BETHLEHEM, PA. – Matt-Hat Jerky, a gourmet beef jerky business owned and operated by siblings Matthew, 15, and Katrina Kuplack, 18, won a gold medal for "Best Beef Jerky" in The International Jerky Awards after just four years in business.
Matt-Hat Jerky Original, Traditional Japanese Teriyaki and Black Truffle all placed either Gold or Silver for “Best Beef Jerky” at the 2020 Taste TV Awards for Top Artisan Jerky. They have also received kudos from celebrity chefs Guy Fieri and Andrew Zimmern through social media.
The two started the company when Matthew was just 11 years old using their grandfather’s recipe for homemade jerky. Matthew’s twin sisters Kayla and Katrina helped him package the jerky in Ziploc bags and sell them to friends, classmates and teachers at school and eventually door-to-door in the neighborhood.
“Obviously, I always thought my jerky was great and when other people liked it too, I wondered if they were just being nice to a little kid but when the judges awarded me ‘Best Beef Jerky’ not knowing how old I am I knew my jerky was the real deal,” Matthew Kuplack said.
The Matt-Hat Jerky product line features 16 flavors including Black Truffle, Traditional Japanese Teriyaki, Sweet Heat, and more. Thirteen flavors contain zero sugar, and all flavors are free of unhealthy preservatives or MSG.
“It feels like a dream that Matthew and I have made it this far, winning awards and being recognized by people like Guy Fieri but the most rewarding part is that we are providing a snack that is truly good for people,” Katrina Kuplack said. “It is really important to us, since the market is so full of snacks that are unhealthy.”