Once a point-of-sale favorite at party stores, jerky is making inroads as a healthy and satisfying alternative for snackers everywhere.
Just ask Bruce Patulski. He's a Michigan pioneer in the jerky renaissance and has been racking up popular and exotic varieties of the carnivorous snack for years. And last summer, Patulski brought a branch of the renowned Dublin Jerky
to the Lansing City Market
, offering the company's most flavorful varieties plus an eclectic mix of brats, firewood, mopeds and custom-made T-shirts.
"The proof's in the product," says Patulski of the booth's staple. "Our jerky is nice and juicy, and it bursts with flavor when you bite into it. It's insanely tender."
Patulski learned the jerky business from the Dublin Jerky founder, who is also his brother-in-law. He started as a teen working in the Greenville, Mich., shop, and has continued to smoke, rack and package prime cuts of beef, chicken, turkey, pork, wild boar, rabbit, pheasant, alligator, ostrich and python.
"It's definitely not your typical gas station jerky," says Patluski. "We source our meats from all over the country and they all go through FDA inspection."
Patulski carries the most popular of Dublin Jerky's 60 varieties in his 100-foot vendor space. The 15 to 20 types of jerky include his go-to items like the "sweet heat beef" and "apple jack beef" and spicy varieties made with hot or ghost peppers.
"I'm surprised they don't melt the bag," he laughs.
A quarter-pound bag of jerky, Patulski says, provides an option for people looking for a high-protein snack or quick meal. Several popular magazines like Esquire
and Muscle & Fitness
have mentioned Dublin Jerky by name as a way to curb hunger, help build muscle, and ward off carb cravings.
Dublin Jerky also carries a line of loaded brats including garlic and sauerkraut, maple and bacon, and a blue cheese and cherry. Like the jerky, the brats are smoked, fully cooked and made with all natural ingredients.
As for the mopeds and screen printing and firewood, Patulski says that's an offshoot of his father's retail business in Manistee.
"I'm in the business program at MSU," says Patulski who operates the market with his girlfriend. "I guess you could say that business is in my blood."
Source: Bruce Patulski, Owner, Dublin Jerky Company
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor