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CCU Atheneum: CCU student Royce Vereen is a champion biscuit maker.
CCU student Royce Vereen is a champion biscuit maker.

CCU student crowned as Bojangles' Master Biscuit Maker

by Mona Prufer
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You expect a grandmother to hand down family skills like baking to her children and grandchildren, but in Royce Vereen’s case, he is the one teaching his grandmother how to make biscuits. After all, he is a master biscuit maker, so deemed recently at the Bojangles national competition for biscuit making in Charlotte, N.C., where he competed in a timed contest – and won – against cooks from more than 600 Bojangles restaurants across the Southeast.

“I learned to be fast during the summer when we are so busy with the tourists,” says Vereen, a 19-year-old sophomore at Coastal Carolina University majoring in mathematics.

Vereen, who recently turned in his biscuit-making apron to train as a shift manager, took home a trophy, a cash award of $2,500 (which is going toward tuition), companywide recognition and bragging rights.

“I am so proud of him,” says Katharine Byrne, store manager at the Bojangles on Kings Road in North Myrtle Beach. “I knew he was going to make it all the way. He’s one of the best workers we have and a good student, too. We’ve had people come in who want to have their picture taken with the master biscuit maker.”

To win, Vereen had to complete the signature 48-step process of Bojangles biscuit-making in less than five minutes. He had no problem doing that, especially since he trained for a month with last year’s second-place winner Mary Stanley, who works at the Bojangles on International Drive and lost out by one biscuit in the 2014 contest.

There are three levels of competition: local, regional and national. The competitors were winnowed down to four finalists, including last year’s winner. Judges from Bojangles’ Support Center scored the biscuits based on a variety of factors, including appearance, color and, of course, taste. A Bojangles biscuit must be 3 1/2 inches in diameter, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches tall and a particular shade of caramel brown in order to pass.

Vereen, who plans to teach high school math after graduation, has been with the company for three years.

 

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