We had the good fortune of connecting with Edgardo Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edgardo, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For starters, like a lot of other folks, I do not want to work for someone else for the rest of my professional life. But that was not the main reason. Over the years my passion for cooking developed in me a desire to one day own my own food business. I felt that putting my flavors out there would be a great way to not only build a culinary identity, but also a good way to start building a following, so that when I start my food business, I already have customer base that enjoys the flavors I produce. Spicy Caballero Seasonings LLC. is what I created in order to one day achieve that dream.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a proud Puerto Rican, staying true to my roots and bringing our Spanish Caribbean and Latin flavors to the table has been one of my main objectives from the start. However, I am also an adventurous eater and really enjoy trying new foods and ingredients from different cultures. Staying true to my culinary identity and bringing in ingredients and flavors which I have come to appreciate through multi-cultural food experiences has allowed me to create a unique flavor profile which sets Spicy Caballero apart from the rest. One of the proudest moments since starting Spicy caballero, is still winning our first award at Zest Fest 2020 with our Spicy Borikua blend. We were honored to come home with a 2nd place Peoples Preference Award in the spice rub category, but now, I feel that was recently topped. Just a last weekend we attended Zest Fest 2021 and entered the International Fiery Food’s Challenge with our first two newly released, now commercially packaged El Borikua and Big Ed’s Magic Dust Original. We were honored to receive a 2nd Place Best New Cook-off Product with EL Borikua, and a 2nd Place Award in the Fowl Category with Magic Dust Original. Both of these products are now in a few store shelves, including the store of one of my spicy food’s heroes, Mr. Ed Currie, creator of the Carolina Reaper.
For now, we have a few things in the works. We have now completed all of the testing on the commercial version of Spicy Borikua, so we will be working on getting it bottled and potentially releasing in the next few weeks. Our super-hot Texas Creeper blend is quickly becoming one of our best sellers and is next in line to go into commercial production. Also, we have three brand new experimental blends in the works which I hope to have ready for market over the next year. Seeing all of the hard work and long nights of the last just over three years finally paying off is definitely a proud accomplishment.
The road to where we are has not been easy, but nothing has come our way that we have not been able to overcome. Having a full time job and a family, keeping things balanced can be extremely hard. There are only so many hours in a day, so at some point something or someone will have to suffer a lack of attention. In my case, my wife has been a tremendous help. She always reminds me that I need to keep things in perspective and in balance. I am a pretty driven person who thrives on the fruits of my labor, and that can get pretty distracting when it comes to the work/home life balance. Setting a day a side to not do any business or work related stuff is very important. I do forget that a lot of times, but my wife is always there to remind me and keep me in check. I am thankful that she does that for me.
My mission is to provide our customers with a full line of unique, all-natural craft seasonings made from the freshest high-quality ingredients available. I love to hear our customers tell us how our products take the guess work out of flavorful food and creating memorable food experiences for everyone in the family; from those who love bold flavors and spicy foods to those with the most discriminating pallet. Not only do I make these seasonings for sale, but I also make them for my family. Spicy Caballero is what goes into everything we cook in our home from the kitchen to the grill.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The very first place we would go to would be Hemisphere Brewing Company in Rockwall, Texas. This place has a very welcoming, laid back atmosphere that makes you feel at home. To top it off, they count with an outstanding selection of hand crafted beers that include some of my all time favorites. The owner, Ruben Garcia and his staff always make sure you feel like family.
After a couple of fantastic brews we would go eat at Cahrlies Burgers and Street Tacos in Downtown Rackwall, TX. Chef Wayne Frank takes traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites and gives them a unique and flavorful twist. From fresh house made chips and salsa or house made Spicy Borikua seasoned spicy chicharrones, to their fantastic Texas Creeper seasoned deep fried quail tacos, this place will not disappoint.
We would definitely have to hit some BBQ spots over the week. The closest one to us is Texas Monthly reviewed and ranked Smoke Sessions BBQ in Royse City, TX. Pit master Chad Sessions and his team put out some amazing food. From some of the best brisket I have ever tasted, to fantastic house made sausage and sides. Their potato salad is must have for my family and I. They started in a little trailer on the parking lot of a feed store in Royce City four years ago, and recently opened a beautiful new brick and mortar restaurant in down town Royce City, TX. Definitely a must try if your in the area north east of Dallas.
As we venture out of our local area, we could hang out in Deep Ellum and check out one off the many fine eateries and craft beer joints in the area. If we happened to be Ft. Worth around 6th street, we would have to hit Lola’s Trailer Park for a couple of drinks and some fine BBQ from the folks at Dayne’s Craft BBQ. Pit master Dayne Weaver comes from humble beginnings, slinging BBQ at a pup up in his back yard and is now among the best in the area. For late night eats, we would have to check out Brix BBQ. Trevor Sales is one heck of a pit master that loves to create out of the box menu items.
For a more adventurous day, I’m positive my family would be on board to go to Six Flags for a full day of rides and making fun of me for being scared of the rides.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this to my family, my wife Gedyeliz Rios,my daughter Alondra, and my son Gabriel, who support me and help me no questions asked. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have tricked them into tasting something extremely spicy, or how many times they’ve had to leave the house or wear masks in the house because I’m processing superhot peppers and it’s hard to breath in the house. They are my taste testers, label installers, material pick up and delivery people, etc… Bottom line, without them, it would not be possible to have a day job and make Spicy Caballero into what it has grown to be.
I also want to thank our customers, who have given us the opportunity to share our passion for flavor with them and their families. Without their support, Spicy Caballero wouldn’t exist.