Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fond Memories of Biskits, Old Post Office

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fond Memories of Biskits, Old Post Office

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

Dear Call Box: I read with interest that Roland Richardson had died and that he and a friend and business partner, James L. Clemons, had started a fast-food business here called Biskits. One of the best Biskits was on Atlantic Boulevard, and I was just wondering if the recipe was available. The biscuits were light, fluffy, huge and just right.

T.W., Jacksonville

Dear T.W.: We weren't able to get a recipe for the biscuits, but we can tell you a little about the history of the fast-food chain gleaned from Times-Union stories. In 1981, Richardson and Clemons started the business, featuring large buttermilk biscuits served from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You could get them with ham, sausage, chopped steak, sausage gravy, eggs, jelly or "whatever" breakfast-type combination, as noted on the menu.

A signature feature was watching "Granny," an employee who kneaded the dough and made the biscuits, behind a glass window.

Richardson owned Richcraft Carpets and Florida Contract Interior of Jacksonville, and Clemons was a former Duval County School Board member and co-owner of Stand 'n Snack of Jacksonville. Richardson and Clemons opened their first Biskits stores at 8818 Atlantic Blvd. in Jacksonville and at 1930 Kingsley Ave. in Orange Park. They also dished up buttermilk chicken and side orders such as ham beans and rice.

By 1982, they had six area stores, each housed in a former fast-food restaurant. Biskits grew rapidly throughout Florida.

By mid-1983, they had 24 and by fall 1984, had 40 from Jacksonville to Tampa.

In November 1984, Biskits was sold to Horn & Hardart Co. of New York, a restaurant and mail-order business that converted them to Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits. In a 1985 Times-Union interview, Clemons said a key factor in the decision was an erosion of the breakfast side of the business as competitors added it to their menu. While the decline wasn't that bad, he said, it was time to consolidate with a larger company.

If anyone does have the recipe, please let Call Box know.

Dear Call Box: It saddened me to drive by the old post office on Beach Boulevard and see nothing there but sand. …

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