Mt. Pleasant native Rogers Hook is excited to bring breakfast franchise Maple Street Biscuit Company
to James Island (1739 Maybank Hwy.) And while there's certainly a science to crafting the perfect biscuit, it's not the minute details that initially attracted Hook — it's the company's overall mission.
"Maple Street's mission is to help people serve others and be part of the community," says Hook, an engineer by trade. "It's intentional how we live that mission statement; when you look inside you'll see our big community tables ... we only have high-end ingredients, and we make all of our jams and jellies inside the restaurant. One of our core principles is over the top service, gracious service. We don't accept tips."
As a former server, hearing the words "no tips," made the air rush straight out of me. Hook elaborated quickly — there are no servers. Phew.
Just order at the counter and pick it up when it's ready. Similar to other Charleston fast-casual joints we've covered recently — Kairos, Betty's Eatery — the model lends itself to the customer chipping in on the workload, which isn't for everyone. The average ticket time is a speedy six minutes, Hook explains. But that doesn't mean they're trying to shuffle people in and out though. Maple Street wants patrons to hang around connect with the staff and with other diners.
"We will start by asking you a question," says Hook, "what was the first concert you ever went to?" "The Eagles," I blurt out, silently thanking the Jeopardy!
gods that this was not some trick question thrown at me as I substitute coffee for sleep. "Ok great, well at the restaurant they'd ask you that question and when your food was ready they'd yell out 'The Eagles!'"
If the idea of your personal interests being yelled out in a strange environment — with the end goal of attracting your attention so you can grab your food while it's hot — sounds totally weird, annoying, or just very corny, point taken.
But reminiscing with my fiancé about my circa 2008 concert experience at UVA's John Paul Jones Arena belting out the encore ("Desperado") over a meal of flaky biscuits and gravy? That sounds quite pleasant. I mean sure, calling out the customer's name or number would work, but what's the fun in that? Plus, I don't think I've ever told him that story.
Maple Street hopes to open near the end of July, with two weeks of staff training taking place soon. The James Island location will be the Charleston area's first, and Hook hints that there will be more to come. With "high-end" self-serve coffee and biscuits on the menu like the Squawking Goat, topped sky-high with fried chicken, a fried goat cheese medallion, and that house-made pepper jelly, it sounds like a concept that's made for a busy James Island shopping center. Just don't forget your first concert.
will be open Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m.- 2 p.m. and Sat. 7 a.m.- 3 p.m.