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Cozy Nostalgia

Famous biscuits served alongside local history

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Famous biscuits served alongside local history 

 

On Thursday morning when slick roads slowed most people to 40 miles per hour on the highway and a fresh layer of snow was accumulating on already packed snow, Judy Morton was inside pouring coffee at the Biscuit for a few locals brave enough to venture out into the weather.

“We don’t get a lot of people in on days like this,” Morton said. “But a few regulars still come in for coffee. This is where the locals socialize.” 

In the warm shop, handcrafted items made by locals line the shelves for those looking for holiday gifts. One table holds wooden toys whittled into trains, airplanes and dump trucks. Traditional beaded items including Salish style moccasins are behind a glass case. Handmade soft dolls sit next to the rope baskets and the rag rugs. Coffee mugs with photos of local scenery are near the front door.

“We have some amazingly talented people in the area,” Morton said. “People asked if they could display things in here and I didn’t mind. This is a cool place if you take the time to poke around.”

People can find Morton making the day’s specials in an open kitchen at the back of the shop. Along with her famous biscuits, she makes standard pancakes and eggs, cheeseburgers and a vegetable based dish for the vegetarians.

“I do all the regular stuff but people seem to really like the jalapeno, artichoke and chicken pizza with white sauce,” she said. “It’s a homemade deep dish. Everything is homemade. Fast food isn’t what you’re going to get. I try to stay organic and as natural as possible.”

The highway split down the center of town has cut business almost in half, but Judy found a way to keep going.

“Catering has saved my bacon,” she said. “I’ve done a prime rib and mashed potato dinner for the fire department. I can put together just about anything.”

She took over the shop eight years ago after changing her career path from a financial planner in Missoula to the owner of the one-woman run eatery.

“I don’t have any employees but I do have my angels that come in and volunteer,” she said. “They are retired women that come in to help and socialize.”

Locals frequent the shop for a cup of coffee in the morning. 

“I like the home cooking aspect,” said Russ Wieder, a regular customer. “And the coffee is good. It’s nice to be able to stay local especially when the roads are bad.” 

The shop looks like what Morton calls grandma’s kitchen with several sturdy wood tables and chairs. The building hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1908, although horse wagons are no longer stored in an outside addition. Antique items decorate the inside walls.

“A lot of this stuff was used in the valley,” Morton said pointing at the lanterns, tools and old firefighting equipment. The gas station sign putting a gallon of gas at 29 cents stands out in big red numbers.

“It’s important to preserve the history,” she said. “This is all part of a small town neighborhood. Small town life is crucial. They are where people connect. By losing our small towns, we are losing the flavor of America. We really need to keep that alive.” 

Local history adorned the walls before Morton purchased the building, which also includes an Honor Wall with photos of veterans. Space is available if anyone wants to bring in photos of veterans. Older photos on another wall show the shop as it was a century ago. The building was surrounded by empty space and a dirt road. More photos show Salish elders, church leaders and local rodeo champions. 

“People bring in photos and I keep adding to what was here,” she said. 

Judy keeps a positive outlook on the future of the shop.

“The future will take care of itself,” she said. “We need to take care of today.”

For varying winter hours, call (406) 726-3230.

 

 

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