Recently, Phyllis Sutton accepted the role of Direction of Sales for Sweet Creations Pie Bakery. Not only does this bakery serve some of the best pie around, it was founded with a commitment to serving the community. It is both the pie and the desire to benefit the community that inspired Phyllis to sign on the dotted line. For a bakery that has been recognized around the world for their apple, peach, sweet potato and pecan pies, heading up sales at Sweet Creations might seem as easy as pie. But as anyone who has baked a pie, exerted efforts to revitalize a community and acted as director of sales for a company will tell you, it isn’t always easy. Phyllis sat down to tell us about her work, her mission to uncover the bakery that is one of Nashville’s hidden gems, her love of film and support of the Nashville community. Welcome her today as our FACE of Nashville!
Tell us about your background.
I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee. I lived in Los Angeles and worked for the Directors Guild of America prior to moving to Nashville. I began working in the non-profit sector when I arrived in Nashville and loved it. My first position was with Crittenton Services. My most recent position was as Vice President of Volunteer and Membership Services at Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. I have a BFA in Film from Watkins College and a Masters in Civic Leadership from Lipscomb University.
What attracted you to the position at Sweet Creations Pie Bakery?
After meeting Barbara Toms, and hearing her describe her vision for Sweet Creations, I was hooked. Like most people, I was under the impression that Barbara opened Sweet Creations because of her passion for baking. Although she enjoys baking, Barbara’s mission has always been about workforce development for people in the community. Her delicious pies are a vessel to building family and community.
What are your main responsibilities as Director of Sales?
Sweet Creations has been recognized nationally as having one of the best pecan pies in the country. My job is to let everyone know by informing the community of who, where and why we are.
You are only a few weeks into the position. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge has been dispelling the “Jefferson Street is not safe” myth.
What are you hoping to accomplish in your tenure at the bakery?
Although we have received national recognition, we are still one of Nashville’s hidden gems. My goal is to expand retail and wholesale business by introducing this community to a slice of home, also known as Sweet Creations Pie Bakery.
Sweet Creations Pie Bakery has a commitment to serving the community. Can you tell us how this commitment is demonstrated?
It would have been easier to open a business in a trendy location, but Barbara demonstrated her commitment by making Jefferson Street the home of Sweet Creations Pie Company. She wants to give back to the community that has given her so much through employment opportunities.
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
I begin each day with a list of people and organizations to contact and schedule appointments by phone and in person. I spend a lot of time networking and introducing Sweet Creations to the community. I always have delicious pie samples to get me in the door.
What is your favorite flavor of pie?
The pecan pie is my absolute favorite!
Can you tell us about your passion for cinematography and how you are working to help women in the entertainment industry?
I have written and directed several short films, the last of which was an official selection of the Nashville Film Festival in 2005. Recently, I produced and directed a short documentary film about the rise of grandparents raising grandchildren. I am currently beginning work on a short documentary film about historic Jefferson Street.
Women in Film and Television Nashville (WIFT) exists to advance professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video and interactive medias. WIFT is committed to improving the status of women, both in front and behind the camera, by supporting and advancing women working to achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communications and media industries, and to preserving the legacy of women within those industries.
Do you have a favorite movie?
To Kill a Mockingbird
What do you think sets the Nashville community apart from other Southern cities?
When you aren’t working, where can we find you hanging around town?
I enjoy all of Nashville. You might find me on historic Jefferson Street, Five Points, Midtown or 12South.
Name a few of your favorite local restaurants.
What is the best piece of advice you have received, and from whom?
My grandmother always told us to never judge a book by its cover and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.
Do you have any good book recommendations?
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends.
Books, music and movies!
A special thanks to Ashley Hylbert for today’s gorgeous photos!
Jaime Nephew was just 39 years old when she suffered a stroke. In honor of American Stroke Month, we’re thrilled to feature Jaime as this month’s FACE of TriStar. Read her inspiring story of recovery and find out what advice she offers for anyone who’s reading. Click here!