Marsha Webster has earned the accolade of being “The Biscuit Lady.” She has earned it one biscuit at a time over the 10 years she has been employed with M&M Smoke Shop. Webster makes not only their biscuits, she makes sure there is lots of bacon, sausage, eggs and ham to go on them.
Her day starts about 3:45 a.m. when she arrives at work and starts cooking for the 5 a.m. opening. Customers are steady throughout the morning, sometimes lined up out the door to get their fresh hot breakfast.
“Sometimes they get upset when we run out of biscuits, but I tell them they are in the oven, and they are worth the wait,” said Webster.
She says she makes around 300-400 biscuits each day, as well as manning the grill filled with sizzling meats.
“I get proposed to at least once a month by men who love the biscuits,” said Webster. “Some say they already have a wife, but she won’t mind if I cook for her too.”
Regular customer David Rutledge patiently waits for his breakfast order, and declares her “The Biscuit Lady” with the best biscuits in town.
She won’t share her recipe, but says she has been making them since she was 10 years old when her mother taught her to cook. She remembers winning the 4-H bread baking contest with her biscuits, and feeling so honored to win.
"My mother is Rosemary Haston, and she ran Rosemary's Café in Rock Island in 1971," said Webster. "She was, and still is, a wonderful cook and she taught me everything."
The biscuits have bursts of butter flavor inside, and she uses buttermilk for the mixing. She does say the secret is not to knead all the air out of the dough.
Her daughter, April Meisenzahl, also sings her praises, saying everything she cooks is delicious.
“She makes the best meatloaf ever, her liver wrapped with bacon is delicious, but one of my favorites is her egg and spinach dish,” said Meisenzahl. “My mother is a go-getter, always working two jobs and having time to do things for others.”
She says one of her fondest memories is of her mom donning a Santa suit and sharing them with children. Along the way, she also tells them to make sure they are good so Santa will visit them.
Webster’s reputation as a good cook extends to other counties, especially with Tony Aitken, who travels with his job.
“A factory worker here told me about this place and her biscuits,” said Aitken. “I don’t know about lunch, but the breakfast is great, and I stop here as often as I can to get a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. It makes my day.”