Gagne’s Cream Cheese Biscuits
There used to be a restaurant called Robinhood Free Meetinghouse Restaurant in Georgetown, Maine, a small town in the southeast part of the state. The restaurant was located in a 19th century church that was restored and converted to a destination dining hall by Michael Gagné, a chef who had a vision: “to create decadent, flavorful biscuits made entirely from scratch, and use only the finest ingredients.”
The “meetinghouse” was known for the quality of the food served but became infamous for their 24-layer cream cheese biscuits which are made with butter and cream cheese instead of shortening. The dough is folded over and over again to obtain the layered effect when baked with the result being a flaky buttery biscuit that melts in your mouth. No need to butter these biscuits. They are delicious plain or with a small spoonful of jam.
With demand for the biscuits growing and the restaurant unable to increase baking capacity, Gagné opened up a factory in the nearby town of Bath, Maine and started large-scale production of the biscuits which he sold to restaurants, bed and breakfast inns, bakeries, and retail outlets.
Today, the restaurant is no longer open as Gagné is focused on his factory which continues to produce the original cream cheese biscuits and six other flavors: sweet potato, cheddar chive, blueberry, parmesan herb, triple ginger, and double chocolate biscuits. The company also produces cream cheese cinnamon rolls, brown sugar pecan sticky buns, petite pies (wild blueberry, cherry, apple, and raspberry), and pie dough.
All products can be purchased directly from the company via their website and are delivered overnight frozen in a styrofoam container with dry ice. The biscuits come 12 to a box and are the shape of a hockey puck but triple their size when baked in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. The biscuits aren’t cheap (because of the overnight shipping) – 24 for $53 delivered but they are worth every penny.
The boxes take up very little space in the freezer so consider ordering a larger quantity as the incremental cost of overnight shipping is small (to place a larger order, call the company directly at the phone number listed below). It’s hard to beat the taste of a warm cream cheese biscuit right out of the oven, which is the advantage of having them frozen in your freezer. When the family wants fresh biscuits, simply open the freezer, take them out of the box, place the biscuits on a cookie sheet, bake and serve.
The biscuits can also be purchased at Whole Foods Stores in the bakery department and cost $4.29 for 4 biscuits, already baked. It’s the same biscuit but make sure Whole Foods baked them that day as the freshness does make a difference. For a complete list of retailers that carry the Gagné products, go to the company website listed below. There is a search engine that will list all retailers in a defined zip code area. Or, call the company and customer service will assist you in finding a retailer that carries the frozen product or they will sell the biscuits directly to you, shipped overnight.
Gagné Foods 25 Wing Farm Parkway Bath, Maine 04530 207-386-5072 www.gagnefoods.com POSTSCRIPT: April, 2012: Several Whole Foods stores now carry the frozen cream cheese biscuits in the freezer department. 6 biscuits for $5.99. The biscuits can also be purchased on-line from Dean and Deluca.