The Untold Story of Biscuitville is a story about Southern friendliness, delicious biscuits, and a dedication to the community that has lasted for more than 50 years.
Since it opened in 1966, Biscuitville has grown into a popular fast-food business that stands out.
In this article, we’ll learn about Biscuitville’s past, values, and effects on the community that has never been told before.
Join us as we discover why so many southeastern Americans still enjoy this iconic eatery.
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Biscuitville’s secret recipe was shared on grandmother’s deathbed
Every family has its own story, but the story of Biscuitville might be the best of all.
Irma Rue Bass, known as “Nanny,” was on her deathbed in the mid-1960s when she asked her grandsons, R.B. and Maurice Jennings, to help her organize her accounts, according to Business North Carolina.
She allegedly offered her grandchildren a small property outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or her secret buttermilk biscuit recipe.
But there was a catch: each person could only choose one. R.B. got the farm, and Maurice picked the recipe.
And it looks like Maurice’s choice paid off, in more ways than one.
Since 1975, when the first Biscuitville opened in Danville, Virginia, the business has been a huge success.
Business By 1982, North Carolina reported 25 locations, all in North Carolina and Virginia.
Triad Business Journal reports over 60 outlets and $60 million in annual sales. Selling meals with a Southern fast food chain‘s origin narrative isn’t simply savvy.
The story is true, says Burney Jennings, who took over as CEO of Biscuitville from his father in 1996.
Biscuitville started out as a pizza restaurant
There was a place called Pizzaville before there was Biscuitville. The store’s founder, Maurice Jennings, used to sell flour.
In 1966, he opened two Mountainbrook Fresh Bread & Milk stores in Burlington, North Carolina.
Later, he changed the name of the shops to Pizzaville and sold pizza and bread there. By 1975, there were six restaurants in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and the southern part of Virginia.
But in a 1997 interview with Greensboro News & Record, Jennings said he “didn’t know anything about pizza.”
During his time in the pizza business, he made some mistakes. For example, he tried to cut a pepperoni stick with a pocket knife.
Jennings chose to change the business by adding freshly baked biscuits to the menu. He did this because he had his grandmother’s biscuit recipe.
According to the business website, people lined up every morning for the biscuits. Jennings included a “jelly bar” with jams and jellies in his business idea.
The jelly bar didn’t last, but the biscuits kept selling like crazy, outselling pizza pies, so Jennings stopped making pizza and started making biscuits instead. In 1975, Pizzaville officially became Biscuitville.
Jennings was never afraid to try new things during his work.
He tried his hand at a few different restaurant groups, like Pie Works and Burney’s Hot Bagels, but they didn’t last long.
Burney’s Hot Bagels closed a year after it opened.
The biscuits are made from scratch every 15 minutes
In the South, biscuits are a popular breakfast food. You can find them in many restaurants, fast food chains, and grocery stores.
So, what’s so great about Biscuitville’s menu?
In January, the company’s marketing manager, Alon Vanterpool, told The North State Journal that its handcrafted items set it apart from other fast food chains.
Don’t misunderstand. Despite its excessive calories, salt, sugar, and factory-made toxins, we like fast food.
But it’s not often that fast food chains say their food is made fresh and with good ingredients.
It’s easy to see why Biscuitville was chosen as one of the 10 best neighborhood fast-food chains in the United States.
In fact, the company’s slogan is “Fresh Southern,” which makes sense.
Vanterpool says that Biscuitville is different from other places because the biscuits are made from scratch and baked right in front of the customers every 15 minutes.
Our biscuits are made from a family recipe that calls for flour, buttermilk, and shortening.
These three main ingredients are mixed in the right amounts, rolled out, and baked by a team of master biscuit makers.
Surprisingly, the chain of food places doesn’t use microwaves.
Using frozen biscuits might speed up the process, but if Biscuitville’s popularity in the area is any indicator, the extra work is worth it.
Biscuitville is also known as the “home of the biscuit window”
It’s one thing for a fast food place to say that the food on their menu is made with fresh ingredients.
But how do people know for sure that their food is being handled carefully?
Who can forget the infamous E. coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants in 2015, which led the U.S.?
Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice to fine the Mexican food company $25 million?
The irony was that Chipotle bragged about using fresh ingredients while its rivals used fake ones.
Thanks to Biscuitville’s “biscuit window,” customers don’t have to rush to the doctor after eating there.
Every Biscuitville restaurant mixes, hand-kneads, rolls, and cuts its famed biscuits into spheres behind a large glass window.
“If guests can see you making the biscuits, they know what they’re eating just came out of the oven,” Indian Trail Biscuitville’s Monise Hammond told Business North Carolina in 2018.
According to the company’s website, clients can top the biscuits with eggs, country ham, meat, butter, and creamy gravy.
At Biscuitville, breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Early on, Biscuitville’s founder Maurice Jennings noticed that most of the business came from people eating breakfast.
According to Our State, 85% of their sales were made before 10 a.m., and most of those people came through the drive-through window.
Today, the chain’s many sites sell more than 40,000 biscuits every day (Business North Carolina).
Breakfast is a very popular meal, and it’s not hard to see why. The restaurant’s website says that the bacon, egg, and cheese burger is one of the most popular items.
It has homemade bacon that melts in your mouth. The grilled chicken, egg, and cheese English muffin is another fan choice.
The chicken in this sandwich is all-natural. Even though it has less than 400 calories, it will fill up even the most hungry eaters.
Biscuitville has been around for 50 years, and breakfast has always been their most popular meal. In 2014, they started serving lunch, which is now available at some sites, according to Food & Wine.
In an interview with Business North Carolina in 2018, then-CEO Burney Jennings indicated that breakfast customers still make the most money, but the additional lunch dishes have still brought in consumers.
The lunch menu has been expanded to include hot fried chicken biscuits with sweet honey and fried chicken and jalapeno pimento-cheese biscuits.
Let’s not forget the Cackalacky Chop, which is a fried pork chop on a biscuit with coleslaw and a sweet sauce made with Cheerwine beer and spicy Cacalacky Sauce. Put us down.
Biscuitville is still family-owned
Since Nanny Bass gave her grandson her secret biscuit recipe more than 50 years ago, Biscuitville has been a family-owned business.
Business North Carolina says that Burney Jennings, the son of Biscuitville’s founder, took over as CEO of the company in 1996.
AP News says that his father, Maurice Jennings, died last year at the age of 86. But Burney has been working at Biscuitville since he was 16.
When he was 16, he mopped floors and cleaned bathrooms at different sites. Burney is also teaching his oldest son, Blake, how to run the business so that one day he can take over.
Still, the popular fast food chain has spread out beyond its roots. This year, Burney stepped down as CEO and became the executive chair.
He gave the CEO job to Kathie Niven, who joined the Biscuitville team in 2011 and is not related to Burney. This was reported by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Niven was made president of the company in 2018. Before that, she was in charge of the brand for the business. Burney doesn’t seem to feel bad about giving the job to a stranger.
In a press statement announcing her promotion, the restaurant chain’s former CEO said, “Kathie is very passionate about Biscuitville and knows a lot about its history and culture.
She is fully prepared to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer.”
Biscuitville is transparent about its ingredients
Most of Biscuitville’s themes, like “Fresh Southern” and “Authentic Southern,” are written on the walls of each restaurant, according to Garden & Gun.
But “Farm to Drive-Thru” might be the one that gets the most attention.
Most of us have heard of farm-to-table restaurants and cuisines, which use farm-grown and locally-grown products as much as possible.
But farm-to-table is all the rage in sit-down restaurants right now, but you don’t often hear fast food places talk about the same idea.
But it turns out that Biscuitville used local ingredients long before it was cool to do so. This makes the Southern chain very different from other chains.
Biscuitville doesn’t hide the fact that it has worked with many local and area suppliers for decades.
Business North Carolina says that each restaurant has a big list of where the company’s products come from.
Notably, a family-owned mill in Henderson, North Carolina has been milling and blending biscuit flour for the restaurant company since the 1960s, when the company’s father was using dough to make pizzas at his Pizzaville restaurants.
Every week, 40,000 pounds of flour are brought to Biscuitville’s warehouse in Graham.
Before that, the flour is checked in the mill’s lab to make sure it has the same taste and quality every time.
Everything at Biscuitville, from the eggs and country ham to the pickles and pimento cheese, is made or grown in the area.
Even the coffee in the restaurant is made in North Carolina.
Biscuitville’s founder was honored with a lifetime achievement award
Biscuitville doesn’t have as big of a presence in the biscuit and fried chicken game as some of its competitors.
For example, Bojangles, which has been around since 1977 and is based in Charlotte, has 330 stores in 14 Southern states, most of which are in North Carolina.
According to QSR Magazine, Bojangles is also listed on the stock market, but Biscuitville is privately owned.
Hardee’s, which started in Greenville, North Carolina in 1960 and is known for its hand-breaded biscuits, has more than 1,800 shops in 14 countries, according to its website.
Still, it’s hard to say enough about Biscuitville’s cultural effect and how popular it is with customers.
In 2019, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) awarded the company’s founder, Maurice Jennings, a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the food and restaurant industry (Triad Business Journal).
Even though Jennings died in 2020 at the age of 86, his entrepreneurial energy has lived on (via Nation’s Restaurant News).
Biscuitville’s then-president remarked, “Maurice’s courage, determination, and passion helped him go against the odds and build a successful family-owned business that is stronger than ever 54 years later.”
“He built Biscuitville on a few simple ideas: that people should be nice and the food should be served quickly.”
Biscuitville values its employees
There are a lot of terrible stories about how big companies treat their workers in the fast-food business.
There’s no doubt that working in the food and restaurant business has its rough spots, from theft of wages and low pay to injuries on the job and bad working conditions.
But there are a few things that make Biscuitville stand out. For example, fast food competitors of Biscuitville like Bojangles and Hardee’s stay open well past dinner time, but Biscuitville is only open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and only serves its biscuit-based menu during breakfast and lunch.
It’s been that way since 1982, when the company’s founder, Maurice Jennings, thought that dinner wasn’t a good use of money.
His son told Business North Carolina that it was too hard to keep the food hot and fresh.
Even though customers can’t get Biscuitville food late at night, this gives the company more than 1,800 workers more time to spend with their friends and families.
Biscuitville’s website says that it also gives its workers a number of other benefits, such as paid time off and even tuition reimbursement.
There are copycat recipes online
Since Biscuitville only does business in two states, people in other parts of the country might be thinking about how to get their hands on the famous biscuit-heavy menu of the Southern fast food chain.
You can’t try the brand’s buttery, rich cookies unless you drive or fly to North Carolina or Virginia.
Biscuitville doesn’t ship its goods outside of its stores either, which is different from some other companies.
But if you want to have some fun in the kitchen, you can find copycat recipes online and in cookbooks from creative bakers who tried to make the brand’s famous buttermilk cookie.
Even if they don’t taste exactly like the real thing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them.
In fact, you might be surprised at how tasty the things you make are, and you don’t even have to leave your house.
Biscuitville has gone through some changes over the years
When you’ve been in business for more than 50 years, like Biscuitville has, you have to change things up at some point.
After a few years of flat sales, the company chose to change its image in 2014 (via FOX8) to attract new and younger customers.
Biscuitville changed its focus to lunchtime food and added new items to its menu, such as waffle sandwiches, which are made with bacon, cheese, eggs, or chicken squeezed between two slices of fluffy Belgian waffles instead of normal biscuits (source: QSR Magazine).
Biscuitville added lighter options like grilled chicken and English muffins to its menu so that it could offer more healthy options.
The rebranding also included a new and better logo with the chain’s slogan “Fresh Southern” to show that the company has always gotten its food from local, family-owned farmers and suppliers.
In fact, more than 90% of the ingredients in Biscuitville’s menu items come from nearby.
Last but not least, all of the company’s restaurants got a new look.
New and remodeled Biscuitville shops have a barn-like wooden façade with a tin roof, reflecting its Southern roots.
Stone, wood, metal, tile, and industrial hardware create a modern, intimate ambiance in the renovated eateries.
Modern techs like WiFi and flat-screen TVs are also found in restaurants.
Biscuitville has plans to expand
Food & Wine says that Biscuitville “needs to be everywhere” because “it’s ridiculously good.”
But just because there aren’t any Biscuitvilles outside of North Carolina and Virginia right now doesn’t mean there won’t be any in the future.
One reason is that there has always been a need.
Burney Jennings told North Carolina Business that when he was CEO, he got several phone calls or emails every week from people who wanted to franchise the business.
But the company has been reluctant to franchise or grow quickly in other ways.
“When you franchise, you lose control of the quality,” said Jennings. Biscuitville’s charm comes from the fact that it feels like a small town.
Biscuitville has been preparing for development in Charlotte for years, according to Charlotte Business Journal.
The Southern fast food chain aims to open at least six additional outlets in North Carolina in the next decade, despite COVID-19.
Biscuitville wants to hit a total of 100 stores in the next five years, and they plan to grow into new states like South Carolina and Georgia.
With some time, the food chain may be able to be found all over the country.
FAQs About The Untold Story Of Biscuitville
How did Biscuitville come to be?
Maurice Jennings started Biscuitville in Burlington, North Carolina, in 1966. Jennings wanted to start a fast-food chain that offered warm Southern hospitality and biscuits made from scratch.
What makes the cookies at Biscuitville so great?
The cookies at Biscuitville are made every day from scratch using a secret recipe with only a few high-quality ingredients. Customers get them while they are still hot and fresh from the oven.
What effect has Biscuitville had on the area?
Biscuitville has been giving back to the community for a long time. They help local groups and events and have given more than $1 million to charities in the area.
What makes Biscuitville different from other quick-service restaurants?
Biscuitville is different from other fast-food chains because it cares about quality, freshness, and Southern kindness. They are proud to serve freshly baked cookies and give great service to their customers.
What are some of the most popular things to order at Biscuitville?
The Country Ham Biscuit, Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, and Biscuitville Club are popular Biscuitville menu items.
Is there anything good to eat at Biscuitville?
Biscuitville offers healthier options including the Fresh Southern Spinach Salad and Fresh Harvest Fruit and Yogurt Parfait.
How does Biscuitville help farmers in the area?
Biscuitville gets a lot of its ingredients, like country ham and sausage, from local farms and producers. This supports the local economy and ensures their dishes are created with the freshest ingredients.
Does Biscuitville have any things that are only available at certain times of the year?
Biscuitville’s Pumpkin Spice Pancake Platter in fall and Strawberry Shortcake Biscuit in summer are seasonal items.
Who are the Biscuitville Club members?
The Biscuitville Club is a program that gives people special deals and discounts for being loyal. When a person joins, they get a free biscuit.
How does Biscuitville ensure food safety?
Biscuitville follows strict rules and methods for food safety to make sure that their food is safe and good. Their food safety training and third-party audits ensure compliance.
Do you offer dining services at Biscuitville?
Yes, Biscuitville can prepare for all kinds of events, from business meetings to weddings. There are many things to choose from, like breakfast, lunch, and snack plates.
The untold story of Biscuitville is about how a small family-owned business grew into a popular area chain.
The name has changed, but its devotion to good ingredients and homemade biscuits has not.
It’s a story of desire, hard work, and a promise to give customers the best experience possible. This is something to be happy about.