If you’ve never eaten a Goo Goo Cluster, you’re missing out on one of Tennessee’s sweetest treats. Nashville is home to the world’s first combination candy, the Goo Goo Cluster, which includes marshmallow nougat, caramel and fresh roasted peanuts all covered in milk chocolate.
All candy lovers can thank Howell Campbell Sr. and Porter Moore of Standard Candy Company for inventing the Goo Goo in 1912 and paving the way for future combination candy bars to come. Over a century later, the Goo Goo Shop in downtown Nashville opened its doors selling candy and merchandise and features a premium Dessert Bar. The walls of the shop are wrapped with a historic timeline of the company, and customers can watch as candy-makers produce premium clusters. The shop’s Dessert Bar has in-house pastry chefs who create a wide array of seasonal Goo Goo themed desserts including milkshakes, cakes, pies, popcorn and ice cream sundaes. The downtown shop has even started hosting chocolate classes for those who are interested in learning candy-making skills.
While many people associate the famous candy with the Grand Ole Opry since Goo Goo was a longtime sponsor of the venue, the Goo Goo was actually invented thirteen years before the Opry came to be. One of the most frequently asked questions for Beth Sachan, Goo Goo’s marketing director, is how the name Goo Goo came to be.
“Howell Campbell was riding a streetcar through downtown Nashville to work one day and talking to the other passengers about the new candy he had just created that had yet to be named,” Sachan explained. “Conversation on the ride shifted, and Campbell began telling the story of how his young child had just began talking, but wasn’t saying words, he just said ‘Goo Goo.’ A school teacher on board suggested that Goo Goo be the name of the candy and it stuck. Along came the slogan, ‘Goo Goo – So good they ask for it from birth.’”