Lesley Riley, aka “the biscuit darling” is the entrepreneur best known for making history from biscuits. Mama’s Biscuits is a Black woman-owned brand hailed as America’s first gourmet biscuit brand. Capturing the nations attention, Mama’s Biscuits has risen in popularity significantly over the last few years. The brand garnered partnerships with big box stores such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and more. As the only all-natural, clean-label, ready-to-eat biscuit sold in national retailers, we certainly see the hype. These biscuits are next level.
In May 2015, Riley launched the online store for Mama’s Biscuits. Little did she know the brand would explode in popularity and stock in stores nationwide. Riley’s commitment to giving back to the community and experimenting with irresistible flavors defines the brand success. Read on to find out the story behind this Black woman-owned brand.
Mama’s Biscuits, The Story So Far
Creating a top-selling gourmet brand an entire nation collectively adores isn’t easy. The motivations and preparations behind the scenes play a significant role.
“My passion for creating delicious, high-quality biscuits and meeting an unmet demand for unique flavors on the market,” says Riley on what influenced her motivation. “I also desired to share a love for baking with others and potentially fill a niche in the market for artisanal better-for-you specialty biscuits,” she continued.
Additionally, her roots and background laregly influenced her love for cooking and baking. Riley notes that her early introduction to experimenting with cooking shaped her approach to Mama’s Biscuits. “My culinary journey stems from family traditions, passed-down recipes, and a cultural heritage deeply rooted in the art of cooking through ancestors’ storytelling,” says Riley. There is nothing like legacy and paying homage to the original teachers/teachings.
Hailing from Mercersburg, PA, Riley’s passion for cooking and baking also trace back to her beloved grandmother. After many years of witnessing her grandmothers devotion to feeding her whole family each week, it was only a matter of time before she began cooking and baking with her own twist.
“These influences instilled in my passion for crafting delicious, nostalgic, and heartwarming biscuits. This has also allowed me to carry on a legacy through food,” she continues.
A national favorite
According to Riley, the flare of her biscuits come down to the unique flavor profiles. She is one of the Innovators of the Year in 2022, and judge of the ‘Black Women in Food’ contest in 2023. The entrepreneur knows a thing or two about top-quality taste. “We gained rapid popularity due to our unique flavor profiles that set us apart from our competitors. That, coupled with the anticipation of the biscuits selling in national retailers, word-of-mouth recommendations, and the nostalgia and comforting association of a widespread appeal across different regions or communities.”
A Brand For and About The Community
“We are a community-focused brand. Since our inception, our mission has always been to serve the community with Biscuits & Blankets,” explains Riley, proudly.Biscuits & Blankets is her non-profit organization. She also created the initiative Feeding Faith, supporting and uplifting the community by providing biscuits, care bags, and blankets to the homeless.
The purpose is to meet people where they are while offering warmth and nourishment to those in need. It combines food with comfort in the form of blankets to support homeless communities. The blankets are inscribed with the Bible verse from Hebrew 11:1 because we always want them to keep the faith.