Welcome to our Wednesday "Stall Profile of the week" with Stripped Jerky
In this series you'll get to know our fabulous stallholders from a more personal side - this is their story told by the stallholders themselves.
I make beef jerky in a variety of flavours which rotates regularly at the market. Some flavours include Sriracha, Teriyaki, Pepper and the Back Burner. All the meat is grown locally and marinaded with natural ingredients.
I was born and raised in the Hawke's Bay village of Havelock North. Although working as a carpenter for most of my life I have always been a foodie at heart, possibly because of where I grew up. I moved to Christchurch in 2011 to be part of the rebuild and it was in that same year I began making jerky, mostly for myself and to share with friends. I'd always loved jerky since first trying it whilst spending a winter in Colorado as a youngster, but the NZ market did and still does offer very little in the way of this awesome high protein snack and this is why I had to teach myself how to make it. As more and more friends and family tried my jerky over the years it became apparent to me that this product had real potential and in 2017 I decided to hang up the tool belt and turn my hobby into a business.
Why were are different:
My product is for lack of a better word 'homemade'. I want to keep it as natural as possible. A lot of competing brands out there use huge amounts of sugar, artificial preservatives and colours to make their products last longer and retain weight to get a better yield. I am focused on designing great flavours using only what you would have in your cupboards at home, controlling bacteria growth with water activity management rather than chemicals.
Why we love what we do:
To be honest I love market day. Selling something you have created and seeing people enjoying it and coming back for more its such a great feeling. I get a real kick out of it. It's a little bit like the reward you get as a builder but rather than walking away from the site each day thinking, 'look at that! I built that' and feeling really chuffed, you get to share that feeling and with total strangers which was weird for me at first but now I just love it and I can't wait for each Saturday morning to 'shoot the shit' and sell some Jerky to happy punters!
Sustainability and in particular waste management is constantly on my mind with this little venture. Food waste was this first challenge I faced particularly with leftover raw meat. Initially, I would end up with lots of fat off cuts and small pieces of good beef that couldn't really be used for jerky. My dog Bear and I ate as much as we could but as production grew I needed a better solution. So I contracted my meat supplier to trim all the fat (they can use it for sausages) and slice all the meat for me so I have no offcut of good beef. Now I waste almost no meat in my production process which is sad for Bear but good for sustainability.
Why we love trading at the market:
This market in particular really appeals to me because of the very diverse clientele. It draws people in from not only all areas of this fine city but it has a great following from the international tourist market too making it a really fun place to trade. It's also a great place to make business contacts. I've met dozens of people who operate in the food world here from retailers to suppliers, machinery manufacturers, packaging people and exporters. Every week a new opportunity seems to just present itself and that is fantastic for any startup. The diversity and quality of products on offer is also outstanding. Each Saturday I do as much shopping here as I can; how cool is it to support other local producers!
Speaking of which, my fellow vendors are another major reason why I love trading here so much. Respect!
Another special thing about us:
One of the most rewarding things for me as a producer and vendor is getting Jerky Virgins to try jerky for the first time (like that one time when my jerky managed to convince an ex-vegan that beef jerky can taste delicious! :) ).
Jerky is a product almost all Kiwi's have heard of but few have tried, so if you're keen to give it a hoon, put on your brave face and get down to the market this Saturday.
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