10 small businesses in Nashville that show the strength of our entrepreneurial ecosystem

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.


One of my favorite things about living in Nashville: As a community, we tend to celebrate and support our own. So small businesses in Nashville get a lot of sustained, local love.

That probably helped encourage this: “Nashville's small-business owners lead nation in optimism.”

If you’re about to launch a business and you’re not sure where to land, you could certainly do worse than Middle Tennessee, with a supportive community, still relatively reasonable cost of living, vibrant creative culture and abundant natural beauty.

If you’re already in Nashville and you’re getting ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge: First, my respect and celebration; second, please let me know if you need help sorting out small business insurance. Aside of being a customer, helping entrepreneurs find thorough and affordable insurance policies is, I hope, part of my positive contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nashville.

About that ecosystem: Some of my favorite brands from every corner of the material world — food to shoes to beard-care stuff — come from here in our city. Below, just a few. Many will be familiar to longtime Nashvillians; all are making fantastic products, and making big waves in and out of Music City.


Yazoo Brewing Company

Nashville’s standing as a craft-beer hub has been steadily growing over the past decade or so, but we really have to give a lot of credit to Yazoo for jumpstarting things. Since 2003, they’ve been pouring excellent brews, from a fresh Pale Ale to a beer named Sue, a smoked porter that’s so good Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams had to work it into an ice cream flavor.


Pennington Distilling Co.

Formerly known as SPEAKeasy Spirits, Pennington Distilling Co. is one of the many homegrown businesses making The Nations a more vibrant neighborhood, and helping bolster Nashville’s standing as a serious spirits town. If you imbibe, their brands — Pickers Vodka, Pennington Rye and Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream — definitely belong in your home bar.


Matchless Coffee Soda

I initially got introduced to Matchless through Nashville coworking space The Skillery, and it’s since become one of my favorite caffeinated indulgences — not too sweet, not too strong, totally singular. If this stuff doesn’t take the country by storm in 2018 when it’s released in cans, I’ll be beyond stunned. Meantime, you can try it on tap here in town at a variety of businesses, and in a few other nearby cities.


Peter Nappi

A good indication of Nashville’s rising status as a home of talented fashion players: Peter Nappi, and their Nashville-designed Italian-made shoes and boots and more. They have casual options and more dressed-up designs, all classic and classy.


Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.

It’s unlikely, if you’ve lived in Nashville a bit, that you’re unaware of Olive & Sinclair — they’re constantly winning local and national awards and their bean-to-bar chocolate shows up on dessert menu items in restaurants all over town. All the love is well deserved, too. It might be hard to standout in the world of sweets, but with creations like their Smoked Nib Brittle and Duck Fat Caramels, they managed to do it.


Salemtown Board Co.

I’m not a skater, I just love the heart behind this business, and watching the company grow. Salemtown Board Co.’s founders built the brand with a drive to train and hire kids from our community that needed a leg up, giving young neighbors education, experience and skills that they’ll carry forward through life. They make really cool-looking skateboards, too.


Project 615

Another Nashville business with a social-good thrust, Project 615 designs and prints T-shirts and apparel, with part of their proceeds going to support Set Free ministries, which helps Nashvillians recovering from homelessness, addiction and mental illness. Some of their designs have gotten pretty famous locally and beyond — like the “Spread Love, It’s the Nashville Way” T Lady Gaga sported on her dive bar tour.


Batch Nashville

One of the best ways to get to know a bunch of Nashville brands is through Batch, which packs up gift boxes stocked with locally made stuff, from soaps and lotions to coffee beans and caramels. They expanded to Austin, too, but we’re their home base.



I tend to stay more clean-shaven, so I like Nashville-based Beardition's shaving cream/aftershave/etc. As the name implies, they have a whole list of all-natural beard-care products too, from oil to conditioner. All of it smells good without being overbearing/perfume-y. 



The particularly cool thing about Nashville-bred ANKR, a bluetooth tracker that you can attach to all the stuff you don’t want to lose: You can custom-print whatever you want on it, from a company logo to a photo of your dog, and it’s the same price.


Just a few of my favorites, from a very, very long list of small Nashville businesses I like to support.

If your small Nashville business is looking for insurance coverage, I’d be happy to help you find the right policy. Just give me a call or send me an email.

If you like staying online, you can always get an online quote for small business insurance here, too.