Grandview council's Hatzifotinos rolls out new biscuit business

ALAN FROMAN
afroman@thisweeknews.com
Rebekah Hatzifotinos has opened Basic Biscuits Kindness and Coffee, 1160 Goodale Blvd. in Grandview Heights.

Most people go on vacation to get away from work.

When Rebekah Hatzifotinos and her husband, Dimitri, visited Charleston, South Carolina, four years ago, the vacation led to a new line of work for her.

Hatzifotinos opened Basic Biscuits Kindness and Coffee Aug. 26 at 1160 Goodale Blvd. in Grandview Heights.

The cafe serves a variety of fresh homemade biscuits that Hatzifotinos and her staff bake and coffee.

The inspiration came from a stop at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston, Hatzifotinos said.

"We stopped in to get a bite to eat. It was just biscuits and coffee," Hatzifotinos said. "They were so good but weren't made quite the way I would make them."

Rather than baking a drop biscuit, in which a pan is used, Hatzifotinos rolls the dough out on a surface and then cuts it into shape.

"It makes it more flaky and layered," Hatzifotinos said of the technique. "We shred giant blocks of butter into tiny pieces, and pieces of butter get folded into the dough several times, so it's creating layers."

Hatzifotinos is a lawyer and a member of Grandview Heights City Council, but she was considering ideas for starting her own business at the time of the South Carolina trip.

"I was toying with the idea of some sort of bakery or maybe a bed-and-breakfast," she said.

Her husband encouraged her to consider opening a biscuit cafe because Columbus lacked an outlet specializing in homemade biscuits, Hatzifotinos said.

"She really likes to bake and is really good at it," Dimitri Hatzifotinos said.

Rebekah Hatzifotinos said she began developing the concept for a biscuit bakery business about 18 months ago. That included spending plenty of time in the kitchen working on creating recipes for a variety of flavored biscuits, she said.

Basic Biscuits offers a main menu of 11 biscuit varieties, including bacon salted-chocolate chip, cheddar jalapeno, cheddar scallion, lemon and lavender, peach, vanilla-bean shortcake and buttermilk.

The selection varies by day, with about 100 biscuits baked and put in the display case daily, Rebekah Hatzifotinos said, although she expects that number to increase as Basic Biscuits gets established.

The business also offers biscuits with sausage and gravy, biscuit-breakfast sliders and biscuit quiche.

Coffee, hot tea, bottled water, iced tea, milk and orange juice also are available.

As its name indicates, Rebekah Hatzifotinos said she wants her cafe to offer kindness along with the food.

"We always try to greet our customers with a friendly smile," she said.

Hatzifotinos said her husband and their two children, Toby, 11, and Sammy, 8, were the main taste testers for the biscuits.

"We've eaten a lot of biscuits over the last 18 months," Dimitri Hatzifotinos said with a laugh.

His personal favorites are the cheddar jalapeno and cheddar scallion, he said.

"I like them the best because of the jalapeno and scallion even more than the cheddar," he said. "Some people might prefer the lemon and lavender or peach, but I guess I'm more of a savory person."

His law office is on the second floor, right above Basic Biscuits.

"In the weeks leading up to the grand-opening, the people in our law office served as test tasters," he said. "We'd run downstairs and try some biscuits."

Basic Biscuits is open for carryout from 7 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Online biscuit-box orders can be picked up from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cafe is closed Sundays and Mondays.

More information and online ordering is available at getbasicbiscuits.com.

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These buttermilk biscuits are one of 11 varieties featured on the main menu at Basic Biscuits Kindness and Coffee.