Q&A with Big Mouth Biscuits Owner Travis Zinger


Travis Zinger is a mechanical engineer turned chef.

He started a food truck in Dallas after being laid off amid the pandemic. Then he found himself in Indy and found out that there wasn’t the kind of cookie restaurant he liked on the ribs. He decided to open one here.

He started Big Mouth Biscuits at Indy’s Kitchen, a culinary incubator located at 2442 Central Ave., on April Fool’s Day. Now he and his business partner Clint Rollins are preparing to open their first standalone location at City Market by Thanksgiving, while continuing to operate at Indy’s Kitchen.

Why did you decide to start at Indy’s Kitchen?

I didn’t really have a lot of brick and mortar experience. Definitely nothing like learning the ropes of maintenance and things like that. [Indy’s Kitchen] really started it all for me. They were the turnkey solution to undertake this idea. I was able to immediately enter a kitchen which was ready to leave, I had passed all the inspections, I had all the permits.

What kind of support have you received?

It is a community of other bakers, chefs and restaurateurs. So the knowledge base was really the key for me because I was able to tap into it, ask questions along the way, and not fall into a lot of maybe common pitfalls that another restaurant startup would fall into.

Why focus on cookies?

With my kids, it was one thing for us to do: big breakfasts on Sundays. When they moved in on their own, having a hearty breakfast for one just wasn’t very cool. When I visited them in college, that’s when I learned that it was possible to have a cookie business, that they only served cookies. And I fell in love with it a bit.

What do you like about cookies?

The simplicity of it, right? I mean, it’s an all-in-one type breakfast. You can get your eggs, bacon, soft bread, and in our case, gravy, all in one. One bite, basically.

What is special about your cookies?

We make our cookies fresh. And we have what’s called a cat’s head cookie, which in the South means a cookie as big as a cat’s head. So one thing you will notice right away when you look at our cookies is that they are not your typical store bought cookies. They are very big. Plus, we’re making a drip cookie, instead of being rolled, and it has a crisp outer edge. We also have a little sweeter dough than most people.

What’s your favorite cookie you’re serving?

We have a honey butter chicken. It is my favorite. It’s a white fried chicken breast patty with a drizzle of honey butter on top.

How did you come to choose City Market for your expansion?

We had the idea of ​​a market, like The Garage Food Hall [at Bottleworks District]. We looked at the amp [at 16 Tech]. And then we looked at the city market. … We finally opted for City Market because of its historical context. When we spoke to our customers… everyone had heard of City Market. … We want to help them rejuvenate [City Market] and bring more traffic to the area, so we’re happy to be a part of it.

What is your long term vision or hope for the restaurant?

Immediately we need to dominate Indy and take Indy back for the cookies. We want to be able to put Big Mouth Biscuits in places across Indy to serve everyone. And then finally, I would like to expand it to different cities in the United States. •

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