By David Stewart
The giant shiny golden scissors were open and a red ribbon was pulled taut. Barbourville’s Chamber of Commerce members were all smiles as Brent Wells, owner of the Wells’ family prepared for a grand opening of the Kentucky Biscuit Company.
The Wells family has proven industrious over the years. In 1953, Otis “Grampy” Wells, Wells’ grandfather, started a company called Beco Building Experts Company. This was a construction company that built churches all over the United States and Canada. Wells mentioned just a few locations: Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle and Saskatchewan, Canada.
“When my grandfather retired in 1988, my father Terry became president. His first order as leader was to combine all of their businesses under one umbrella, BPI Beco Partner Industries. His second was to obtain a contract with ATT Wireless,” said Wells. “We built a bunch of their cell tower and still do upgrades when necessary. When ATT Wireless increased from 3g to 4g, we upgraded their towers.”
Wells said that when people ask him why he wanted to open a biscuit-focused restaurant, he answers. “Why not?” Then he points to the menu and shows the uniqueness of what his restaurant has to offer. For example, Wells points out his Tanner biscuit.
“The Tanner biscuit has tenderloin, egg, cheese and potato. You can’t get that anywhere near here. People will stop by for a traditional country ham biscuit, but some choose our bacon, lettuce tomato sandwich. Did I mention the tomato part is a fried green tomato?”
Wells also pointed out that all of their meats are a healthy choice, meaning they are hormone and steroid free.
“Our meat contains no preservative. We buy the big intact ham rounds and full turkey breasts. All slicing and preparation is completed in the store,” Well said. “When we open up a round or a breast, we have to sell it or eat it ourselves.”
His wife Tabitha added, “There is no limit to what Brent can do with food.”
Wells smiled, “Well I grew up around it. The recipe that we use for our biscuits, I call ‘Granny’s Old Timey West Virginia Recipe.’ She taught me how to make them from scratch. Every biscuit we sell is approved by my grandmother.”
Seven cars drove through the drive-thru window in 18 minutes. Many of them had numerous orders. Granny (a.k.a. Arlene Wells, age 93, still living in Winfield, West Virginia) has to be smiling.