I love beef jerky. I have fond memories of visiting my uncle when I was a child and biting into a piece of his homemade venison jerky. I’ve enjoyed jerky through the years, but have learned that buying jerky off the shelf is very much a hit or miss proposition. More often than not, it’s a miss. They can be too dry, too moist, too sticky, or any number of other unpleasant possibilities.
Last year I had the good fortune to meet Pete Friederich at a Temecula music festival. He had a booth and was giving customers samples of his Savor Ranch Jerky. It took just one taste for me to become a believer.
We crossed paths recently on Instagram, and we had a good visit. Like many of us, he was at a crossroads early in his career. He wanted to major in psychology, but he also had a keen interest in business. He wound up working part-time for Pacific Gold, a major producer of beef jerky. He started promoting the brand, doing demos at Price Club (remember Price Club?)
He couldn’t envision a future in psychology but decided to get a teaching credential. He stayed with Pacific Gold for nearly 18 years, 13 of them after Oberto acquired the brand. After the sale, Pete felt disconnected and then took a severance package from Oberto. He wound up as director of West Coast sales for Costco’s preferred demo company, but he hated the work and the commute.
He semi-retired but knew he wasn’t done yet. After trying his hand at blogging and working part-time in sales and consulting, he decided he wanted to be his own boss. Pete already had an affinity for jerky, so he decided to launch his own brand. They played around with a few names before settling on Savor Ranch. “The other names just didn’t fit”, he told me. “This is a jerky you can really savor.” You can pair it with just about anything: beer, wine, fruit plates, cheese, you name it.
I tried both the Red Pepper and Hot Barbeque flavors. Made with beef brisket, they are tender, moist and oh so flavorful. Both flavors bring a bit of heat to the party, but not so much as to overwhelm the palate. Other beef flavors include Original, Teriyaki, Sweet & Spicy, and Barbeque. They also offer Teriyaki, and Sweet & Spicy Turkey Jerky. Two brand new flavors are Savory Smoke and Mango Spice.
“For us, it’s about passion,” Pete told me. He doesn’t have any desire to make the brand huge. He’d rather keep a small-town feel. Savor Ranch has won me over. I think you’ll love it, too. Find them at savorjerky.com or call 951 384-0282