By Chelsea Rose Moore | Photos by Jennifer Gray
Buttermilk, flour and butter. Three simple ingredients carrying an endless array of possibilities. For Josh Freed, owner of Freed’s Biscuit Company, these ingredients serve as the base for his popular biscuits.
What began as a farmer’s market endeavor for Freed has grown into a pop-up stand at breweries, a popular choice for events, and a catering company for weddings. Biscuit bar, anyone? Freed’s biscuit brainchildren include novelties such as a biscuit quesadilla, with thinly rolled out biscuit dough, chicken, beef, shrimp, salsa and guacamole. He’s even done the same thing with tacos.
He’s made black and white biscuits, inspired by black and white cookies. He’s created Scotch egg biscuits by frying an egg, wrapping it in sausage, and putting it inside a biscuit. He’s made cinnamon rolls with biscuit dough, chicken pot pies with biscuits, crab cake biscuits with Old Bay, and rosemary biscuits stuffed with buffalo chicken, a carrot and celery salad, and blue cheese dressing. He’s created a stuffed biscuit, reminiscent of an Italian meat sandwich, by filling spinach and artichoke biscuits with salami, mortadella and ham, tying it together with pickled jalapeños.
His biscuit flavors are endless too. From buttermilk to jalapeño cheddar, French onion soup to everything bagel, there’s something for everyone. He’s even working on a gluten-free biscuit. A quick scroll through his Facebook page will showcase the unending bounds of his creativity and leave you salivating for a taste.
Biscuits had always been a side item for Freed, like the little brother to KFC’s fried chicken. But that all changed one night when he watched Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which featured a biscuit company. Inspired by the episode, he woke up the next morning and made biscuits and gravy for his family. He knew he’d struck gold. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is good,’” he said.
From there, he reached out to the town of Warrenton to discuss setting up a booth at their Farmer’s Market. There weren’t any prepared food options at the market, and he hoped people would be excited about a breakfast sandwich.
He arrived at his first market in April 2018, electric skillet in hand, ready to cook biscuits onsite. He immediately realized the market didn’t have electricity, which meant he needed a generator to put his skillet to use. He didn’t own a generator, so he ran home to make 25 biscuit sandwiches and raced back to sell them at the market. His girlfriend helped distribute biscuits and greet customers.
Freed’s girlfriend Jill Gardner, co-owner and president of recruiting company The Talent Shop, helped Freed get his company off the ground. With a larger-than-life personality, Gardner served as the face of Freed’s Biscuits on Saturday mornings at the market.
Since the initial market two years ago, a lot has changed for Freed and his biscuits. Perhaps most importantly, he now cooks off a flat top at the market and makes hundreds of biscuits. He’s built a loyal following of customers who will stand in line and visit his market stand week after week.
He recently established a partnership with Wild Hare Hard Cider. He’ll be serving up his biscuits at all three locations in Warrenton, Middleburg and Leesburg, allowing people to pair cider with biscuit sandwiches.
In March, he’ll be at Ocelot Brewing Company in Dulles cooking breakfast burgers—on biscuits, of course. He’ll still be at the Warrenton Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. His schedule is filled with catering events and weddings, and biscuits can be ordered in large quantities by the dozen.
He hopes to eventually open a brick and mortar, where he can capture the commuter crowd, grabbing a biscuit sandwich on their way to work.
“All the biscuits that I’ve shown you, I have a ton more to offer,” he said, noting that a brick and mortar would be the perfect way to let his imagination run wild.
Creativity with food runs in his genes. He grew up in a self-described “food family.” His dad owned a catering company in the 1980s and later worked as a personal chef for athletes. He expressed his love for family by cooking for them, and even Freed’s school lunches were filled with gourmet items, like pâté and croissants.
“It was very impactful,” Freed said. “Every time you would go to the fridge, there was an abundance of food inside it. Every time you would go to the table, there would be way too much to eat. Food is just a huge part of our lives. Our best times [as a family] are when we are gathered around eating, drinking and hanging out. It always comes back to food.”
He attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island), spent two years in kitchens throughout Budapest, worked as a personal chef to athletes, and spent 10 years managing operations training for a growing restaurant group in Washington D.C. “[Food is] my way of showing [my] customers I appreciate them coming out and value them as a person, because that’s how my dad and grandma showed me love, through quality and care in heart-warming food,” he said, his eyes dancing as he talks about food. ML
Find all the details on Freed’s Biscuits by following them on Facebook and Instagram @freedsbiscuits.