Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dr. Carmen April - Top Forty Under 40 Nashville Business Journal

Nashville Business Journal Top Forty Under 40 Award Recipient - What an incredible honor!

Every morning that I wake up with breath in my body, I feel overwhelmingly blessed! God is soooooo good that I don't know how to thank Him sometimes. God has a plan for my life that is bigger than anything I can comprehend. 

When I started my medical practice a couple of years ago and became the FACE of my business, I realized that a lot of people were looking at me, up to me, etc. I made a promise to God at that time that whenever I am given the opportunity to tell my story of entrepreneurship, starting and running this blog, acknowledged with an award, etc I will always publicly acknowledge HIM because the only reason that I am able to succeed at these things is because of HIM.

So, right now, I am publicly acknowledging God for blessing me with this recognition:

I have been recognized as a Nashville Business Journal Top Forty Under 40 Award Recipient for 2013! It really feels great to be recognized for my hard work in my career and in the community!

The organizers wanted us all to feel like "Rock Stars" so the Awards Ceremony took place at the Wildhorse Saloon Downtown Nashville......it was a great location! This is me receiving my award :-)

On my way home from the Ceremony, I visited one of my favorite new coffee/lunch spots appropriately called Coffee. Lunch. (Blog post about them coming soon!!!!). The Barista, Khalil Davis, was kind enough to take my photo with my award since the lighting here was so much better for my iPhone than the light in the Wildhorse Saloon during the ceremony!

Below is a screenshot from my first feature in the Nashville Business Journal as a Top Forty Under 40 Award Recipient. They asked what my 18-year old self who find surprising about myself now and about my favorite app. Check it out below:

If you can't read the small print here, you can follow this link to the actual slide show in the NBJ. My feature is slide 8 of 40.

I've had a great time meeting so many new people as a result of receiving this recognition and I thank God for this blessing!

-Dr. April

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Legato Gelato - A Little Taste of Italian Sweetness in the Heart of Nashville

A Little Taste of Italian Sweetness in the Heart of Nashville - 

I initially planned to wait until my feature on Legato Gelato comes out in Mocha Market Magazine to share these pics with you all but, "Springing Forward" for Daylight Savings Time this past Sunday has me feeling all "Springy" and conjures up thoughts of indulging in fresh gelato and sorbetto on an easy breezy spring afternoon!

Here is a preview to the story on Legato Gelato's owner Terri-Ann Nicholls. This awesome Gelateria, nestled in the Edgehill Village neighborhood of Nashville, TN not only has some of the BEST Gelato and Sorbetto in Nashville, but also has a inviting atmosphere that will make you want to come and stay awhile :-)

You guys will also be some of the first to know when the article on Legato Gelato hits the news stands in April!

Can't you see yourself sitting out here on a sunny afternoon indulging in a large cup of fresh Gelato???

Each batch of gelato and sorbetto is made FRESH in house every morning!

Affogato - Espresso with a scoop of Gelato -  Who knew???

I'm in love with the decor of Legato Gelato!

One of my favorites.....Chocolate Peppermint Gelato!

Just in Time for the Holidays....Egg Nog flavored Gelato

Blood Orange Sorbetto - How refreshing!!!!!

So Cozy..........

.......And Classy!

Yep...........that's me getting my photography on!!!!

Owner Terri-Ann Nichols uses many local suppliers such as True Bee Honey to create her fantastic Gelato

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate - Another local company that owner Terri-Ann Nichols supports by selling their products and using those products in her some of her gelato recipes

Affagato - Espresso with a scoop of Gelato. Great combination of hot and cold!

Have you figured out that Terri-Ann really loves to support local suppliers in her shop??? She sell cookies by Dozen - a Nashville Sweet Shop

Legato Gelato is Socially Active! Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Yelp

I love restaurants/shops that embrace technology! Legato Gelato uses an iPad instead of a traditional cash register to accept payment......

Counter Culture Coffee

WOW, that is one HECK of an espresso machine!

I'll take mine on a waffle cone......please!

Chocolate Peppermint Gelato and Blood Orange Sorbetto - great combination!

No, I did not fly down to Miami, FL for this shot...It's still Legato Gelato! Love the interior colors :-)

You can find Legato Gelato online @ www.legatogelato.com


Visit them in person @

1200 Villa Place, Suite 113
Nashville, TN 37212

Owner Terri-Ann Nicholls was a joy to interview and I can't wait for you all to see the full article next month. Be on the lookout for my upcoming Mocha Market Magazine article for more on this great Gelateria!
--Dr. April

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bang Candy Company - A Bangin' Sweet Idea in The Heart of Nashville

Bang Candy Company - A Bangin' Sweet Idea in The Heart of Nashville

Growing up in Ireland, Sarah Souther never imagined she would be an entrepreneur and certainly never imagined that the entrepreneurial venture would involve marshmallows - the gourmet kind dipped in chocolate and bursting with flavors such as Rose Cardamom, Chocolate Chili and Toasted Coconut. However, life has an interesting way of taking us on grand adventures that we never could have imagined and Sarah's story is proof of that.

As a little girl, Sarah wanted to be a tiger. Yes, I said a tiger - that majestic animal that is beautiful when you see it on TV or separated from by 12 inches of glass in a zoo. The kind of tiger that you never want to meet on the street LOL! (BTW, she and I had a good laugh about that idea). Then she decided she wanted to be a princess and was elated when she found out that her name means "Princess". That revelation led her to believe that she could do anything she wanted to in life. She studied film in college in Ireland and once she left college she moved back home and took a job in a flower shop. The owner of the flower shop was very creative and allowed Sarah to express her creativity as well.

She met an American man, got married and moved to the United States with her new husband. She was living what she calls a "good life of leisure" while married but, felt that she wanted much more out of her life than that. The marriage didn't work out and they divorced. Being a single mother who needed to care for herself and her daughter in a new country, she set out to make a living for herself. At one point she worked five, yes FIVE, jobs at one time! She was doing freelance marketing and PR, creating art, teaching yoga and making marshmallows all at the same time!

One day she was at a local Nashville Restaurant and, for dessert, had a wonderful cup of hot chocolate with a side of marshmallows. As fate would have it, Sarah fell in love with the marshmallows. She went home and started pulling ingredients out of her kitchen cabinets to experiment with making these marshmallows herself. Growing up with a mother who was a French-trained Chef, she has always been one for experimenting in the kitchen. Once she figured out a good recipe for the marshmallows, she made some for a friend's dinner party and everyone loved them! One of the guests at the party even commented that "These [marshmallows] are like swallowing God in Velvet Pants!"With Marshmallows that good, she naturally started to get more orders, enough orders to actually turn a profit. At the Beginning of this venture, Sarah was even going to East Nashville in the middle of the night to use a commercial kitchen to create her gourmet marshmallows. She would then head out all over Nashville the following day to sell her treats. She thought about  buying a food truck but, couldn't afford it at the time. She had some guys in Bellevue build a cart out of wood that she hitched to her car and drove around to farmer's markets to sell her goods. Once she started selling the marshmallows on a regular basis she decided she needed a Brick and Mortar location. She says, "My brain does not think in a mathematical way" so without over-analyzing all the financials, she look a leap of faith and moved into the space she currently occupies in Marathon Village. "I am amazed....absolutely amazed" at the success of the shop she says. She has been opened in this location since January 2011.

"The fact that people are obsessed with the idea of marshmallows is completely absurd" she laughs. Sarah has obviously found her niche in that absurdity and does a great job of catering to the needs of her customers.

Her daughter, who is now a teenager, works in the shop so that she can make that extra spending money that all teenagers love to have. Sarah is glad that her daughter gets to see her working hard and doing what she loves.

When Sarah was trying to come with with the name for her business along with a logo design, she started playing around with names like "The Dang Candy Company" but the word "dang" is not really recognized outside of the US. Years earlier, she created a scarf for her sister with the pattern of a pink pistol. She doesn't even like guns but, admires the sleek structure and design of them (remember she is an artist). Needless to say, "Dang" led to "Bang" and The Bang Candy Company was created!

Mmmmmmm....Hot Chocolate mixes. Sarah's marshmallows pair well with the Hot Chocolate.

Ever had a Lemon - Lavender Blueberry Marshmallow??? Until I visited Bang Candy Company, neither had I. It was fabulous and contains tiny little blueberry pieces :-)

Cranberry, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Scone - a great breakfast pastry

I can't get enough of this logo....It's so creative!

This is the actual scarf design that Sarah created for her sister years before she ever imagined that she would be an entrepreneur and own her own candy company. If you are one of those people, like I am, who believes that certain events in life are setups to something greater, you just might feel at least a little bit encouraged right now that achieving your heart's desire is possible :-)

Sarah has been so creative with the flavors of her marshmallows: Toasted Coconut, Orange Ginger Cinnamon, Lemon Lavender Blueberry, Rose Cardamom, Chocolate Espresso, and Chocolate Chili.

The Toasted Coconut has a great light coconut flavor sprinkled with real coconut pieces. The Orange Ginger Cinnamon has just a hint of tangy citrus flavor.

The Chocolate Espresso tastes just like a cup of espresso in marshmallow form and the Chocolate Chili definitely gives that kick of spice at the end!

The Salted Caramels are delicious because they reveal one of my favorite flavor combinations - Sweet and Salty. The "Salty" doesn't break through til' the end...Fun Fun!

The Bird Dog - A delicious Panini with Turkey, Brie, Spinach, Mustard, and Cranberry-Orange Relish

The Cranberry-Orange Relish adds a great dose of sweetness to the sandwich!

These naturally flavored syrups are perfect for mixing in cocktails, teas, lemonades and desserts. The flavors sound amazing!

Here she is, the brains and brawn behind Bang Candy Company, Sarah Souther. She is such a joy to chat with, especially with her beautiful Irish Accent!

I just ADORE this shop, Sarah and her inspiring story! Make sure to visit Bang Candy Company online @ www.bangcandycompany.com

In person at:
1300 Clinton Street, #127
Nashville, TN