Puckett's Announces Chattanooga General Manager Max Stephenson

Friday, February 13, 2015
Max Stephenson
Max Stephenson

Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant is bringing the brand’s long-time general manager Max Stephenson to lead the new Chattanooga location, a move that owner Andy Marshall says is indicative of his company's excitement to expand into the Scenic City.

Mr. Stephenson oversaw six successful years of double-digit growth at Puckett’s in downtown Franklin, Tn., the longest-running restaurant within A. Marshall Family Foods Inc. 

In the fall of 2014, the company announced its plans to open a Puckett’s location on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza in the Riverfront District, with an opening slated for this spring. Mr. Stephenson will manage the restaurant’s daily operations, which includes a full-service eatery, a live music venue and a catering division.

“Max has proven to be an invaluable member of our team, and we hate to lose him in Franklin,” said Mr. Marshall. ”He’s become a cherished member of the community there, as he will in Chattanooga. Max grew up in Monteagle, so he’ll be a familiar face to many.”

Mr. Stephenson has nearly four decades of industry experience, and has served in every capacity during his time with Puckett’s, including kitchen duty. Over the years, he has witnessed the small grocery store grow into a nationally celebrated business, and a brand that has expanded into four counties and added several spin-off concepts. 

Though it was a hard decision to pull Mr. Stephenson from Franklin, A. Marshall Family Foods Director of Operations Claire Marshall Crowell says they recognized that his dedication to the brand and zeal for community positioned him as the perfect candidate to help Puckett’s enter the Chattanooga market. 

“When hiring within the company, we always look for individuals with Max’s characteristics: he has a servant’s heart and a never-met-a-stranger personality. He wholeheartedly invests into his work and takes great pride in it,” Ms. Crowell said. “The Puckett’s brand is built on community and service, and we want to make sure we exemplify that in the way we do business in Chattanooga.”

During his tenure as the Puckett’s Franklin general manager, Mr. Stephenson became one of the most familiar faces around its Main Street by way of his volunteer efforts and the restaurant’s local involvement. He attributes that to Puckett’s commitment to the community. 

“I can say without hesitation, this is the best company I have ever worked for. They give and they give,” Mr. Stephenson said. “It’s rare to see an owner get so physically involved, but with the Marshall family everyone dives in. They make you a part of the family, and it is so rewarding to work with them.”

Puckett’s Chattanooga, at Aquarium Way, is renovating its 6,750-square-foot space. The restaurant will employ approximately 70 associates in Chattanooga, and will begin building out the staff in the coming weeks. 

In 2014, A. Marshall Family Foods was listed on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies, and the Puckett’s restaurants have been recognized in local communities for everything from best barbecue and meat ‘n’ three to best live music venue and best place to work. 



Logan's Roadhouse Closing Gunbarrel Road Restaurant

  Logan's Roadhouse is closing its restaurant at 2119 Gunbarrel Road. The last day of operation was Wednesday. The chain still has five other Chattanooga-area locations. Officials said the move was made in order to "right-size" the market. The company is offering employees the opportunity to work at other area restaurants, as well as severance packages and job placement ... (click for more)

Grubhub Online Food Delivery Service Expands To Chattanooga

 Grubhub, an online food-ordering company, has expanded its delivery capabilities to 34 more markets across 19 states, including Chattanooga. The expansion was completed throughout the first quarter of 2018 and is part of  Grubhub's  plan to grow its delivery network to reach more than 100 new markets this year, officials said. These cities join the more than ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)