Americans have had a long-standing love affair with beef jerky from the early days of our nation. However, the drying and curing of meat goes back much further and from much farther away, with roots in Egypt as well as with the Incas.
According to jerky.com, “Ch’arki,” a name derived from the Quechuan language of the Incas (which literally translates into “dried meat”) later evolved into what we now call jerky. The making of jerky allowed humans to both store food for long periods of time and have an easily carried, dense source of nutrition to take with them on journeys. It’s both flavorful and compact and almost any meat can be made into jerky.
Native Americans taught the settlers how to cut and prepare the meat of buffalo, elk, and other animals into long strips and later shared with them the entire jerky-making process and some variations of seasonings to make different recipes. With this newfound knowledge, the early pioneers found themselves cooking and consuming jerky more than ever before. It was the snack of choice.
Locally (and in more recent times), you can find jerky in almost any grocery store, but your options of type and flavor would be woefully limited. If you’re looking for something really different, Beef Jerky Outlet in West Yarmouth may have just what you’re craving.
Bill Hunt, owner of the West Yarmouth Beef Jerky Outlet, always held an interest in owning his own store one day and, as he got older, he placed this goal on his bucket list.
“I learned about the Beef Jerky Outlet franchise from a friend and started looking into it,” he says. “I liked the concept, loved the products and appreciated the leadership of the franchise. Based on my research, I decided this was the right business for me and here I am in West Yarmouth. I’m doing this on my own and my help comes from my employees.”
Hunt opened his story in June 2017 and summer, he says, is definitely the high season for him. Customers come from all over to purchase his specialty flavors.
“Our three top sellers are Prime Rib Beef, Cherry Maple Smoked Beef and Honey Jalapeno Beef,” says Hunt. “Our hottest flavor is the Reaper Beef, and we have several alcohol-based flavors such as Moonshine and Sweet Bourbon. We also carry salmon jerky.”
If you’re looking for something even more special, Hunt said some of his more unusual jerkies include wild game such as alligator, ostrich, kangaroo, wild boar, duck and others. His beef jerky is made with 100 percent beef and the meat is sourced in the United States.
“We also have a few local products, such as our Hot Stuffed Cherry Peppers and our jerky that we receive from the Boston Jerky Company,” Hunt added. “We sell a very high-quality beef jerky that is made in small batches. Most of our products cannot be found in a grocery store. We also sell hot sauces, BBQ sauces, seasonings and rubs, specialty peanuts and popcorns, chocolates, candies, and even edible bugs.”
Like most businesses, Hunt’s was not able to escape being affected by the pandemic.
“Our business dropped by almost 50 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic,” he says.
But things seem to be turning around.
“In 2021, we are seeing a significant increase in business as compared to 2020. I would like to increase our overall sales over the next five years and possibly expand with a second store. Jerky is a great snack for the beach, on the boat, hiking, camping, riding a bike or while traveling.”
Beef Jerky Outlet is family-owned and operated and you will find the family there on any given day to tell you about their motivation to make everybody a “jerky” fan. Jerky is high in protein and low in fat, and the jerky at Beef Jerky Outlet is hand-cut and sliced using rounds and flanks of meat – never ground or formed. In addition, they offer venison, elk and bison, as well. You name it, and you’ll likely find it here.
Beef Jerky Outlet, 525 Route 28, West Yarmouth. For more info, call 774-470-6542 or visit www.beefjerkyoutlet.com/westyarmouth