Soul food and gratitude go together like biscuits and gravy. For two local Mid-Valley businessmen, Matthew Campbell and Drew Scott, it’s their bread and butter. Literally. Their foray into the food truck business, The Biscuit Truck, is a recent addition to the Mid-Valley morning. Aimed at filling a lack of affordable, fast, delicious breakfast food for budget-conscious people, they’ve been pleasantly surprised by how the product is being picked up and adapted by others outside their base clientele.
Scott, a resident of the Roaring Fork for 18 years, is the former owner of the Downvalley Tavern in El Jebel. He brings a lot of expertise to the menu selections and preparation of the meals. Campbell, on the other hand, is the fun-loving, risk-taking frontman of the operation, a role he is very comfortable in from running his own audio/visual company in El Jebel for seven years.
I got the chance to talk with the biscuit boys over a steaming plate of breakfast a few days ago, inside their heated blue tent located at The Movieland Theater parking lot in El Jebel. We were joined by a regular customer, George the college housing expert from NYC, and two extremely fit young ladies who had just skinned up Ajax mountain.
The biscuits come split in two and served face down with gravy to better absorb the liquid. I added an extra scrambled egg on top, but skipped the cheese, because it makes me feel better despite blowing the post-Thanksgiving diet in record breaking time. Coffee and grits (no cheese) are in ample supply as well.
“I love biscuits and gravy!“ Campbell said. “It’s a comfort food that works well in a cold-weather environment, and it is enjoyed by working-class people. We chose to do biscuits because it hasn’t been done correctly in the valley.”
Having grown up in the southern state of Tennessee and working as a chef in the kitchens of Aspen for nine years, Scott has fast-food prep down to a science. It took three months to develop the perfect biscuit. “This is not Bisquick. It’s Grandma Scott’s and Campbell’s secret recipe,” Campbell said.
Each biscuit is handmade every morning in the truck’s full kitchen.
There has been some backlash against the side dish of grits that is heaped on to the plates as well.
“I don’t understand it,” Scott said. “I guess some people think it isn’t healthy. Look at us. We all are active people and love eating big meals, too. We ski, mountain bike and hike, and it doesn’t slow us down.
“When we first started out, we thought we were only going to get guys, but we have a lot of female repeat customers now,” he continued. “They may not get gravy with their meal, but they enjoy a biscuit with honey butter.”
Like most businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley, Campbell lamented that the biggest obstacle they have at the moment is hiring enough good employees to keep up with business. They had a soft opening on August 1, but didn’t officially open until Sept.. Since then, the biscuit business is booming, with customers such as banks in the area placing large orders.
“The Hispanic community is getting hip to biscuits too, once they try them,” Scott said. “We offer HBG (huevos, biscuits and gravy) and breakfast burritos as well, which are trending now.”
Campbell’s goal is to be an organic community development and a cool little breakfast place.
Although The Biscuit Truck is currently still in the proof-of-concept phase, Campbell announced that the Biscuit Truck will be at some upcoming events in the very near future and not so subtly hinted that the Elk Camp Gondola (Snowmass) will be a good place for hungry skiers to get a hot meal real soon.