FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT FROM FAMILY OF CAROL FAY ELLISON
Funeral Arrangements Set for Loveless Cafe's "Biscuit Lady"
"On behalf of 'Biscuit Lady' Carol Fay Ellison’s family, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for the outpouring of love and support during this very difficult time. We are very grateful for the love, attention and support from the fans, the general media, previous and current Loveless owners The McCabe Family and Tom Morales, as well as the entire Loveless Cafe staff. You have all played a part in allowing Carol Fay to live out her dreams. She was extremely proud to be the 'Biscuit Lady,' and you should know that the person you saw on TV, at the Loveless and around the country was the same lady we all had the pleasure of knowing and loving throughout her life. A big smile, a bigger heart, a pleasing personality, and an outrageous sense of humor, she was always the center of attention and the life of every party. We will all miss her.
"Just like the secret biscuit recipe Carol Fay loved to hold so close to her heart; so do we, her family, wish to hold the nature of her death close to our hearts. We appreciate your respect for our privacy and the continued prayers for the strength of our family during this time."
Provided by Yolanda Ellison– niece of Carol Fay Ellison – aka “The Biscuit Lady”
Visitation for Friday, April 9, 2010 from 1pm-7pm:
Henry Louis Smith Funeral Home
1503 Buchanan Street
Nashville, TN 37208
*Open to the public/ABSOLUTELY NO CAMERAS (VIDEO OR STILL) will be allowed in the building
Visitation for Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 11am-12pm with a service to follow immediately after, burial is private:
Baptist World Center
1700 Baptist World Center Drive
Nashville, TN 37207
*Open to the public/ ABSOLUTELY NO CAMERAS (VIDEO OR STILL) will be allowed in the building
Carol Fay Ellison brought a smile to the face of everyone she met. As the youngest of 9 children and a single mother herself, Carol Fay knew the value of hard work. She spent most of her childhood in the kitchen with her mother preparing the meals for their large southern family. Her father died when she was only two years old. It was this time with her mother that showed Carol Fay the value of a strong work ethic.
Born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., she first began working at Nashville’s famous Loveless Cafe in 1979 (more than 30 years ago) as a dishwasher while she was still in high school. For years, Carol Fay would watch the workings of the busy cafe while she scrubbed away in the back of the kitchen. One day, after the cook called in sick, Carol Fay stepped away from the sink and in front of the stove. By the end of the night, she had proven her abilities and, over the years, she worked her way up until Carol Fay was, among other things, the keeper of the prized biscuit recipe and the only one that could make the famous old-fashioned preserves. Through the years, many of Carol Fay’s coworkers came and went, but she stayed – never imagining that one day, she would be the face of the Loveless Cafe.
In the fall of 2003, Carol Fay and the rest of the Loveless staff got the news that the Loveless Cafe was being sold. There were rumors the cafe would be bulldozed to make way for a strip mall, but instead, the cafe was saved by a group of native Nashvillians that saw the value of the cherished community asset. After 50 years of continuous operation, the Loveless was in desperate need of repairs and was to be closed for the first time ever for the much-needed renovations. With only an occasional weekend off here and there, this was Carol Fay’s first real vacation in 25 years – although she never even left Nashville during her break. She returned from her hiatus not only well-rested but well-respected. A new staff and management team no longer saw Carol Fay as just another employee – they knew she was much more than that. During the reopening of the Cafe, when stress was boiling ove r quicker than a pot of grits, it was Carol Fay who always remained calm. It was Carol Fay that was always smiling. It was Carol Fay that had the answers to all the questions; after all she had done virtually every job in her 25 years at the Loveless.
Carol Fay Ellison was a rare breed. She was hard working, compassionate, dedicated, and most of all, a true gift to those who knew her. The values of hard work and dedication that she learned early on from her late mother reigned true through her entire life – often coming in on her days off. Her smile simply lit up the hearts of those that saw it. Her spirit continued to leave an indelible mark on the people she met, always giggling, always smiling and always appreciative of the joys in her life. Carol Fay did not greet you with a handshake, she greeted you with a hug. Having never really left Nashville, Carol Fay’s eyes widened with new experiences. Witnessing her naïve and joyous reactions to new experiences was not just entertaining, it was heart-warming. Carol Fay worked her fingers to the bone for almost 25 years but she was not bitter – she was grateful. In less than a year after the reopening of the Loveless Cafe, Carol Fay saw her face in LIFE magazine, her name in Gourmet, and her photo on the front page of USA Today. She had the opportunity to make biscuits with Katie Couric and Al Roker of NBC’s TODAY and Harry Smith of CBS’s Early Show, travel to Los Angeles for the Ellen show, teach Conan O’Brien techniques for making great biscuits on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, show Martha Stewart some Southern hospitality onMartha, “throwdown” with Bobby Flay on Food Network and cook with Paula Deen in her kitchen. Shetraveled to Philadelphia to appear on multiple programs on QVC and sold thousands of books in minutes. Carol Fay was grateful indeed for the chance to live life in a way she never knew existed – to travel the country, meet the stars . . . and for once, to feel like one herself.
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