Exclusive Interview: Three Jerks Jerky Founder Talks Kickstarter And A New Flavor

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If you don’t know about Three Jerks Jerky by now, you’re doing it wrong. Their tender beef jerky made from uber luxurious filet mignon is not only tasty, but healthy as well. While they’ve been dishing out 5 unique flavors since their inception on Kickstarter, they recently added another:  Veri Veri Teriyaki.

Teaming with sauce makers Soy Vey, this new flavor of jerky recently launched on the very place the company got its start: Kickstarter. We were lucky enough to get a taste of the new Asian inspired flavor and it’s down right delicious. We also got a chance to catch up with Jordan Barrocas, one of the two founders of Three Jerks. During our discussion, we talked about the new flavor, their partnership with Soy Vey, embracing your roots and more.

Check out what he had to say below and enjoy!

I know you guys have tinkered with a lot of flavors over the years. How did you land on this Asian inspired flavor?

Jordan: So Teriyaki is a very popular jerky flavor. And we’ve always gone back and forth on what to do – if we want to do a teriyaki – and we never really came across a sauce that we liked. And we have yet, other than our teriyaki jerky, to come across a teriyaki jerky that we liked. So we always avoided it because we couldn’t get something that we thought was special. Also, sidebar, we’ve been huge fans of Soy Vey and their teriyaki. I grew up with it in my fridge. I’ve always used it.

A little less than a year ago at a trade show, Expo West, we bumped into the folks from Soy Vey. They had known of us and we were obviously huge fans of theirs. And it just kind of came up that we should make a teriyaki jerky with their sauce. And we were like “oh my God, that’s great. That’s going to taste incredible.” We felt that the brands had cohesive stories that worked well together.

So with Soy Vey, their story started with a Jewish guy and a Chinese girl who were best friends and they combined their heritage to make this teriyaki sauce called Soy Vey. It’s like different things coming together to make something special. With Three Jerks, we essentially have the same thing. We’re two best friends that took filet mignon and beef jerky – two items that would have never been paired together – and we turned them into one which is something special.

So the companies and the stories make sense. We were independently big fans of each other and we were like “let’s do some tests and see how this comes out.” We made a few batches of jerky with Soy Vey teriyaki sauce and it blew our socks away. After that we decided to go into a partnership with them and come out with this flavor. It’s a more conventional flavor than we’ve done before which we’re actually excited about. We think it’ll resonate very well with people and once they taste it, they’ll understand why we’re so excited about it.

I’ve tasted it and it actually might be my new favorite.

Jordan:  A lot of the teriyaki, we shied away from it because we found that it tasted artificial or processed. And Soy Vey sauce is so special because it has real pieces of garlic and ginger and real sesame seeds in it. It tastes homemade. Our jerky, we’re very proud that although we’ve grown and we use co-packers to make the product, it’s made the same exact way as when we made it ourselves in my kitchen by hand. It’s still made by hand. It’s the same ingredients, the same process, we haven’t changed a thing.

Same thing with Soy Vey sauce. They make it the same way the founders made it in their own kitchens. We wouldn’t want to stray away from what we think is special in our process. And we’ve found a very good partner in Soy Vey with that in mind. And it comes through in the product.

You guys ran into them a year ago, so how long have you been working on this?

Jordan:  The trade show was like 9 months ago and we started talking to them seriously after the trade show, spent a couple months in [research and development], and now we’re launching it this month. So it’s really been about 9 months of work, but more so 6 months since deciding we’d go forward together. A fairly quick R and D partnership process. To get it all done within a year, we’re pretty proud of.

How many versions of this flavor came and went before you got it right?

Jordan:  Not a lot. Whenever we start R and D, we do it ourselves in our kitchen before we go to any of our production partners. And when we made it, we knew this was it. We’ve got something, let’s go for it. That’s generally the way things work with us. If it takes us a lot of times to get something right, we tend to think that there’s something wrong. Everything that has worked well for us has worked right off the bat. We knew that when we made the first batch and it was really good, that we were down the right path.

You guys are heading back to Kickstarter to launch the new flavor and it mentions in the press release that you’re going to give back to other startups. How will you pick which startups to help?

Jordan:  We want to contribute to 5 other Kickstarter campaigns. The criteria is a little bit loose. Ideally, we want to find companies that are young and trying to get a start since we started in Kickstarter. But also, companies that show that idea of taking something that hasn’t been done before or combining things that don’t really make the most sense with the outcome being better. Similar to jerky and filet mignon. The joining of two uncommon ideas into a special product or idea. That’s what we’re going to look for.

We want to target earlier, younger entrepreneurs looking to get a start because we came up from Kickstarter. Our business would not exist or be where it is today if it weren’t for Kickstarter. By returning to our roots, we want to do so in a way that we’re able to give back since we’ve benefitted so much from the community.

What are some of your favorite Kickstarter rewards you’re offering?

Jordan:  We’ve got a Daymond John reward. It’s limited to only ten but whoever contributes for that reward will get a personalized message answering a question by Daymond John. I think that’s pretty cool that he’s taking the time out. He’s so busy that to be able to carve some time out personally to give people advice is really awesome.

We look at Kickstarter as this community and platform to help entrepreneurs. We got help from it so we want to give help. We also have as a partner one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. To be able to leverage his experience and his knowledge that we have available to us and offer that to other people is something really unique and cool. So we’re very excited about that. We hope people will take advantage of that because to be able to get that access otherwise would be very difficult.

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2 Comments

  1. Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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