KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Around 10 years ago, people who stopped by a barbershop in Knoxville also had the chance to pick up something special — a bottle of 'K-Town Krack' seasoning.
The spice blend was created by Boo Jackson, who moved to Knoxville after playing basketball professionally. Although he started selling his seasoning out of a barbershop, he said that he always dreamed of seeing the logo in grocery stores across the city and the country.
"I told myself, 'I'm going to be in stores, whether I got to go personally to every store known to man in the United States, somebody is gonna put me in a store," Jackson said.
He started out making seasonings at Eastern Michigan University as a student who needed money. He would mostly sell chicken wings he made himself, creating his own flavors.
"It all started off in my dorm room back in Michigan," he said. "I used to sell food on the side."
In 2010, Jackson moved to Knoxville and opened a bar on Cumberland Avenue that sold chicken wings, using the same spice blend he created in his dorm room. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, he said he was inspired to move into a new retail space — grocery stores.
After selling the seasoning in a barbershop, he finally got a call from Publix. The chain grocery store offered to carry his seasoning in all of its stores across Tennessee. Customers had the chance to try some since the beginning of October.
He says people can spring the seasoning on almost anything they want — including chicken, beef, steak cuts and even popcorn.
"The 'K' stands for Knoxville, and I dare you to get addicted," Jackson said.
The business is one of few Black-owned businesses that also hire employees in Knoxville. Jackson said that he hopes that he can inspire others in his shoes to pursue their passions and succeed in their dreams.
A food truck is also expected to start roaming Knoxville's streets in November using the seasoning, called 'Chick-n-Sack.'