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Tim Laxton and his favorite childhood book
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Lakeside now boasts a new down-home cooking stop: Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery. The thick biscuit-y air hovering over the counter inside is proof of the non-stop baking that owner, Tim Laxton, fills his days with.
After opening quietly this past Friday morning, Early Bird Biscuit has already started racking up the sales.
“There’s a learning curve here. I didn’t do a grand opening because this is my first take at something in this sort of business,” Laxton explained. “I closed yesterday to do some cooking, and I’m already wiped out of my pastries this morning.”
Early Bird not only serves up Laxton’s family biscuits, but also offers homemade gravy and jams, as well as pastries, cobblers, cakes, and pies. “I’m trying to use local things where I can — whatever I can find in season at the market, whatever’s fresh, whatever people want. If people tell me they want something, I’ll try to make it. If its tastes good to me I’ll make it.”
The varieties of biscuits on the menu will change daily. This past weekend, he had flaky buttermilk and bacon cheddar chipotle biscuits for the taking. His next flavor endeavor is a biscuit called Raisin in the Sun — filled with raisins, pecans and cinnamon.
Laxton is a one-man machine; since March, he has been working to fix up the shop for opening, and he does all of the cooking and baking as well.
“I did everything myself; I just put on the last bits of paint,” he says. “Last week I was out sitting on a cinderblock painting the ‘Come On In’ sign on the wall. It’s been fun.”
The business has been a chance for Laxton to combine his skills and passion to create something new. He was a fine art major. That helped him a lot when fixing up the shop. And he loves to cook, which is now all he does. “I absolutely love it,” says Laxton. “I feel that this was what I was meant to do.”
The idea for Early Bird Biscuits came during a mid-sleep revelation. It inspired Laxton to make a huge change in his life, from owning a pool and spa repair business to owbing this hole-in-the-wall biscuit shop, named after his favorite childhood book, Richard Scarry’s The Early Bird.
“I woke up back in November, sat upright in my bed, and I had this amazing idea to make biscuits,” said Laxton. “My grandmother knew how to make these amazing biscuits, my mom makes them, and I make them — but we’re the only people in the family that make them. It’s not really a secret, it’s just our method.”
In the future, Laxton has big hopes for Early Bird Biscuits. He wants to bring the warm flavor of his grandma Mattie Belle’s biscuits to the public in frozen form.
“This is my pie in the sky. It’s something simple and affordable, it’s something that’s reminiscent of people’s childhoods and it’s just something that people don’t take the time to do anymore,” Laxton explained as he pulled a rack of fresh buttermilk biscuits from the oven. “You might have to wait a little bit to get your biscuits when you come here, but I promise you when you get them they’re going to be amazing.”
Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery is located at 5411 Lakeside Avenue, and is open each day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.