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There’s a recent transplant to Nashville we know you’ll want to meet. Bill Oates and his wife Mitzi moved to Nashville last summer with their three daughters to open up the Nashville branch of Tender Loving Cake.

Bill was curious about his college daughter’s fascination with TOMS shoe company’s One for One program (where a pair of shoes is donated for each purchased pair) and decided to expand on this idea in his own way.

Bill Oates of Tender Loving Cake.

At that time, Bill was living in Memphis, a city where a number of its residents are below the poverty line, and he knew he could find a way to give back. As a graduate of Southern Methodist University, Bill built his career in graphic design and corporate brand imaging. Creating a brand of his own in the philanthropic world continued to interest him. Working with one of his longtime clients, Ed Crenshaw, owner of a commercial bakery called The Butcher and Baker, they brainstormed the idea of Tender Loving Cake and based their business on on give-back model they call “Buy One, Give One.”

Only the finest ingredients like Maine blueberries and Mississippi pecans go into each cake.

The concept is simple­­: you buy one of their scrumptious coffee cakes and they donate a pound cake to the local food bank. To give you an example of how this can impact local food banks, in 2012, Tender Loving Cake delivered over 40 cases of cakes to regional food banks. Though they are relatively new in Nashville, Second Harvest Food Bank received seven cases this past holiday season.

With each purchase of a Tender Loving Cake, another cake will be donated to your local food bank.

But what’s not so simple about this concept is saving a piece of cake for yourself. Seriously folks, these cakes are sinfully delicious. Your family will sneak down in the middle of the night just to carve off one more slice. Tender Loving Cake offer two varieties: cinnamon pecan and sour cream blueberry. These fantastic coffee cakes are made in small batches from scratch with the finest ingredients,­ including two kinds of brown sugar, Mississippi pecans and Maine blueberries.

Right before Christmas, Bill dropped off two cakes for the StyleBlueprint staff to sample. OK, there were only three of us, but wow, did we relish the delivery. With forks flying, we were all in agreement; the cakes were deeelicious! (No, that’s not a typo; this was our reaction to the first bite!)

What a lovely presentation! These cakes make a great hostess gift.

Bill has connected with many like-minded entrepreneurs through Nashville’s very own Entrepreneur Center to help him roll out this concept on a national level. Currently, Tender Loving Cake donates to food banks in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. It is Bill’s desire to have a national program where you can designate which food bank you want to receive your cake donation. Tender Loving Cake also plans to expand into the corporate gift giving market as a way to increase their volume.

But for now, it’s time for us to welcome Bill and his family to Nashville, and the best way to do this is by ordering a cake from Tender Loving Cake. They are perfect for a Sunday brunch or as a special gift for a new neighbor.

It’s a simple gesture that will help feed so many people a delicious treat. To order, go to:

There’s something so sweet about sharing with others.


StyleBlueprint thanks our photographer, Ashley Hylbert, and food stylist, Mary Carter, for their assistance with this project. To see more of Ashley’s work, visit her website:


And, be sure to see SB Birmingham’s post today on CookFit, a Paleo Diet-based approach to eating. The delicious recipes included would make for a perfect Valentine’s Day menu – especially the chocolate dessert. (No, not kidding. Check it out – follow the link below!)






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