Five Daughters bakes with layers and layers of love
By: Melissa Crowley
Photo: Melissa Crowley
Walk up the steps of the teal blue house and inside you’ll see the neon pink sign. The sound of upbeat, electronic music by artists like Flume fills your ears and the smell of sweet pastries and freshly brewed coffee fills the air. Stroll over to the counter to see an array of pastries unlike any you have ever seen. Every pastry under the glass is grouped by flavor, each having different fillings and toppings. The worker behind the counter is eager to tell you about each one and help you make a selection while wearing a friendly smile. As you take a bite of your croissant-doughnut hybrid, or “cronut,” you know that Five Daughters Bakery has created a masterpiece.
Isaac and Stephanie Meek opened their first Five Daughters Bakery retaill store in Franklin in November 2015, naming it after their own five daughters. After working as an accountant, Isaac realized he wanted to pursue baking instead. The Meeks originally thought they would open a store specializing in cupcakes, but after a friend suggested “cronuts,” Isaac and Stephanie learned how to make a cronut, and Five Daughters Bakery was born. Isaac comes from a line of business owners and bakers, and now shares his love of pastries with everyone who comes inside of any of the three Five Daughters locations.
“We believe in love. We believe in family, and we believe in quality food,” say Isaac and Stephanie Meek on the Five Daughters Bakery website, FiveDaughtersBakery.com. “We believe in stewarding the earth and our bodies, as well as enjoying the simple pleasures of life with the ones you love. We are committed to filling your belly with premium treats made with organic and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible.”
Since the opening of its first location, Five Daughters Bakery has added two more locations in Nashville, one on 12th Avenue S. and one in East Nashville. Five Daughters Bakery has also partnered with the Barista Parlor coffeehouse. Every Five Daughters Bakery serves Barista Parlor coffee, and each Barista Parlor location sells Five Daughters Bakery pastries. The Meeks plan to open their fourth location in their favorite vacation destination of Seaside, Florida in summer 2017, spreading their love of food and family across the country.
The bakery specializes in the cronut, or as Five Daughters Bakery refers to it, the 100-layer doughnut, which is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. This creation takes three days to complete, has 144 layers of dough inside of each doughnut and is made fresh every morning. The dough is rolled out with butter, refrigerated and fried. Once cooked, it’s coated in sugar, filled and glazed to perfection.
Along with the cronut, Five Daughters Bakery serves The Quinn, named after Isaac and Stephanie’s fifth daughter. The Quinn is the bakery’s version of Kouign-Amann, a pastry filled with butter and caramelized sugar.
The bakery also sells vegan and paleo doughnuts made with all natural ingredients, and baked instead of fried. Jam, custard and cream-filled doughnuts are also available at the bakery, as well as a cupcake that is a favorite of the Meek family. The bakery will also begin to sell breakfast sandwiches at all three Five Daughters locations.
“Everything we put into our doughnuts is locally sourced so we get the best produce and we support local farms,” said Adriel Morton, a sales associate at Five Daughters Bakery.
“We use all organic products for our pastries which sets us apart from other bakeries,” said Tiffany Ha, a shift leader at Five Daughters Bakery. “We make all of our pastries at the Factory in Franklin and then ship them to our other locations. We have a stellar baking and decorating team in Franklin that work extremely hard to make the pastries spectacular.”
The Five Daughters Bakery website includes DonutCam, a feature allowing customers to see live footage from each of the locations to see doughnuts available that day.
The pastries draw in tourists and Nashville natives alike, but what makes Five Daughters Bakery special to Isaac and Stephanie Meek is that they can share it with their children.
“They love their kids to death,” said Gabriella Ferrari, a sales associate at Five Daughters Bakery. “The oldest daughter, Dylan, is 10 years old and she is home-schooled because she is so independent. She wants to take over the bakery when she’s older.”
Unlike other bakery owners, the Meek family is involved in all of the operations including baking, delivering, promotion and serving customers.
“I was working one day when Isaac and Stephanie and all of the girls showed up,” said Ferrari. “Isaac will deliver the doughnuts himself, Stephanie runs the Instagram account and the whole family is very involved in the business.”
“Isaac and Stephanie Meek are fantastic people,” said Morton. “With huge hearts they started this business out of love for family and community, and have done an awesome job incorporating that into their stores and product. They also have done a great job putting family first, and that includes the employees.”
The Meek family holds the values of food and family very closely in every operation of Five Daughters Bakery, and they make it a priority to make sure that their employees are treated like family.
“Their number one priority is their employees,” said Ferrari. “With most companies the customer is always right, but Isaac has told us that if someone is not treating us well that we shouldn’t put up with it. He said ‘our priority is you guys.’”
“The things that I like most about working at Five Daughters is that I have made an amazing community of friends that I can call family,” said Ha. “Everyone that I work with always has such a positive attitude and are the most caring people alive. It’s amazing how everyone watches after one another and loves each other so well.”
“Everything from owners to management to the sales team is a big happy family and it shows,” said Morton. “People know when they come into our stores they get an amazing doughnut and the happiest service.”
Five Daughters Bakery operates the business on their love of food and family. As their slogan says, “Nothing is sweeter than family.”