Of Donuts & Daughters
It’s a good thing that Isaac Meek, founder of Five Daughters Bakery, had a background in accounting, as it surely came in handy when developing all 100 layers of his signature donuts. That and counting his girls, all five of them.
In early 2015, Isaac Meek left his successful accounting career for a career in donuts. With urging from his wife, Stephanie, he started a business, named in honor of their five daughters: Dylan, Lucy, Maggie, Evangeline, and Constance. For the first several months, all Five Daughters’ sweets were crafted right there in the Meeks’ home. Today they boast a primary baking and café space in The Factory at Franklin, a cheery 12 South store on Caruthers Avenue, and featured placement at all Barista Parlor locations. Eventually they would like to have a presence in East Nashville, though they may someday expand as far as Seaside, Florida—the family’s favorite vacation spot.
“We don’t want to be everywhere, but we do want to be in places that we love,” Meek explains. “Our goal is to reinterpret things that we love from all over the world and hopefully bring joy and inspiration in the community.”
The Five Daughters lineup, led by the 100 Layer Donut, includes Quinnamon Rolls (a towering Seuss-like, crispy pastry), paleo-friendly “crushers,” and an assortment of other dusted, stuffed, and drizzled confections. Meek favors quality local and organic ingredients as much as possible, from grass-fed butter to the fresh Tennessee strawberries that, when in season, top the vanilla cream donut (his favorite). The quirky, conscientious menu has made Five Daughters a must-eat stop on the Nashville culinary map. Display cases empty within hours, so online “DonutCams” give potential customers a live glimpse of the current selection. “If people love what they do, you always get a better product,” Meek says. “We don’t want to serve anything that clearly doesn’t have that love.”
Maybe it’s saccharine to say, but if you’re looking for the reason that Five Daughters stands out, even in the midst of the nation’s donut craze, that just might be it: love. Everything about the Five Daughters experience— from the childlike logo to the charming décor—feels authentically, unapologetically syrupy and family-first. Even Meek’s passion for baking stems from his grandfather, who owned a pizzeria, and his great-grandfather, who ran a cake shop.
The Meeks and their children are all familiar faces at the crowded stores, but their priorities haven’t changed: piano lessons, dance classes, and evenings spent watching MasterChef Junior together come first. “Our family time is better and more connected, and we emphasize this with our employees too,” Isaac adds.
So if you’re looking for gift ideas this Mother’s or Father’s Day, a pink box of sugary goodness from Five Daughters would make a sweet gesture in more ways than one.