Now partners Carlette Holmes and Lide Vandiver have Buffa's Cheese Biscuits, made in Anderson, in stores around South Carolina, as well as North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
The cheese biscuits are named for a woman named Bertha who worked for Holmes' grandmother for years. She became known as Buffa when a small child in the family called her that in an attempt to say Bertha.
Holmes and Vandiver were best friends from seventh grade on, and Vandiver had good memories of Buffa's cooking, too.
"She always had a Pyrex dish of cheese biscuits by the back door," Vandiver said.
Vandiver said she had been urging Holmes to sell cheese biscuits, made the way Bertha made them, to the public for years. When they read in early 2010 about a company that was doing well selling cheese straws. Holmes said she'd go into business if Vandiver would be her partner.
The biscuits are made to Holmes's specifications, and Vandiver handles much of the marketing.
They come in classic cheddar or jalapeno, and both are wonderful. I bought them in four-ounce boxes at 302 Artisans in Columbia, a store that sells products of the S.C. Specialty Food Association members. The four-ounce boxes are $7.95 each, but they're also available in pound packages for $25.95. In addition to specialty shops and some Whole Foods Markets, they are available online.