Since the beef jerky incident of 2009, I have been thrust into the maelstrom of the jerky universe. It is a dark and mysterious world of danger and intrigue, not unlike that of Casablanca, minus the Nazis and roulette. You can never be too careful in this world and one mistake could be deadly. I came down pretty hard on Mr. Jack Link, but today I am here to set the record straight.
Times are tough. Everyone’s money is hard earned and everyone should get what they pay for. That’s why when I got a moldy bag of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, I had to let them know. I was, as usual, a bit tongue in cheek. I know my complaint letter was over the top, but the point was honest. To exchange my $6 for some beef jerky should be simple and satisfying. Any good company would want to know what happened and make good.
Jack Link’s is a good company. Within an hour, they had read the blog and contacted me. A very nice woman named Nancy reached out and wanted to discuss what had happened. There is some level of silliness involved when you have conversation about beef jerky, but I am confident Nancy and I got through it fine. For one, I learned that what happened was a small puncture in the bag. This makes sense in my 6th grade scientific mind. A case designed to keep mold out would be ideal for breeding mold if it was punctured and moisture was allowed in. I was assured this was a rare situation, but I figured that anyway. You don’t become the fastest-growing beef jerky brand in the good old U-S-of-A for not making good products.
They are based in a town called Minong, Wisconsin where there aren’t even stop lights. Jack Link is a real guy who learned the family recipes and still wears the white coat, checking all his products. Even cooler, his father’s name was Wolf. That my friends, is straight up bad-ass. Wolf taught his son Jack how to make jerky. They have been doing it for generations. I had no idea the roots of this company. Nancy and Jack and company seem like really good people.
They are replacing the errant bag of jerky and tossing us here at Lost Angeles a few samples so we can check out what else they have to offer. That’s how we do things in America. We do our best. If we mess up, we make it right. That’s the way it is supposed to work and as far as Jack Link’s is concerned, they are doing things the right way and they care about their customers and stand behind their product.
Of course a bad batch of jerky is not a world-crushing event. Yes, I could afford to buy another bag of jerky. This had nothing to do with any of that. This had to do with keeping companies in check in trying times. This was about making sure corners are not cut. Jack Link’s did not cut corners and they were motivated to prove it. As I told Nancy on the phone, it was not about getting a hand out. It was just about knowing a company takes pride in it’s work. If we all take pride in what we do and hold other people accountable for messing up, we’ll fix the economy and go back to a time when MADE IN THE USA meant totally awesome and worth a little more money.
I look forward to my replacement bag, but in reality, I already got what I wanted. I got piece of mind that in the great midwest people are making something they care about and standing behind it. Anyone can make a mistake, but good companies make good on those mistakes.
Thanks to Nancy and Jack and everyone up there in Wisconsin for reading the blog and reaching out. I wish you best of luck going forward.