AGENIA CLARK: Cooking in Nashville since 1989

Dirty Page: Best Cornbread

photo: Andrea Behrends

photo: Andrea Behrends

Agenia Clark took her first post as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee 23 years ago, and the CEO at that time gave her a copy of a cookbook called She Loves Me, a collection compiled from friends and family of the organization.

Agenia had been married just a couple years when the cookbook came to her, and many of the recipes became staples—including this version of “Best Cornbread.”

“I love it because it’s simple. Every time I serve it people go absolutely nuts,” she says. “I’m a Southern girl and to me this says warmth, friends and family—and it says Girl Scouts.”

Over three decades, Agenia’s continued to work with the Girls Scouts—as a volunteer, then chairman of the board, and now as CEO. She has collected hundreds of cookbooks over the years too, occasionally gifting them to charity to make room for new ones. And even though the pages of her copy of She Loves Me are pulling away from the binding and held together with a rubber band, she’s told her daughters that this one is to never leave home.

“Food has so much context in the culture of Girl Scouts,” Agenia says, referring to nutrition programs, camp meals, volunteer potlucks, and of course, the entrepreneurial lessons learned with those famed Girl Scout cookies. 

Agenia Clark DP.jpg

Cindy Wall