by RODNEY MARGISON
When Kamady Lewis tells people that she left her career in broadcast journalism to run her family’s small business in Brown County, Indiana, some people think she’s nuts.
In a way, she is.
Lewis, 35, and her husband, Ronnie, 39, recently became the owners of the Jack and Jill Nut Shop in Nashville, which sells a variety of freshly roasted nuts, a few candies and chocolates, and some nut-related novelties at 78 S. Van Buren St. They took over the business from Lewis’ father, Marc Rudd, who retired earlier this year.
Lewis’ grandfather, Leslie Rudd, founded the Nut Shop in 1967, and—around 20 years later—Marc found himself in charge when Leslie died unexpectedly. “He’s been in there seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day, for 35 or 40 years since,” says Lewis. Now 72, Marc was ready to “pass the torch.”
Lewis grew up among the town’s shops and tourists, graduating from Brown County High School in 2005.
She earned a bachelor’s in sports communication from Indiana University in 2009, and after stints in Las Vegas, San Diego, and Ottumwa, Iowa, met Ronnie while working as a TV sports reporter in Shreveport, Louisiana. They moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2016 and were married in March 2018. Their son, Reagan, was born in September 2019.
They left Grand Rapids in August 2020 amidst fallout from the pandemic, and moved to Cleveland, where they stayed for a year. “I love news,” Lewis says. “I love sports. But my priorities just completely changed. I was sick of being five hours from my parents. I want Reagan to be close to them. I want him to have that same, safe, small- town feel I remember growing up.”
So far, the move home is working out. Lewis says business at the Nut Shop has been good, and they don’t plan on changing a thing.