There's a grandmother in Hillsville who makes biscuits for a living, and she's one of the best in America. This story is called "There's something about Mary and her biscuits."
Inside the Hardee's in Hillsville, five days a week, if you sneak behind the counter, you'll see a woman working in flour, dressed in white. You'll also hear every couple of minutes two tasty words: "hot biscuits!"
Mary Marshall was recently named the Hardee's biscuit maker champion. Beating out 700 other biscuiteers from 335 restaurants, owned by Boddie-Noell Enterprises.
"I'd have to say because I love what I'm doing. I put a lot of love into them," Marshall said.
“Them” are twelve handmade biscuits to a pan. The morning crew out front calls them special. Just ask Greg Testerman, who was splitting those golden browns, putting in eggs, sausage and anything else the customer wanted.
"[Mary's biscuits] are always that way. Yeah, they don't tear apart. They don't tear into a bunch of little pieces," Testerman said.
Mary works in about a six-by-ten foot space in the back. That's where she makes biscuit magic. When asked what she puts in those biscuits, Mary said, ''The biscuit premix, the buttermilk, the shortening and everything is already mixed into the premix for me. Mary says she is the secret ingredient.
Here's the big number -- Mary says she makes and bakes up to 1,000 biscuits every morning.
Robert Marshall says his mom bakes with love and he's got proof – his belly.
''I grew up on them!" Robert Marshall said.
Mary says every morning she has just one sausage biscuit with grape jelly.
The sign outside says it all; Mary's the best biscuit maker. Just ask Greg Alger, her general manager.
"How do I feel? I feel blessed. Mary is one of a kind. She's a great employee, a great friend," Alger said.
Mary doesn't say much, but folks encouraged her to enter the competition.
"Everyone kept saying [my biscuits] were delicious and they were good and I thought, 'Why not?' So I went for it. And? I won!" Mary said.
Mary makes her way through a maze of ovens and co-workers, with another pan of handmade heaven and two words; "Hot biscuits!