The Birth of Bradys Beef/Local Jerk

The scene:

The restaurant next door to Bradys Yacht Club has closed around the same time as Bradys annual Toy Drive.  People are hungry and anything for the kids, right?  I make a batch of beef jerky and sell it to the patrons with the proceeds as donation.  People liked it and I liked making it so I kept making it.  Over time, as my technique and recipes developed much debate and thought was put into the name.  Lots of good, bad and hilarious votes were cast but thankfully a good friend, Curtis, came up with Local Jerk and it was magic.

Fast forward…

My little operation got too big for the garage and the Man was hounding me to go legit.  I lucked into a sweet little 284 square foot spot on Pacific Ave, downtown Santa Cruz.  This space needed to be gutted because it had been empty for nearly 10 years.  The specs for a meat processing plant are quite exacting and specific but again Local Jerk’s luck held strong as I was able to find most of my equipment secondhand and in great shape.  The community came thru in a major way and helped open the doors and held my hand as I passed all the hurdles and tests that came with being a legitimate beef jerky production plant.  Again, it was magic.

So Now…

California licensing doesn’t allow for the reselling of my product, all sales must be direct to consumer.  The little shop downtown is good but not ideal for pumping out the kind of numbers it takes to keep a small biz thriving in California.  The Farmers’ Market community in Santa Cruz is seriously epic, with markets 7 days a week, year-round, rain or shine.  Again, luck is running high and a space for my niche jerky product opened up and Local Jerk was welcomed with open arms.  Now, with the help of yet more community members/tech wizards, the fledgling website is live and avenues for sales has increased.  I sincerely hope that this little tale has entertained and possibly inspired curiosity.  Local Jerk is a small business with big dreams and wants the world to taste and fall in love with its’ products.