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A love both in and beyond the kitchen: Community gathers to celebrate Paulette Grant’s retirement after 60 years of serving food in Forsyth County
Longtime customer Dax Martin, left, gives flowers to Paulette Grant as she comes out of the kitchen on her last day working at Sister's Biscuits and More after 60 years in the restaurant industry in Forsyth County.

Paulette Grant started the last day of her 60-year career as a restaurant owner and cook the same way she always does — walking into the kitchen of Sister’s Biscuits and More, putting on an apron and getting to work.

Grant, 77, didn’t tell many of her customers that she was officially retiring from the kitchen, not wanting to draw too much attention to herself.

But longtime customer Dax Martin thought she deserved more.

“She’s fed pretty much everybody in this county with all of the restaurants she’s owned,” Martin said. “And she’s renowned for her cooking.”

So instead of letting Grant go about her last day as usual, Martin invited her family, close friends and city officials to Sister’s Biscuits and More on Friday, Jan. 21, to celebrate her and the impact she has had serving her famous southern cooking in Forsyth County for six decades.

Sister’s Biscuits has been housed inside Daniel’s Grocery and Fish Bait off Pilgrim Mill Road for about eight years now, tables filling up less than half of the small convenience store to serve the hundreds of customers who come through to get a taste of what many have said is the best fried chicken in town.

Martin walked into the shop Friday morning with flowers and a gift card, calling Grant out of the busy kitchen. When she walked out into the store, she was shocked by a crowd of her friends and family cheering and clapping for her.

“It makes me feel good. They shouldn’t have done it,” Grant said, laughing. “But it makes me feel good.”

Several of her friends and family there celebrating her Friday said Grant has not only always made delicious food for her customers, but she always served it with a warm smile and heart. She has grown close to many of her customers over the years, making friends along the way.

Grant said some of her favorite memories in her career have simply been getting to serve food and enjoy people’s company.

“I’ve just made so many friends,” Grant said. “That’s just special.”

Grant was born and raised in Forsyth County, and she learned a lot of the recipes she makes today from her mom. She grew up eating all the food she loves to serve to customers now — including fried chicken, green beans, freshly-made biscuits, cornbread, catfish and hush puppies.

One of the first meals she remembers cooking was for her niece while she was babysitting. Every time she watched her, she made peas and fried potatoes for lunch.

“She still calls and tells me she’s going to come over and eat some peas and fried potatoes,” Grant said, laughing.

But Grant eventually got her career started thanks to her brother, Billy Mills. He owned a restaurant in the county for many years along with his wife, Bonnie, and he offered her a chance to work there right as she graduated from high school.

Eventually, he offered to sell to it her.

“That’s how it all started,” Grant said.

After that, Grant opened another restaurant called Doris and Paulette’s Country Kitchen, which served customers in Forsyth County for about 36 years on Highway 20.

It was no surprise, then, that when she opened Sister’s Biscuits and More, it immediately became a staple in the community.

“Everybody comes down there to eat lunch,” Martin said. “It’s just a little old restaurant in a corner of a convenience store, and they feed between 300-500 people every day.”

Toward the end of celebration Friday, Mayor Troy Brumbalow stopped by to give Grant one final gift — a proclamation declaring Jan. 21, as Paulette Grant Day in the city of Cumming.

Brumbalow read the proclamation aloud to the crowd of customers, friends and family:

“Whereas Paulette Grant spent more than 45 years in the restaurant business in Cumming and Forsyth County;

“Whereas in these past years, Paulette has not only fed our community’s appetite but has fed our souls as well during times of need;

“Whereas her love and compassion for her fellow man stands well beyond her kitchen;

“Whereas we as a community thank her.

“Therefore, I, Troy Brumbalow, mayor of the city of Cumming, hereby issue this proclamation in honor of Paulette Grant for many years of service to our community.”

Grant was excited to see the proclamation, saying she never imagined she would one day be officially honored by the city and community for her work.

In the end, the celebration at Sister’s Biscuits left Grant with a bittersweet feeling as she thought about her retirement.

“I’m excited, but I am a little sad because I’m going to miss everybody,” Grant said. “And then this makes it sadder. I’ve enjoyed it, but I’ve just got to where I think I’ve got to slow down.”

While she knows she’s going to miss it, Grant said she looks forward to spending more time with her 15-month-old great-grandson and finally being able to sleep in after years of heading to work before the sunrise.

In the meantime, Sister’s Biscuits will continue to serve customers the great food and southern staples that Grant and the restaurant have become known for at Daniel’s Grocery and Fish Bait.

“I just want to thank the community for eating with me all these years and being so special to me,” Grant said.

Mayor Troy Brumbalow gives a proclamation to Paulette Galt as a gift in honor of her retirement from her 60-year career in the restaurant industry in Forsyth County. - photo by Sabrina Kerns
Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow reads a proclamation officially declaring Jan. 21, as Paulette Grant Day in the City of Cumming. - photo by Sabrina Kerns