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Passion: A Preface to a Cult Following.

January 13, 2012

Everyday, I hear about franchisees who complain about what they do. That’s because the restaurant world is full of savvy, business-minded men and women who look at their restaurant as only an investment. They buy up franchises that have proven same store sales increases and quick returns on investments. The operation and mechanics of the business is more of a science than a passionate art to these people. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the industry enough to know that there needs to be a science involved — those who don’t incorporate science, structure, and procedures don’t make it long enough to become successful — but when there’s a passion behind what you do, people notice and they become drawn to you. That’s how the three guys at Pine State Biscuits became so popular in the northwest.

In a story that sound a lot like Starbucks’ beginnings, Pine State Biscuits launched their kitchen at the Portland Farmers Market in spring of 2006. As more people were drawn to their passionate outdoor baking operation, North Carolina natives Walt Alexander, Kevin Atchley, and Brian Snyder opened up a small biscuit joint to provide the “Ye’ ol’ North State Fare” rain or shine. To reveal some science to their art form, the Biscuit Boys chose Belmont Avenue in one of Portland’s more eclectic neighborhoods — the perfect environment for such a rare sandwich shop.

Paul Gerald, a Portland Foodie/Journalist calls it a “mix of old-style Southern goodness and modern restaurant professionalism [and] some Portland foodie sensibility.” Paul, I think you hit it right on the head with that description, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to add one more ingredient… Passion.

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