First, there were gourmet cupcakes, and then came gourmet donuts. Now, based on the rapid success of a Maryland baker, America is clamoring for gourmet biscuits.
Biscuits have gained so much popularity that there’s now an International Biscuit Festival, which is set for May 20 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Named one of the best food festivals in the United States by National Geographic Traveler, The International Biscuit Festival will be celebrating its eighth year in existence.
The festival brings in more than 25,000 biscuit enthusiasts for the multiple-day event, including a Miss and Mister Biscuit Pageant and biscuit baking contests. “The Biscuit Festival and its related events consistently draw thousands from throughout the Southeast to celebrate the best of biscuits and Southern food culture,” says organizer John Craig, known at The Biscuit Boss.
Mama Biscuit’s Gourmet Biscuit (MBGB) Co., which was founded in Frederick, Maryland, by Lesley Riley, has risen faster than the company’s owner ever expected. From her first online sale in May 2015, Riley quickly became the biscuit darling to local wineries, wholesalers, and supermarkets like Wegmans and Whole Foods. Other food markets work with her on private label product lines.
The company started as part of a food incubator where it shared the kitchen at Clustered Spires Bakery located in Frederick. Starting in March, MBGB is relocating to 7,500-square-foot warehouse and office space in Frederick. Riley expects to more than double her staff to 20 employees, with projections to double that number by 2018.
No stranger to the kitchen, Riley previously owned and operated her own successful, Southern-style restaurant in North Carolina. Her mission is to "bring a Northern flair to a Southern classic." Quality is baked into every item she allows out the door.
Riley and her team have created over 50 signature heart-shaped, biscuit recipes. Top sellers include both sweet and savory offerings, like her famous Bananas Foster with salted Pecan Praline, Kahlua stuffed Brie with brown sugared pecans, and Spiced Mango with Tequila-Lime glaze. Gluten-free versions are available.
“The unique flavor combinations of our gourmet biscuits transport your taste buds back to your childhood. Some of our biscuit flavor profiles are familiar, reminding you of family recipes. We bake love and nostalgia into every heart-shaped biscuit,” Riley says.
Biscuit baking classes and parties for adults and kids are also available. The new facility will allow local companies to order online and pick up at the facility.
Mama Biscuit’s bills itself as America’s first online gourmet biscuit company. The core mission is "quality over quantity," and the team believes in getting back to basics by making premium all-natural foods. Featuring more than 50 unique heart-shaped specialty flavors, the bakery has been featured in Bethesda Magazine, Country Living, and Family Circle magazines.