The history of the Yia Yia’s chocolate praline…
It all began (well, not all. Read our “history” for more on the yesteryears of Leon’s family recipes) in 1994 when Leon and his wife Myrna decided to open a New Orleans style praline shop in the heart of downtown Nashville. It all started with the traditional, maple, flavored pecan pralines. Then as they grew, Leon began using a variety of different nuts with the same maple flavor that kept so many coming back for more.
After many visitors came in and out of their quaint little shop, a request for chocolate pralines became something they heard regularly. Leon, being the stubborn Greek man he was (yet very sweet) and sticking true to the traditional recipe that had been passed down for three generations of confectioners, refused to make a chocolate praline. He would often say “My grandfather didn’t make chocolate pralines, my father didn’t make chocolate pralines and I’m not making chocolate pralines.” So, Myrna decided to take this challenge into her own hands and after many failed batches, the “Yia Yia Chocolate Praline” was perfected and born.
The name ”Yia Yia” comes from the Greek word meaning “grandmother”, which is exactly what Myrna was and still is. A grandmother of five chocolate loving grandchildren in her life, and a masterpiece of her own, the name fit the confection perfectly.
Since then, we have also made this same recipe with touch of Marker’s Mark Bourbon added too it. A new favorite I might add..
Myrna still handcrafts these chocolate pralines in our store in the historic downtown Nashville. Leon has passed now but Myrna still runs the business, with him watching over her making sure she makes those pralines “just right”.
Stop in our location in Nashville and try them for yourself! We have many different flavors and types of candies. There is a reason our confections have lived on for so long after generations have passed and new ones have come to learn the ways of the New Orleans style pralines.
Don’t live in Nashville? We ship! Order online or give us a call at 615-254-5030.
Downtown location: 138 2nd Ave N. Suite 102 (in Butler’s Run breeze way), Nashville, TN 37216