Come get a little taste of country music and delicious chocolates during your time in Nashville at Colts Chocolates, the oldest specialty chocolate company in Nashville. "Food and music were the only things I ever wanted to do," is how Mackenzie Colt, President of Colts Chocolates, explains how she went from being a "Hee Haw Honey" to owning her own candy business. "I grew up in a family where no one cooked. Sunday dinner was about the only home-cooked meal we ever had, so when I got married at fifteen, I started reading cookbooks like they were novels," said Mackenzie. "Once I learned to cook it was time to start experimenting and making up my own recipes." One of those made-up recipes became the now famous Colts Bolts, the best-selling product of her candy company.
Before opening Colts Chocolates, Mackenzie spent six years with Hee Haw taping in Nashville. Hee Haw gave her the opportunity to be one of the cast members and also perform her own songs on the show. In 1984 she decided to move to "Music City" to pursue her songwriting, but discovered she was burned out from music. This became the inspiration she needed to pursue her dream of a candy making business.
In the early days of Colts Chocolates the first order came from the Honey Baked Hams stores and it wasn't even for candy, but instead for 500 of the Gooey Butter Pies. This gave Mackenzie the confidence she needed to continue. Since that first order for pies, she has learned so much about the business of candy making and now secures contracts for 100,000 pounds of chocolate at a time. “When an order for 12 tons of Colts Bolts came in from a Japanese gourmet foods distributor, we knew what to do," Mackenzie says.
Today Mackenzie's company has many different chocolates and desserts and the customer list reads like a who's who of country music, celebrities, and even some political stars. Clients include Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, K.T. Oslin, Eddie Rabbit, Dwight Yokum, and Garth Brooks. She has also shipped her products to Adam Sandler, Robert Redford, Priscilla Presley, Leslie Nielsen, Joan Rivers, Geraldo Riveria, Dick Clark, Ethel Kennedy, and even President and Mrs. Bush.
Recently Mackenzie made her way back to television filming UNWRAPPED, which will air this fall on the Food Network. UNWRAPPED is about Colts Chocolates, Mackenzie, and the Colts Bolts, which were the shining star of the show….Layer after layer of chocolate, peanut butter, whole roasted almonds and more chocolate. Some secrets will be revealed too!
Make sure to stop by Colts Chocolates in the Gulch during your visit in Nashville, tell them TravelHost sent you, or visit them online at www.coltschocolates.com.