Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is more than a quick bread. To Carrie Morey, founder of the company, biscuits mean family and comfort.
“Biscuits are the bread of the South, but also quickly becoming a go-to bread nationwide,” says Carrie.
“In my 15 years of hand-making biscuits, I’ve come to learn that people nationwide have their own traditions behind biscuits. They’re an heirloom recipe coming back into favor. In times of emotion, [biscuits] create family memories and tradition.”
The Start Of A Nationally Recognized Brand
The original recipe that started Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit was a tradition of their own: Callie’s country ham biscuits.
“I knew she [my mom] had something pretty special,” says Carrie. “I used to be the server of a lot of her catered parties where the biscuits originated. She didn’t always do Southern cuisine, but no matter what the theme people would always ask ‘Can we start with the ham ‘n biscuit?’”
It was the perfect starter every time: A sharp cheddar biscuit sliced with whipped Dijon mustard butter and chopped artisanal Virginia country ham that wouldn’t pull out of the biscuit when you took a bite.
“We had always talked about doing a business when I got older, but more of a gourmet shop,” says Carrie. “It didn’t really fit the lifestyle that I wanted, which was to be an active mom. So after my first daughter I started to research what would give me the freedom [to do so] and fuel my creativity and passion – which is how I came up with the idea to package her biscuits and sell them.”
In 2005, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit launched under their original name Callie’s Charleston Biscuits.
“She [my mom] thought it was a horrible idea and crazy that we would sell them over the internet, in 2005,” Carrie recounts. “I think I was a little ahead of my time.”
Looking back – growing an online, mail-order only business during the reign of AOL and dial-up internet, before online shopping was really common, was no small feat.
“It’s only when I do things like this – interviews – do I think about what it’s like, that we have this brand that’s grown from nothing to something. It’s kept us hustling because we don’t spend time thinking about our success. We focus on what needs to be done,” says Carrie.
“I started a business based on country ham biscuits, knowing that not many people knew what that was,” says Carrie. “Now we’re really starting to dream big. This could be so much bigger, and we’re not really in a rush to get there.”
“It’s exciting to me that we started with this one little recipe and now we’ve grown to be so much more than that.”
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Says Be A Biscuit
Warm. Buttery. Uniting. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit has taken the meaning of biscuits one step further.
“BE a biscuit,” says Carrie. “When we bake biscuits we place them on the tray so that each biscuit touches the other. When they touch they
rise taller. How interesting that when you’re with your friends you rise taller. If everybody would be a biscuit and rise tall. Be warm and buttery inside (be kind). Be open to everyone’s jam (people being their authentic selves). If we all lived like that, this world would be such a better place.”
Their partnership with Just Be You was a natural connection. Founded by a dear friend of hers, Carrie says “not only did I connect with her mission, but I’m going through that with my daughters.” Just Be You works to build teen’s self-confidence through self-compassion and self-love. [Learn more here]
“It seemed authentic to me – to build up young people and teenagers. To build up humans is super important to me,” says Carrie.
When their marketing plan for 2020’s National Biscuit Month was derailed by the pandemic, they pivoted to do just that.
“September is National Biscuit Month. We had all been waiting for it to really celebrate our 15 years in business and had some great plans, but had to pivot. So what can we do? Get other people involved,” says Carrie. “Give something that can give back and is well rounded.”
Tarah Boyleston, Director of Marketing, came up with the idea to create The Digital Cookbook. A collection of 15 biscuit recipes, it can be purchased by making a donation of any size. All proceeds are donated to the Be A Biscuit campaign charities. [Order your copy here]
It’s the culmination of everything Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit was built on – family values, good cheer, and an unrelenting kindness.
The Sunshine Effect
True to their own words of encouragement, the team at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit has lived up to their Be A Biscuit motto, bringing customers all over the country some much needed cheer.
“As a result of our 15th year [anniversary] we spent all of 2019 planning for this rebrand that was going to be amazing! We rebranded on Monday March 16th,” says Carrie, “and shut every little shop and went into lock down later that week.”
In hindsight, the rebrand happened at the perfect time. “I would like to think that we gave everybody a little bit of sunshine,” says Carrie. “We call that rebrand the sunshine effect. We did so much surveying of our customers and what they feel like when they come to our restaurants: happy, joyous, celebrating. We tried to create that in our packaging.”
“Tarah nailed it. I’ve never been more proud to be a biscuit than in that moment.”
While 2020 has tried us all, Carrie’s advice rings true. “No matter what happens in your business, you’re going to be okay. You’re going to get through that moment if you want to. You have to believe you have to get through it,” she says.
“Every single day there’s a new hurdle, but you don’t look at it like that. You say okay, let’s fix it. You move on. It’s all about perspective.”
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Receives National Recognition
Just two days before I spoke with Carrie, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit was featured on Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager’s TODAY show segment Can’t Live Without It.
“It was so exciting,” says Carrie. “We had no idea. I love waking up to surprises like that.”
This isn’t the first time Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit has been featured on the TODAY show. In 2019 they got a last minute call from The Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
“They asked us to biscuit bomb Marion Square with all our biscuiteers (staff) and bum rush the TODAY stage and feed Al Roker and the crowd,” Carrie recalls.
“The excitement of it all, opening the back doors of our van, all our biscuiteers running out into the crowds and handing out our hot biscuits all individually wrapped. I don’t know if it gets any better than that.”
As they look forward to one day doing more fun events, Carrie has something extra special up her sleeve for 2021. Keep an eye on their accounts in the new year for a special announcement.
Cooking With Carrie and Callie
If you’re craving more than biscuits, reference their cookbook Callie’s Biscuits & Southern Traditions: Heirloom Recipes from Our Family Kitchen.
“I have memories of my grandmother and going through her plastic boxes of recipes, spending time with her…so many memories that bring me comfort and joy,” says Carrie.
Callie’s Biscuits & Southern Traditions is a collection of some of her favorite recipes, as well as the history behind each, fond family memories and quotes.
“Including my family history – it was always an idea. [It felt] authentic to me. The thing I’m most proud of is I have something to pass down to my girls. They’ll always have those recipes and can pass them down,” says Carrie.
A Biscuit’s Key To Happiness
15 years, 4 brick and mortar locations, one cookbook, a food truck and a booming e-commerce business later, Carrie still believes that authenticity and passion are the key to building a brand that you love. “If you’re not passionate you’ll hate it,” says Carrie. “It’s not a job. It’s a journey that never ends and you have to be all in.”
“I think that if you are starting a business, no matter what, if you’re authentic there’s no better way or path.”
As our call ended, I had to know her personal favorite way to enjoy a good biscuit.
“Well, my personal favorite is a buttermilk biscuit,” Carrie says. “After it’s been baked I love to pull it out of the oven, split it in half, and put it back in to toast again so that all the edges are toasted and crunchy. And then add a pad of butter on each half and eat it while the butter is melting.”