It’s that time of year — time to get last-minute gifts and additions to the menu. Tennessee White Trash is a crunchy, sweet and salty snack that meets both needs.
Patti Hibbett, owner
Name/product: Tennessee White Trash Inc.; Tennessee White Trash, peppermint bark, peanut brittle and more.
Location: Santa Fe, Tenn.
Contact: www.tennesseewhitetrash.net, 615-974-1386
Number of employees: Two. My son, Tripp, and I are partners in crime.
How did your company get started? My main business is Trimac Specialties. We sell logo merchandise. I started making the trail mix (Tennessee White Trash) and packaging it in tins to give to my corporate customers. We ended up incorporated and got into old-fashioned tea cakes, peppermint bark, chocolate-covered nuts, and we do hats, T-shirts and aprons.
Why Tennessee White Trash? I used to make it for my kids growing up, and when the last one was older and all his friends were eating it, they said, “Ms. Patti, this is so good, you ought to sell it.” So that’s when I started thinking, you know, I might do it with corporate customers.
It looks like trash because it has clumps of nuts, chocolate and stuff. Some call it puppy chow.
Where are your products available? Loveless Cafe and Perfect Setting in Franklin carry a lot of our products.
Where are they manufactured? My husband and I bought an old 1900s house right on Santa Fe Pike and renovated it. We’ve got a commercial kitchen in there. It’s not open to the public yet, but it will be in a couple of months as a gift shop.
How long have you been making these products? Personally, I’ve made it most of my life, because my mother made it. Professionally, I guess we incorporated it maybe eight or nine years ago.
Is this a full-time or part-time job? It has been part-time. The bulk of our business is in the holiday season, but because of the T-shirts and hats and stuff, we’re hoping it will go all year.
What’s next? We want to get into wholesaling. We’d like to get into other areas of Tennessee, into Gatlinburg and gift shops. We’d eventually like to get into sauces and other products, too.
What’s your favorite Tennessee-made product besides your own? Aunt Lizzie’s cheese straws.