Reggie Marshall Sr. certainly needs to bake his cakes and pies as fast as he can to keep up with demand at The Nashville Farmers’ Market.
Reggie Marshall Sr. is one busy man. He farms four acres in Cheatham County, bakes carrot cake and sweet potato pies in a commercial kitchen in Mt. Juliet, and covers an all night shift as a nurse at Centennial Hospital.
As a kid, Reggie worked on his granddad’s farm, planting sweet potato slips while vowing not to do so when he grew up. Good thing he changed his mind. Reggie’s sweet potato pies are a hit at the Nashville Farmers’ Market where he is the owner of Reggie’s Veggies.
In 2015, Reggie started a farm in Cheatham County on land operated by Tennessee State University after attending their New Farmers Academy. He and son, Reggie Jr., now grow a variety of vegetables and a host of herbs. (At the Farmers’ Market, their mint tea and Thai lemonade sell out in hours.)
But their carrot cakes and sweet potato pies are what really draw folks in. The whole thing started out as a bit of a fluke. One day, Reggie was running low on vegetables, and his wife suggested that he make carrot cake. As the son of a professional cook, and a baker in college, the idea that Reggie bake was not outlandish. His carrot cakes were a success, and were soon followed by his sweet potato pies. But it’s more than just the teas and the sweets that attract folks to Reggie’s Veggies, the sweet personalities of the proprietors also play a big role. Both Reggies, father and son, share the same goal: “engage people.” That they definitely do, offering samples of any fresh herb or sweet on the table.
We couldn’t wrangle either the carrot cake or sweet potato pie recipe out of Reggie, but he was very generous to share his cobbler recipe, adding that it works with any fruit. We made this one with strawberries, but look forward to trying it with peaches come June.
You can find Reggie at The Nashville Farmers’ Market every weekend.