Once upon a time, back in Virginia, Verna Hazzard made toffee at Christmas to give to friends, neighbors, her daughter’s teachers and others fortunate enough to be around after a batch cooled and was broken into pieces. Many of those lucky recipients asked when she was going to start selling it so they could have more throughout the year. That never interested her until her daughter, a professional harpist, who had also learned to make this very special toffee, decided she would like to expand her business interests and sell it with her mom’s help. So that’s what they did – until Verna up and moved to Franklin, Tennessee, and went back to making it occasionally for friends and neighbors. Except this time, when people asked if they could buy some more, she knew how much fun it was to see people’s faces light up when they bit into a piece, and knew what a great way such a local business could be to become more connected with a community she and her husband had come to love.
So – Franklin Toffee was born.
And – wonder of wonders! – after moving here to Franklin, Verna learned that her great-great-great-great-grandfather, Francis Hodge, was one of the earliest settlers to Nashville. And, even more astounding, his son, John Wesley Hodge, moved to Franklin and married a girl, Jane Carothers, who was born here in 1799, the year Franklin was established! Verna’s great-great-great-grandparents’ house is still standing, and there are still Hodges (Verna’s maiden name) and Carothers in Franklin. Cousins!
So now you don’t have to wait until Christmas, or be around after a batch has cooled – you can have it any time you like! Our toffee makes a perfect gift, too – a delicious little bit of Franklin history!
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