When Blair Swiler stop his 25-year profession as a chef for well being causes, he could not carry himself to go away the kitchen altogether.
He began making jerky to take to a golf membership in Naples, Florida, the place he labored as a caddy.
“Jerky grew to become a ardour that I simply made for me and buddies,” Swiler, a 59-year-old Wisconsinite, informed CNNMoney.
A type of buddies was Dennis Riedel, a caddy from Michigan.
“Blair was snacking on one thing, so I requested to attempt it. It fully modified what I assumed jerky was,” Riedel, 38, informed CNNMoney. “It was tender, straightforward to eat and fully completely different to the rock-hard stuff I used to be used to.”
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In 2009, Riedel and Swiler based the enterprise now often known as Chef’s Lower Actual Jerky.
Right now, their merchandise can be found at greater than 800 golf golf equipment and 40,000 different retail places throughout the USA. The corporate says it made $48 million in income final 12 months.
Beginning out within the membership kitchen
Swiler and Riedel’s enterprise took off on the Bayonne Golf Membership in New Jersey, the place they began making jerky within the membership kitchen and promoting it on web site.
Riedel was spending winters in Florida and summers in New Jersey. After the Bayonne membership agreed to allow them to use its services, Swiler moved there to caddy and make jerky.
“Members cherished it,” Riedel mentioned. “We shortly expanded to different premier golf golf equipment across the nation.” Jerky proved common on the golf course as a result of it travels nicely and is excessive in protein however low in fats and sugar.
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The corporate is now has 30 staff. It is based mostly in New York Metropolis and owns smokehouses in Idaho, Michigan, Illinois and California.
Chef’s Lower has attracted numerous high-profile traders, together with baseball participant David Ortiz and actress Olivia Munn.
Initially, Chef’s Lower had 4 varieties, together with Swiler’s unique recipe for steak jerky marinated in selfmade soy sauce, horseradish and Worcestershire. Right now, the model sells jerky in eight flavors, plus meat sticks, meat bars and protein snacks.
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The meats are sourced domestically and by no means frozen, and Swiler is behind each recipe.
The corporate is now seeking to develop additional in the USA.
“Ten years in the past, if I informed you jerky was going to be the go-to snack at a number of the most prestigious golf programs within the nation, you would not have believed me,” Riedel mentioned.
CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First revealed July 23, 2018: 9:39 PM ET