Nashville’s most iconic candy brand, Goo Goo Cluster, has operated a downtown retail shop for years just a block off Lower Broad at 116 3rd Ave. South, and it’s been a very popular destination for visitors seeking to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings. In addition to a retail shop for their candy cluster bars and souvenir swag, the Goo Goo Shop has offered tastings, candy making classes and treats from their dessert bar.
A fairly recent development has been the introduction of a program to design your own premium Goo Goo bar using a choice of chocolates and a plethora of delicious fillings. The chance to create a unique chocolate treat has taken off so well that Goo Goo has decided to completely revamp the store over the course of this summer, closing for construction towards the end of April and reopening the new $2 million facility by Labor Day.
The newly renamed Goo Goo Chocolate Co. will feature expanded classroom space, a design-your-own confection station, a full-service chocolate bar and retail shop. The Chocolate Bar will serve premium chocolates and a rotating selection of seasonal treats. Thanks to a new liquor license, the Chocolate Bar will also serve wine and whiskey pairings to accompany their confections, plus boozy milkshakes.
Goo Goo’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Beth Sachan is excited about the new opportunities. “We’ve seen a crazy response to the custom Goo Goo classes, even during COVID,” she shares. “We had to limit the size of our classes, but as soon as we put them online, they would sell out immediately, so we had to add more.”
To respond to the desire to be a part of the candy-making process, Goo Goo will reconfigure the interior of the store to meet customer demands. “I’m calling it a cross between a chocolate factory and a 21st century soda shop,” Beth explains. Expect an expanded kitchen area, a glassed-in chocolate room where you can see the chocolate being tempered to soften it up enough to create the coating of each bar, a larger classroom space and new tempering machines mounted in the custom creation counter where customers will be able to choose from dark chocolate, milk chocolate and a seasonally rotating third option. The choices of add-ins range from nuts like roasted peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans to sweet treats such as rainbow sprinkles, vanilla wafers, chocolate chips, crushed Oreos and breakfast cereals.
Beth has advice for anyone confronted with all these choices, suggesting “I recommend at least one crunchy element for the inside. I think Rice Krispies are a great addition. Don’t go too crazy with too many additions or you won’t be able to taste them individually. I like to double up on the sweet outside coating and pick two add-ins.” If you do want to max out your creative contributions, you can pick up to two sweets and three add-ins, and Goo Goo is offering the opportunity to create your own treats online while the shop is being remodeled.
Other fun options to engage with Goo Goo and even go home with a custom creation will take place at a series of special pop-ups planned around town during the spring and summer. The first one will take place at Yazoo Brewing Co. at 900 River Bluff Drive in Madison on Saturday, May 22 from noon until 5:00 p.m. Sign up for one of the one hour classes, and you’ll take a treat home, and rumor has it that Yazoo will be tapping their last two kegs of their special Yazoo/Goo Goo Ale collaboration, a toasty nutty beer that pairs perfectly with chocolate.
Other pop-ups will take place in 12 South at Insert Chef Here over Memorial Day weekend and downtown at the Nashville Visitor Center at Bridgestone Arena and the Fairlane Hotel over the course of the summer. Keep checking Goo Goo’s special events page for more details and dates to come!