David Andrews '96

Some of the most monumental moments of my life and of my development have happened on Franklin Road Academy’s campus. From kindergarten through graduation, I spent every school year learning skills that could set me up for not only a successful work ethic, but with a character that approaches all I do with love.

From my twelve years at FRA, each teacher, coach, and member of staff treated me with kindness and love. I remember Mrs. Howell, who always taught me that no matter what, everyone deserved love and respect. I remember Mrs. Brock and Mrs. Oakley, who both encouraged me beyond my imagination and always reminded me I could achieve amazing things. FRA was a place filled with people like Coach Zab, who would write and read poems to his students, uplifting their spirits no matter what the school year brought. On FRA’s campus, I was shown that one kind action sticks with people and inspires them for their whole life, as it did with me.

At FRA, I have so many fond memories from the Gingerbread Hunt, to dodgeball in front of Danner Hall, to even making my first crème brulee for French Club. As I look at where I’ve landed now as executive chef and owner of my own bakery, D’Andrews Bakery, it has taken a confidence and compassion that I learned from my years at FRA. I was pushed to try new things and had teachers like Mrs. Bolt who would encourage me to cook, bake, and discover this passion.

Looking back on it all, it makes sense that I ended up in this profession. My favorite extra credit projects at school were the ones that included me making a dish or pastry. I was so intrigued by watching cooking shows, and when I was younger, my grandparents would take me to New York City, where I was fascinated by the dining and restaurants. I appreciated the art behind cooking, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the family and teachers that helped push me towards this passion.

Following my graduation from FRA, I went on to college where I took with me how to be a loving leader and compassionate friend to all those around me. After graduating college, I went back to work for my family business, where I learned more hands-on details for leading a business. After a few years back in Nashville, I spent time in culinary school in New York City. I was fortunate enough to intern at a three-star Manhattan restaurant, which then led to a job as a pastry cook following my time in culinary school. I proceeded to join a friend in opening a quick-serve Chinese inspired restaurant and ultimately ended my time in New York City as the executive pastry chef at the Kimberly Hotel.

By 2016, I was ready to come home to Nashville, where I have since opened D’Andrews Bakery. I knew coming home was the right place for me to not only grow my business, but to share what I learned since I had been gone. Since 2018, I have seen such a cultivation of my hard work and dreams be laid into the foundation of my business; many things I wouldn’t have learned without some of my mentors at FRA.

I’ve watched so many alumni, mentors, and teachers, walk through the doors of my bakery, and each time I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so grateful for the community I have been a part of, and still am a part of, since I was in kindergarten. I am so amazed by the memories that have carried through today, for how each member of the FRA community has helped and supported me, and for the lasting relationships that have been produced in my life.

I am so proud to be an FRA alumnus and couldn’t be prouder of the amazing people the school has provided both in my life, and in the Nashville community. The types of leaders that have come from FRA are kind, loving, and innovative entrepreneurs. FRA helped guide, nurture, and encourage us, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. 

 

David attended FRA from 1983 to 1996. He is an award-winning business owner and executive chef at D’Andrews Bakery, located at 555 Church Street in Nashville. David has been awarded the Nashville LGBT Chamber 2022 Small Business Leader of the Year (presented to him by 2021 winner Hal Cato ‘83), the 2021 Small Business Diversity Award, and currently serves as a board member for Nashville Cares.