A local champion biscuit maker attests that it is not the amount of flour or baking powder that you put into a biscuit that makes it good, but rather the amount of love that you roll into it.

Bamberg resident Geraldine McCaskill, an employee of Hardee’s at 2999 Main Highway in Bamberg, was named the 2023 Best Biscuit Maker of Boddie-Noell Enterprises, the largest Hardee’s franchise operator in the nation.

The 57-year-old beat out more than 700 biscuit makers from 330 Hardee’s restaurants across four states to win the company’s annual biscuit maker competition.

Boddie-Noell honored four regional winners and announced McCaskell as overall winner during a banquet at the company’s Rose Hill Conference Center near Nashville, Tenn. on March 3.

While a bad cold prevented her from traveling to Nashville for the banquet, McCaskill said she felt good about her honor. She is no stranger to biscuit making and has already been a four-time regional winner in the company’s biscuit-making competition.

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“It’s been a long wait for this. I actually missed the moment of being at the banquet, but they called me on the phone and wished me well and told me I won. I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” said McCaskill, who was also a Region 1 winner this year.

“It was a tough competition. They have four regions, and I have been winning for Region 1. I won that four times, and now I’m champion. They have a lot of good biscuit makers in the company, but somebody has to be the champion. You’ve got some of these champions who have won two or three times. I was glad for the one (championship) win,” she said.

The competition started in October. Each biscuit maker was evaluated based on the quality of their biscuits, knowledge of proper biscuit equipment, cleanliness and care of the equipment, knowledge and execution of company procedures, grooming and appearance.

McCaskill said while you have to take care to follow procedures, a top procedural move is putting love into the biscuits she has been making now for more than a decade.

“The less you touch the dough, the softer your biscuit, and the less flour you use on your table is how you have the best biscuit. Following procedures is really important and how you’re mixing it up and all that, but there’s also putting love into it. You have to have a passion and a love for it,” she said.

McCaskill noted, “I had a good trainer, too. He passed away, but he was one of the best trainers in the company,”

She also has formed a good working relationship with Dwayne Searson, senior general manager of the Hardee’s in Bamberg, who has since been promoted to district manager.

“He’s good to work with, too. He seems like family to me. He’s a real good person,” she said.

Being a hometown girl makes her job easier at Hardee’s, where she loves serving and interacting with customers.

“I’m right at home. You want people to keep coming back. Breakfast is awesome. We try to get them in and out and show love to them. What makes me do great with these biscuits is the people, to see people smile. Some of the people I see every day, and they always compliment me. It makes you feel like you want to do better, and that’s why I’m doing this,” McCaskill said.

When she isn’t making biscuits, McCaskill enjoys going to church, watching “Top Chef” and spending time with her family.

Contact the writer: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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