A Tennessee icon freshens up
Goo Goo gets a makeover
Sitting in the Oak Bar of The Hermitage Hotel — one of the few Nashville institutions around longer than the 99-year-old Goo Goo Cluster — Jimmy Spradley told a story about the candy bar brand his family oversees. When he speaks to Vanderbilt University business classes, he often asks students if they’ve heard of a Goo Goo Cluster.
Hands fly up.
But when the 29-year-veteran of the business asks who has eaten one lately, it’s as if he’s challenged them to fix the nation’s deficit.
Hardly any hands at all.
The Goo Goo Cluster, that mound of chocolate-covered marshmallow, caramel and nuts, is like the Patsy Cline of candy bars, a true Nashville star and icon in Southern culture. Purported to be the first candy bar ever to incorporate multiple ingredients, the Goo Goo has been a fixture as a sponsor on the Grand Ole Opry, been noted in films such as Robert Altman’s Nashville and even been an answer on Jeopardy! But it doesn’t take a Vandy MBA to know that a candy often heard about — but rarely eaten — hardly does a business good.