This piece is a part of our Q+A series. Know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.
Profile: Carrie Morey — founder of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit — has gained national recognition for her Southern biscuits made right here in the Lowcountry. Locally, she has a shop located on the historic King Street + the City Market.
We’re asking Carrie 15 questions. Read on to find out which local restaurant menu she would bring with her to a deserted island + her 3 favorite menu items from her own restaurant.
If you’re originally from Charleston, why have you stayed here?
I’m originally from Charleston. I moved away multiple times from the time I was in college. I didn’t move back here until I was almost 30. So, I was gone for a little over 10 years. The main reason I moved back is because the Lowcountry is in my blood. I love my rearing here in Charleston + my family is here, and I knew this was the place where I wanted to raise my family.
How did your parents or parental figures influence you?
Everything that they did influences the way I live today, even the way I parent. We spent a lot of time on the water on the weekends + lots of family meals from John’s Island, Rockville, all the way up to Awendaw, and in between. It was a very simple life and lots of great memories of living in the Lowcountry. Cooking was kind of a family effort. There was a lot of cooking with my grandmother, and I made a lot of biscuits with her. When I got into my teenage years I worked a lot with my mom and her catering business. Food has definitely been the main focus of our lives on both sides of my family.
What local dish do you crave + rave about?
I would definitely say biscuits but I guess I’m a little biased. Shrimp and grits were definitely always a big part of our family suppers. Also, lots of potlucks. Everybody would gather and bring really simple meals. Butter beans and rice were a big family favorite of ours, shrimp that we had just gotten out of the creek, and tomato sandwiches.
Tell us about an obstacle you’ve had in life and how you overcame it.
I feel like I experience obstacles and overcome them every day. I think being an entrepreneur is the definition of that. Every day there’s a new problem + a new way for you to figure out a solution. It’s like a big giant puzzle piece. My schedule, my life, my children, and my business. If I were to try to get specific, I would say that the entire reason that I decided to start Callie’s Biscuits was because I wanted to be a mom and that was my priority. I knew that I did not want anyone else to raise my children. I also had a strong desire to create something within the food world. Back in 2005, there really weren’t a lot of opportunities for women to do anything in food that wasn’t open and run a restaurant. I knew that the restaurant life was not going to be conducive to raising children. So, I had a problem to solve. I wanted it all, and I didn’t want to sacrifice it. That’s how I came up with the idea to start a mail-order artisan and biscuit company.
What life advice or epiphany would you share with others that you’re thankful you learned?
I think that in order to truly be happy, you need to first and foremost, and maybe only, singularly figure out what your priority in life is. I’m a strong believer that there’s really only one. Once you figure that out, that’s kind of your guiding force and your beacon light for you to create the life that you want around that. For me, it was family. So, how do I be a very active parent, and create something on my own that would give me confidence and strength and fulfill my other dreams? I think if you figure out your priority + passion, then those are the keys to success.
What 3 people (living or dead) would you invite to an imaginary dinner party?
I would probably invite my grandmother because I spent so much time as a child in her house on Johns Island. She took care of me when my father was at work. She’s the one that probably instilled in me the passion for food + feeding people. Also, I would maybe invite Julia Child because although I never knew her, she seemed like such a fun person and incredibly knowledgeable in food and was a female entrepreneur. My third invite would go to Eleanor Roosevelt because she was an incredibly independent woman who supported very strong presidents and was way before her time.
You can only choose 1 local restaurant menu to bring with you to a deserted island — which one is it + why?
If I’m being 100% honest, I would say Fig. The reason I say Fig is because it’s such an incredible mix of elegance. At the same time, it’s really simple + flavorful. I love all the fresh fish. It has a complexity about it that is fascinating. I could eat there every day for the rest of my life if I had to.
Fill in the blank: The coolest person I’ve met in Charleston is ___________.
It would be my father. He’s an entrepreneur and hustler. He’s an incredibly kind and genuine human that would do anything for anyone. He’s a true inspiration to me as a parent, entrepreneur, and person.
If Charleston had 1 specific dish, what would it be and why?
I think I would have to say shrimp and grits. We love the local grits that come from Edisto. It can be as simple as 3 ingredients or it can be beyond dressed up and served at the most elegant dinner party. I think the thing I love so much about Charleston is that it can be simple, easy, and barefoot in a bathing suit on a jon boat or elegant + stand up to any major metropolitan city. I think that’s what makes Charleston so amazing is that it has so many different layers.
If you were writing a song about biscuits in Charleston, what would your first line be?
Be a biscuit. Rise tall, be warm and buttery on the inside, and be open to anyone’s jam.
Do you have advice for local food enthusiasts who would like to open their own restaurant?
The first thing I would tell anybody that wants to open a restaurant here is to start really small. Whether that’s at a farmers market, with a food truck, or catering. Then, if that is truly your passion, go for it.
What are your 3 favorite menu items from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit?
My first favorite menu item is the sausage, fried egg, and pimento cheese biscuit. My second is the BLT with fried egg + avocado. My third is a bowl of grits in our biscuit bowl with a scrambled egg, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, green onions, and tons of salt and pepper.
Who would you like to make biscuits for in or from Charleston?
I think it would be fun to make biscuits with Stephen Colbert.
Where’s the best place in Charleston to sit and eat a biscuit + enjoy a good view?
It would be Waterfront Park. The Battery, or the City Marina. I would definitely want to be on the water. If I had my choice, I would get an online order to-go, take it out on the boat, and spend the whole day just like that.
How do you see Callie’s Biscuit growing + evolving in the next 5 years?
I would say in the next 5 years, my hopes and dreams for Callie’s is for it to continue to grow authentically. I have lots of dreams and I can’t wait to see if they come to fruition.