and it took me 12 years to get to the point where I gathered all my thoughts, and I knew what I wanted to do and I knew that I was gonna be successful. I just wanted to put myself in a position to succeed. And I think my education in New York did that, and I didn't want to pull the trigger too fast. It just had to feel right. And it took that long.
How did you guys decide on Nashville?
Well, we'd been coming back here, and we actually, in 2015, got married in Nashville. So he was very familiar with the city. And just went to him one day and said, "Sweetie..."
13 years in New York is a long time. New York definitely has an expiration, usually around 10 years for people. I stuck it out those extra three years, and started to get the shakes... It was just time to come home. And I think, ultimately, Matt saw that and felt that way and he was very grateful that we came home. I always say the best decision I ever made was to move to New York. And the second best decision I've made was to move home.
How did you find your niche here in the Nashville market?
Looking back at Nashville from New York, I just saw a lot of cupcakes, a lot of donuts, a lot of cookies. And, in New York, right now, there's a renaissance of bakeries by people who are educated in the restaurant world. So they're more patisseries with an eye toward three- and four-start restaurant quality. And that's what I envisioned for my bakery in Nashville.
It was something that I think is unique, and I think appreciated. Everything is fresh here. We do everything here. And I think that shows in what we do every day. It was an opportunity: I told my friends that if I don't do this, somebody else is going to come around and do it. So I know I'm the best, I wanted to be first.
Have you found a receptive market here for your concept?
Certainly, in the beginning, there was the customer who would come in here and know what this is. Then there were customers who came in just looking for cupcakes, or donuts. So customers got used to us and saw what we were doing, and they were like, "Wow, that's an amazing donut you have" or "Wow, that's an amazing croissant you have..." People saw the quality, people saw the value.
Has your as your catering or your event baking business taken off?
Yes. We strategically looked for downtown, because I knew that, especially the first year when getting established, that I needed the catering to keep the lights on. And it has! We love our catering.
I'm very grateful for the people who support us. They seem to have taken a vested interest in us. They love to tell their friends, "I got this at D'Andrews." So that elevates them because their friends are like, "Well, why aren't we getting it from D'Andrews? Why are we stuck with day-old croissants?"
We literally bake this stuff each morning, Every catering order is baked the morning it goes out. People appreciate that. And they thank me just as much as I thank them.
You also have a pretty robust breakfast and lunch menu and breakfast menu. How does that fit into the model of a bakery?
Well, it comes from wanting to make money! Other bakeries that are like this tell me that you have to have a strong savory program to support the bakery. You can open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and sell cookies and donuts, you'll be okay. But if you want to pay the rent, and you want to be successful, you have to be open all day long. And you're not going to be selling croissants at two o'clock in the afternoon.
So you've gotta have a strong savory ... sandwich, salads, we even do pizza now. We take the same foccacia dough, which is our house bread dough, and we can make it in loaves, we can make it a bun for a breakfast sandwich, or we can put in a pan for pizza. Whatever we feel like. Today, we felt like bacon and chicken, and so we made a bacon and chicken pizza, and it's almost sold out. So that's pretty cool that you can have all these different applications for the same dough.
I've noticed that there are some staples on the menu that have been here every time I've been here. And then there are some things that change, and the pizza is an example of that. How did you settle on your staple menu?
It's basically what I knew. And I think that's the biggest advice I would give anybody opening a restaurant or bakery: first year, cook what you know... Don't go looking at these fancy cookbooks and trying to emulate them because it's not gonna work! You got to be true to yourself. Once you have these basics, you can expand and try something. These were the staples that I've grown and done over the last 13 years and tested them very and am comfortable presenting. So that's why went there first.
If somebody wants to have a cake made, what's that process like if someone wants a custom cake?
Just call me, and give me 48 hours. We'll go over what you want. People ask me, "What cakes do you make?" And I say it's up to your imagination! Obviously, most popular are like a vanilla cake with chocolate mousse or a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. We do red velvet, and carrot cake. This weekend, I made a cake with passion fruit curd and raspberry jam, and it was amazing!
I love to experiment and then design. We're pretty open, though we don't do fondant. You're not going to be seeing cakes looking like realistic Titans football helmets. That's not who we are. I can tell you we're gonna make the best tasting cake in Nashville. That I 100% know. And we're just gonna make it beautiful. We'll have elements of whimsy in it. You can tell us, and we can try to figure out something to make together.
What has your interaction with the LGBT community in Nashville been like as a business owner?
We're part of the LGBT Chamber, and they have been fantastic. That was sort of my entree into a lot of the law firms and a lot of the businesses. Everybody from Ron to Joe at the Chamber has been amazing. And I'm very grateful for the support.
We participated in Dining Out for Life, and we did TASTE last year. Of course, we are doing TASTE again this year. Maybe I'll even go into dessert and savory, depending... Ask me in November. That was it was a fun event, but I'm peeved that I lost, so we're going for gold this year!
For more information, or to check out the menu, visit dandrewsbakery.com!
Photos by Mayter Scott, courtesy of D’Andrews Bakery.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.