We recently spoke with Ricky Hirsch, the Founder and CEO of Think Jerky, about his awesome healthy and tasty jerky company. Think Jerky is our newest edition to our jerky lineup and we are featuring it as our June snack of the month #SOTM. Check out our interview with Ricky to learn more about what makes Think Jerky so unique.
What inspired you to start Think Jerky?
I grew up on jerky. I was a picky eater as a kid, but my mom could always get me to eat jerky. Through high-school, jerky remained a mainstay in my diet as an easy, high-protein snack for after sports and when I got home from school. It wasn’t until after college that I realized the jerky I’d been eating and believed to be good for me was actually filled with artificial preservatives, flavorings, colors, as well as tons of sugar and salt. I decided I needed to think a little bit more about what I was putting in my body. That became the mantra of Think Jerky: Think before you eat! I wanted to create a delicious and healthy jerky for people that are trying to make good snacking decisions.
What makes Think Jerky stand out in the crowded snack market?
First, Think Jerky is hands down the healthiest jerky on the market. We use only premium, restaurant quality ingredients such as grass-fed, grass-finished top round cut beef and free-range turkey breast. Aside from the quality of our ingredients, we DO NOT use any artificial preservatives, ingredients, colors, added hormones, or antibiotics. And in addition, our recipes use the least amount of salt and sugar of any natural jerky brand on the market, so we truly are the healthiest jerky on the market – but we’re also the most unique.
All our recipes are crafted by the hottest Chefs working today. Chefs Gale Gand, Matt Troost, Lauren Gras, and Doug Sohn are unparalleled in the culinary world. Between them they hold four Michelin Stars, two James Beard Awards, a Bacon Fest Championship, and a hot dog shop that Bon Appetit named one of the “Best 50 Restaurants on the Planet.” Each Chef brings their own special style to Think, delivering unparalleled flavors without the fillers.
What do you do to encourage employee health and well-being in the workplace?
I’m a very active person and have always felt that staying fit is a huge component of overall health and happiness. I give my employees time each day to get out of the office and hit the gym – especially if the start-up grind is starting to wear on them! In addition, I encourage my employees to spend time being mindful every day. I have meditated twice daily for over ten years and have seen incredible benefits from my practice.
What are you especially proud of at Think Jerky?
The thing I’m proudest of is our customer response! Every time a customer comes up to me and says, “I love Think Jerky!” I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do: created a product that people love because it’s delicious and genuinely good for them.
Do you have a social cause that you would like to share?
Think Jerky is partnered with the David Lynch Foundation, which is dedicated to teaching meditation to underprivileged youths, soldiers suffering from PTSD, and other at risk populations. The Foundation’s goal is to help teach simple meditative techniques that can help these groups deal with emotional and physical trauma so that they can go on to live healthy, productive lives. Please check out www.davidlynchfoundation.org and show your support by donating.
A big thanks to Ricky for telling us more about Think Jerky. Be sure to look for Think Jerky as you vote on your next snack delivery! Also, for your viewing pleasure, here is our video taste test: