MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and Biscuit Express is that place for a lot of people.

Mike and Judie Donovan opened Biscuit Express on November 5, 1997, and after nearly 26 years, they’ve not only fed many mouths across North Alabama but created a lasting legacy.

It all began because Mike Donovan had a dream. After working at a fast food chain for several years, he wanted to create a one-stop shop for breakfast.

“I found this place and met with the people, and we leased it. And with the help of family and friends working for free, and a lot of people that I knew giving us equipment and things, they really helped us go. The first day we opened we only did $90, we only had $2000 to our name,” said Mike Donovan.

“Any time that we needed something, even a lot of our customers were willing to, and we’ve hired a lot of our customers over 26 years that became employees – really good employees that are still employees,” said Judie Donovan.

But after 26 years of buttering biscuits and crisping bacon, they made the difficult decision to step back.

“One of the reasons we’re getting out of the business is I got sick in October, and then she came up with cancer in November,” said Mike Donovan, “So, it kind of made us think you know – I’m sorry – but you know, it’s time. And then we met John and Brandee, and they were very interested in the business.”

John and Brandee Anderson, neither originally from the Yellowhammer state, have been running the business for about a week. They plan to not only continue the legacy the Donovan’s started but add their own flare to it as well.

“Well we’re not changing the biscuits,” laughed Brandee Anderson, “But one of the things we wanted to bring is specialty sodas.”

“To walk into something where there’s a staple, the people, everybody knows everybody; we couldn’t destroy that,” said John Anderson.

Instead, they’re talking about possibly expanding the franchise, and adding more Biscuit Expresses across the Tennessee Valley.

“It’d be my dream come true to see that all happen,” said Mike Donovan.

Biscuit Express is open Monday through Friday, serving biscuits from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.