LOS ANGELES – Three Jerks Jerky, the company known for making its beef jerky from 100 percent filet mignon, is introducing a new flavor to its jerky collection – Veri Veri Teriyaki, featuring Soy Vay teriyaki sauce. But instead of introducing customers to the new flavor through its website or retail providers, Three Jerks jerky is going back to its roots – to Kickstarter. The jerky company will be selling its newest jerky flavor for a 30-day campaign on the crowdfunding platform, starting Jan. 18.
Kickstarter played an important role in the start of Three Jerks Jerky. After coming up with the idea to make gourmet beef jerky out of filet mignon, Jordan Barrocas and Daniel Fogelson created a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise $20,000 to help start their business in the summer of 2013. At the end of their 30-day campaign, they had raised $45,000 to start their new endeavor.
“Kickstarter is where we started our business. We love the Kickstarter community and everything it stands for,” Baroccas said. “So, we wanted to return to where we started to introduce our new flavor.”
The company will be offering various packages on Kickstarter during the campaign. For $15, customers can get a bag of jerky, a bottle of Soy Vay teriyaki sauce and a note from the “jerks” – Barrocas and Fogelson. There will also be a jerky crate that will contain 10 bags of jerky, two bottles of sauce and a note from the “jerks.” Other options available for purchase will include other snacks as well as the opportunity to receive a personalized video from “Shark Tank” investor Damond John.
After raising funds on Kickstarter to start their business, the duo received additional capital from John, one of the “sharks” from the ABC reality show, “Shark Tank,” after they pitched their business idea on the show. John invested $100,000 in Three Jerks Jerky for a 15 percent stake in the company.
At the end of the 30-day Veri Veri Teriyaki Kickstarter campaign, Three Jerks Jerky plans to give 5 percent of its Kickstarter profits to five Kickstarter campaigns.
“We’re excited to be part of the community that helped start our business,” Barrocas said.
While they haven’t decided which campaigns will end up getting part of their profits, the two said they will be looking for projects that have strong entrepreneurial stories, like theirs.
Veri Veri Teriyaki
The new teriyaki flavor is the sixth flavor offering for the gourmet filet mignon jerky. Three Jerks Jerky is available in Original (salty, sweet and tangy with just the right amount of black pepper), Memphis Brand BBQ, Chipotle Adobo, Maple Bourbon Churro and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not” Hamburger flavors.
Teriyaki is a common flavor for jerky but the Three Jerks’ team had shied away from the flavor because they didn’t want to be like everyone else. “Our flavors are different – not the typical ones you find with jerky – we didn’t want to add a teriyaki flavor and be like everyone else,” Fogelson said.
The entrepreneurs found exactly what they were after in Soy Vay teriyaki sauce. Barrocas and Fogelson had been familiar with the brand for some years, but decided to forge a partnership after meeting the company’s owners at the Expo West tradeshow in 2016.
“Their sauce tastes more natural. It tastes like you make it in your own kitchen,” Barrocas said. “There are real pieces of garlic and ginger in the sauce. And you can taste toasted sesame. We knew it would go perfectly with our filet mignon jerky.”
Soy Vay was officially founded in 1982 by two friends – a Chinese girl and a Jewish boy. The two wanted to create sauces inspired by the classic sauces and marinades of China and Japan, with a kosher twist. The company sells a variety of flavors of marinades, simmer sauces and dressings. Their best-selling sauce is Veri Veri Teriyaki.
Following the Kickstarter campaign, Three Jerks Jerky plans to sell its newest flavor on its website, www.threejerksjerky.com, as well as through its retail distribution.
In addition to jerky, Three Jerks sells gourmet burgers on its website. The company launched this new product line, which features the Filet Mignon and Pork Belly Blend Burger, last August. Customers can purchase 12 packs of frozen, individually vacuum-sealed, 5-oz. burger patties for $79.99.
As the name implies, the Filet Mignon burger is made of 100 percent filet mignon. The Pork Belly Blend Burger is the company’s take on the popular bacon burger. It’s made up of 60 percent beef filet and 40 percent pork belly. “We wanted to do our take on it – Three Jerks Jerky style – so we combined filet mignon and pork belly,” Barrocas told MEAT+POULTRY at the time the burgers were released.
And the product ideas won’t stop with jerky and burgers — Three Jerks Jerky plans to keep expanding its product line. Even though they wouldn’t provide any hints, Barrocas and Fogelson promise there will be more products in store from Three Jerks Jerky. “Our plan is to take filet mignon off the pedestal,” Barrocas said. “We want to keep coming up with product ideas that will continue to bring it into everyday use.”