Meet the Puckett’s Fam: Kat Fort | Puckett’s Columbia

Here at A. Marshall Hospitality everyone is like family! We wanted to take a moment to share stories of people who make our family complete ❤️


Kat Fort knew she wanted to pursue a career at Puckett’s Grocery as soon as she walked in to apply. Born and raised in Columbia, Tenn., she planned to become a teacher but decided to put college on hold after experiencing several health issues. Just as she planned to return to school, her grandmother became ill and she pressed pause once again to help care for her.

That was early 2013. As Kat debated her career path, a new business was opening on the downtown Columbia square: Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant, the third location of the Southern favorite owned and operated by local restaurateur Andy Marshall.

“My mom called me one day to say a new restaurant was about to open on the square and that I should definitely apply,” Kat said. “She noted the great atmosphere of the Franklin location and thought the Columbia store would be a perfect fit for me. She was right.”

Though she was encouraged to apply for a server role, Kat elected to become a hostess due to her lack of experience in the restaurant business. With her spunky, hospitable personality, she welcomed the restaurant’s guests at the door for more than a year before she became a server, training under longtime Puckett’s manager Max Stephenson.

“You won’t find many places where new staff members are welcomed with open arms and encouraged to grow in the company,” Fort said. “The A. Marshall brand has taken great measures to cultivate a family-like relationship with its employees and it’s very special.”

Soon an opportunity arose for Kat to join the restaurant’s events and catering team. With two private dining rooms and an upstairs space that can accommodate up to 250, the events business began to boom and more help was needed. Kat quickly jumped in and found it to be exactly what she was looking for.

“Events and catering is challenging and rewarding, and a great way to channel my ADD,” Kat joked. “I love making sure every last detail is in place and executing our customers’ visions.”

She proved her capability in the events and catering arena twice when two of the team’s leaders each took time off for maternity leave. She now works hand in hand with the Events Sales Manager as Events and Catering Coordinator and continues to impress her team daily.

Kat is strong, determined and a very hard worker,” said Puckett’s General Manager Ricki Terry. “Her attention to detail in the high-volume catering and events business is impeccable, and she always puts the guest experience first. She is an asset to Puckett’s Columbia and a joy to work with every day.”

When Kat isn’t helping coordinate a customer’s dream event, she likes to relax at home with the dogs she fosters. She also had the opportunity to purchase the home her grandparents built in the 1950s and is enjoying renovating it.

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