Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
TG: My Name is Tom Greineder and I am the owner of The Jerky Connection, a small independent family owned and operated jerky producer out of Texas.
MW: What made you get into the food business?
TG: It really was by accident…in short we started making jerky and eventually had a ton of people wanting it…so we are going for it.
MW: How did your product came about?
TG: I lost my job in manufacturing at one point, and my wife and I bought a small dehydrator to save money on Jerky…because we loved it so much. Long story short…we started bringing it to work and people kept wanting it. Eventually we had so many people requesting it that we had to start charging for it…and it just snowballed from there.
MW: How me different lines of product do you have?
TG: Right now we have around 40 or so flavors with our specialty being spicy jerky made from some of the hottest peppers in the world. Our mild jerky is great too though…and we have a huge following for it.
MW: Do you have any other products coming out?
TG: We always have more flavors coming out. One of my favorite things to do is create new recipes that push the boundaries of what is possible. O and ur newest venture we are releasing is the “Micro Jerky of the Month Club”. We take killer hot sauce producers that we screen and make limited edition jerky with it. We offer an 8oz bag of the jerky along with a bottle of the hot sauce to reference to our members. The first month kicks off in August with the first surprise jerky. You can check it out here: http://thejerkyconnection.com/store/micro-jerky-of-the-month-subscription/
MW: Which one is your best selling product?
TG: Our Top seller is tough to explain. In the mild jerky category it is our Montreal Beef Jerky. In the medium category it is our Lizard Wizard. The spicy category is dominated by our 7 Gates of Hell Sampler pack. Then comes the Insanely spicy category. The Reaper beef jerky is the one there. It is made with the soon to be world record holder Carolina Reaper pepper.
MW: Where can consumers find your product in the store?
TG: We don’t currently sell our products in stores but will definitely be looking to get distribution in the state of Texas in the immediate future. We also plan on working towards our USDA certification so we can go national with our distribution in the future.
MW: Can consumers buy it from your website?
TG: Everything is available online at www,thejerkyconnection.com
MW: Do you do food trade shows?
TG: We have been doing a lot of spicy food shows including the Fiery Foods show in New Mexico, Zestfest in Texas, and the upcoming Houston Hot Sauce Festival just to name a few.
MW: How have they gone for you?
TG: Some are definitely better than others but the constant has been that the consumer love the jerky and continually tell us we have the best in the market. I try not to believe it though…it keeps me motivated to make everything better.
MW: What do you see in the future for your company?
TG: We see BIG things happening, but really just want to focus on our jerky one product at a time and one customer at a time. We really take pride in the fact that if there is an issue with the jerky or anything else regarding our company we deal with it quickly and honestly. If we keep doing that the future will take care of itself.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
TG: First and foremost…Thanks to you for the interest in our company…it really means a lot to us. In closing I just want to say to the people checking this out that we would love to give you a good reason to check our jerky out. Use the coupon code BLAST (all caps) and we will give you 10% off your total order. It is the least we can do…and to be honest…you guys won’t regret it!
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