1 million biscuits later: 83-year-old Hardee's employee shares her passion for her job

Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 4:53 PM EST
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The fast-food restaurant Hardee's has locations across the United States. Middlesboro is one of the thousands of cities to have one. The location looks, sounds and even smells like a typical Hardee's, but one employee here is anything but ordinary.

"I've made enough of them to make them in my sleep," said Norma Kulpa, the restaurant's biscuit maker.

Norma is 83 years old and has made biscuits at the Hardee's in Middlesboro for more than a decade.

"11 years last April," she added. "Coming up on 12 fast!"

She took us back to the kitchen to show us just how she makes biscuits. She comes in long before the sun is up every morning and begins baking biscuits.

"It can go up as high as 60 to 65 on the weekend, dozen that is," Norma said in reference to how many biscuits she makes a day.

In her time working, she has made more than one-million biscuits.

"They all say they eat other biscuits and they don't like them as well as mine and I say well, I put a little more love in them than other people do," Norma added.

Her coworkers have come up with a nickname for her over the years based on her caring nature. They call her 'Moma.'

"I don't know what kind of advice I can give them. I can make you biscuits if that makes you happy," she said with a laugh.

She laughed about the nickname but said she enjoys being there for people. That care extends far beyond the biscuits and breakfast.

"Well first I like to work, and next I have to work because of my son's disabled. He's not drawing anything right now but he's been trying," she said.

Norma's son Kenneth is 43 years old. He has had heart attacks and other health problems, which has hindered his ability to work. Norma, now widowed twice, has never left his side.

"When I adopted him that's what vow I made in my heart, that I would always watch after him," she said.

By now you might be asking yourself, 'how much longer can she bake with that touch of TLC?'

"Well they ask me when I'm gonna retire and I said they're gonna have to take me out feet first I guess," Norma vowed.

Norma is a one-of-a-kind person, and although she has taken two vacations this year, she is on track to make another 100,000 biscuits by the end of December.