Geraldine Bell, A TSU Small Business Development Center Success Story

at the Nashville Farmers’ Market

Alot of folks fritter away their lives dreaming about pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Not Geraldine Bell. She dreamed about pie in the oven — and made her dream a reality.

Bell, who’s also a certified nurse technician, has been baking pies for about 18 years. After perfecting her grandmother’s chess pie recipe, she trained at Tennessee State University’s Small Business Development Center, and in 2003 began selling pies wherever she could: at nursing homes where she worked, at flea markets, at beauty salons. For the past seven years, she’s been selling them at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, and you can find her there every Friday, greeting passers-by with a welcoming smile as warm as the oven she bakes her pies in. She also sets up shop at the Franklin Farmers Market every Saturday.

Chess pies are her specialty, and not just the classic version. “When I say chess, I’m talking about chess, chocolate chess, lemon chess, coconut chess, pecan chess, pineapple chess,” she says. Bell, who grew up just down the road in Columbia, also makes traditional sweet potato pies, pumpkin, chocolate fudge, pecan — you name it. She even makes gluten-free pies, and pies aimed at diabetics. Small pies go for $2 ($4 for gluten-free), and large pies sell for between $12 and $16.

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