Although Art Stone launched his new company, Honest Biscuits, last October, he traces its roots to his boyhood in North Carolina, where he used to help his grandmother make traditional Southern biscuits. After moving to Seattle last year, Stone turned his childhood memories into a business, selling fresh biscuits at farmers markets.
Like many Southern cooks, Stone’s grandmother didn’t use a recipe, so Stone developed his own through months of recipe trials. The buttery biscuits (he says he uses far less butter than some think) are crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and lighter than most other Southern biscuits.
It didn’t take long for Seattleites to notice. Whenever he attends a market, Stone makes more than 100 biscuits by hand, and they sell out fast. The most popular variety is the Pike Place biscuit ($4), stuffed with Beecher's cheese; Stone's other creations include the McGregor ($6), which is stuffed with Hempler’s bacon, caramelized onion and cheese.
Varieties change with the seasons, and new recipes are continually in the works; Stone recently developed a biscuit filled with smoked salmon, and is working on another using Uli’s sausage. “That’s the fun part,” he says, “coming up with new ideas and using what’s seasonal and local.” Stone uses organic ingredients, including Shepherd’s Grain flour, as much as possible.
Honest Biscuits are available at the Broadway, West Seattle and Queen Anne farmers markets; Stone hopes to get an Honest Biscuits trailer rolling by later this spring.