By Brent Fuchs
April 4, 2023

Junkies for flavor

Joe and Rachel Biby bring their passion for flavor to their seasoning business, Flavor Junkie.
A labor of love from Joe and Rachel Biby, Flavor Junkie brings high-quality, blended seasonings to the local community. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

For many, the lockdown in 2020 led to new hobbies, skills, and interests. But what about a new business? 

“It started during 2020,” said Rachel Biby, co-owner of Flavor Junkie. “We’re in the kitchen a lot and had a lot of these ingredients we kept reaching for.”

A blend is born

Flavor Junkie, born in the Bibys’ kitchen, offers seasoning blends made from high-quality ingredients.

“When we were stuck at home during COVID and had nothing better to do, we really experimented more in the kitchen. We were able to use these new batches of seasonings we were trying, kind of let our love for food grow,” Rachel said.

But for Joe Biby, co-owner of Flavor Junkie and Rachel’s husband, his passion for flavor started young.

“Growing up, my parents really liked to cook. So that’s kind of what made me enjoy the art of cooking. That kind of sparked my interest in really creating foods,” he said.

“I have a degree in marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma, and at the time, I was working for an advertising agency. Then, COVID struck, and it was eye-opening for a new career opportunity. I started doing this on the side, with the knowledge and experience I’ve had with college, and applied that information to this.”

Baby steps

The Bibys started small. 

Joe and Rachel have created four flavors for Flavor Junkie and hope to roll out more in the coming months. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

“We were making it on the side for friends and family for a year or two at least, and then, we found a commercial kitchen to start mixing it in, and that’s when we made it official,” he said.

“When we sold it to friends and family, maybe just on Facebook, small batches, it was just to get the product out there. We actually got a lot of good feedback; a lot of people really liked it. And we thought, ‘Maybe we can do something with this.’” Rachel added.

Flavor Junkie’s line of seasonings began with its All Ya Need seasoning, a multipurpose blend of herbs and spices that the Bibys say is perfect for meats, poultry, vegetables, pasta, seafood, soups, and salads.

“It took a while to get the recipe correct because it was a bunch of trial and error,” Joe said. “We kept using the same ingredients for everything, and we thought, ‘Why not make it easier on us to mix it all into one seasoning?’ Rather than having to reach for five different seasonings, you reach for one. Getting the ratios was a bit challenging, but once we found the sweet spot, we wrote it down and made sure it was that way from that point forward.”

“I think the recipe for the “All Ya Need” came a little more natural,” Rachel added. “And all the others, we’ve had to put in a lot more creativity and research into recipes and a lot of trial and error before we succeed.”

Flavor Junkie’s other offerings include All Ya Need Plus Heat, the same taste as the original with an added kick; Taco Fiesta, with a zesty and bold flavor; and Hold the Bagel, a classic everything bagel seasoning. But the ideas don’t stop there. 

“We have different ideas we’re currently working on,” Joe said. “It comes with the timing of everything. Summer’s coming up, so we’re going to create a BBQ seasoning soon. We’re working on our seasonal items.”

Rachel added, “We really do pride ourselves in not using any preservatives, any anti-caking. Right now, we’re gluten-free, no MSG, which is really hard to find in the market right now. You can pronounce what’s on the label and in the seasoning.”

Dreaming big

The secret ingredient in every seasoning? Love.

“We’re a small business that’s trying to make it out there. Each seasoning is hand-crafted with love,” Joe said. 

“It really is a labor of love, and we’re trying to bring our love of food and flavor to the homes of Edmond and Oklahoma in general,” Rachel continued.

In addition to its website, Flavor Junkie has a presence at the Edmond Farmer’s Market, Harvest Hub in Piedmont, and the Arcadia General Store, with hopes to expand its market soon.

“I think the focus this upcoming year would be really great to continue to collaborate with local businesses here in Edmond,” Rachel said. “I think we’d love to focus on that and make connections within our community and get our brand out there through that. And then, maybe someday, expand into something larger.”

Those dreams include widespread retail and a place on grocery store shelves.

“We’ve made a lot of big steps with our business, and we just hope in the future to be able to continue to grow to where we can possibly someday make this a full-time thing,” Rachel said. 

“Sky’s the limit!”

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About Brent Fuchs

Brent Fuchs is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Edmond. He received a B.A. in photojournalism from UCO, where he minored in history. His work has appeared in numerous area publications, and his photos have received awards from both The Associated Press and The Oklahoma Press Association.