M iddle Tennesseans are blessed to have a plethora of restaurant choices when it comes to eating fresh and local; however, few are more picturesque or historic than the Readyville Mill’s eatery, Goodness Gracious at the Mill. Located on the Stones River in—of course—Readyville—the Readyville Mill was built in 1812 by Charles Ready, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Today, the mill thrives as a working grist mill—grinding corn and wheat every week, a restaurant and an event venue. Local Table talked with Nicole Ford who, along with her husband, Eric, owns Goodness Gracious*, about the importance of serving local food.
LT: What does using freshly milled flours and cornmeal bring to your menu?
Nicole: We love the flavor and taste, as well as the sense of pride that comes with grinding the cornmeal and wheat flour here. The wheat flour is the base of our tomato pie. And we use our freshly milled stone ground grits in our famous gouda grits!
LT: You use local grains, correct?
Nicole: Yes. The wheat and corn come from Windy Acres Farm in Orlinda, Tennessee. Their grains are all non-GMO and certified organic.
LT: Do you use other local ingredients, as well?
Nicole: Yes. We use several different farms for eggs, and when the farmers have seasonal veggies they let us know and we buy everything that we can…particularly summer veggies like tomatoes and squash.
LT: Why is it important to you to use local ingredients whenever possible?
Nicole: It’s important because we always want to provide our guests with the best quality of food that we can and really give them a great experience, and we love to support local farmers!
* The Readyville Mill is owned by Karen and Bob Ford. For more information, please visit: www.readyvillemill.com.