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Yancey Co. leaders honor fast food worker who's blessed biscuits for 25 years

Emma Peterson walks to work at 4 a.m. every day to make biscuits at Hardee's in Burnsville. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A hard-working fast food employee got a big show of respect in her small community.

Emma Peterson has worked at Hardee's in Burnsville for 25 years, but she never imagined a gathering in her honor, including mayors past and present.

Sometimes people crave a side of humanity, and that's where Peterson comes in.

"I can do drive-through, I can do prep, I can do anything in the store," she said.

She's the heart of Hardee's. "I don't have too many grumpy customers," Peterson said.

At 4 a.m. each day, she makes the biscuits with flour, butter, love, and faith.

"I bless the biscuits when I'm rolling them out," she explained. "And ask the Lord to help the hands that makes it and to feed the people that's eating it. "

That's rare. And, when it comes to fast food, people rarely slow down to show appreciation. But they did for Peterson.

"Miss Biscuit Maker, how are you?" Mayor Theresa Coletta said.

"Even walking to work in bad weather, that's pretty remarkable," Coletta said of Peterson.

"Because this is a special occasion, that we are honoring Emma Peterson," said Wanda Proffitt, of the Yancey County Economic Development Commission.

"And I'm just told not missing one day's work in 25 years!" Proffit told the crowd. "Quite an accomplishment, thank you."

"And I'm sure without Emma and her biscuit making, this place wouldn't be the same," she added.

No matter how much you make, it pays to earn respect.

When it comes to biscuits, Coletta said she realizes why Peterson's taste so good.

"I know why mine don't rise, she blesses hers and I cuss mine," she said, drawing laughs.

"Thank you all so much for coming out and seeing me," Peterson said. "It's been a very busy day."

Town Councilor Ron Powell said Peterson is a devoted community volunteer, and is far more than just a biscuit maker.

Former Mayor Danny McIntosh said she's a treasure.

"You know, a lot of these people that order these biscuits to go, they never see her," McIntosh said. "They don't know where they come from."

But folks who do know feel as blessed as the biscuits.

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