Mike Shur, who owns Shurky Jurky with his wife, is an inspiration. Shurky Jurky is about more than the gourmet, artisan jerky it crafts. Mike and his wife are also on a mission to revolutionize the snack business by implementing a business model that is sustainable both environmentally and economically.
Un-Traditional Snack: Mike says he started Shurky Jurky because he wanted to change the traditional snack industry. He wanted to craft a tasty snack that supported healthy, active lifestyles while also supporting local farmers and ranchers. Currently, Shurky Jurky makes beef, pork, turkey and bison jerky with meat raised in the Pacific NW.
Recipe Revolution: The recipe is one part of the revolution. This jerky is hand-made, using real fruit as the sweetener and a home-made marinade, free of gluten, made without soy products giving it 5x less sodium, and is Paleo. The jerky is dehydrated, but still has hints of a smoky flavor. It is jerky to be savored and paired with fine wines or craft beers. In fact, Mike insists you must chew the jerky slowly to allow the flavors to escape. It turns out, his recipe is very similar to the style used by Native Americans to preserve their meats.
A New Kind of Business: But the business model Mike follows is equally revolutionary. Not only does Mike source all of his meats locally, he is incredibly particular about the quality of the meat and the way the meat is handled and processed. Shurky Jurky is providing a market for local farmers and ranchers following sustainable practices to sell their meat. They are crafting the jerky locally to support the local economy. Ultimately, Shurky Jurky is connecting the farmer with the consumer to create a mutually supportive and sustainable economy.
In Search of a Better Snack: Mike started making jerky as a hobby when he lived in New York. He belonged to a cross fit gym and was tired of eating the horrible tasting protein snacks available there. A friend’s grandfather made some tasty jerky, and so Mike thought he would give it a try. The recipe evolved through trial and error. He started bringing his jerky to the gym, and soon fellow gym mates were asking if he would sell it.
The Perfect Place for a Snack: As a Russian immigrant (he arrived in the US at age 7), preserving meat is part of Mike’s heritage. He started his professional life as an investment banker in New York City, but ultimately recognized that was not the lifestyle he wanted. He and is wife started thinking about starting a snack business crafting jerky and other healthy artisan snacks. Mike and his wife came to Portland to build their company because Portland offered the lifestyle and market they were seeking.
Artisan Protein To Go: Shurky Jurky is an artisan snack. It is a powerful punch of portable protein for the endurance athlete or active outdoorsy person. The meat is all sourced from local farmers who do not use chemicals, growth hormones and routine antibiotics. It pairs well with gourmet foods and beverages and is healthy. It is the perfect Portland snack food.
The Business of Change: As a former investment banker, Mike is perfectly poised to build a start-up company. He understands the world of finance and how to raise capital. He also believes the economy is not sustainable the way it currently operates, and has a vision for creating a sustainable marketplace. Mike is also a partner in Kapoosta Partners, a strategic consulting business designed to provide start ups of lifestyle brands with the knowledge and tools not taught in business school.
Change From the Ground Up: Mike has made smart decisions and sought effective support. He learned about a local business accelerator non-profit, Starve Ups, applied, and was recently accepted into the program. There, he has the opportunity to collaborate with other local entrepreneurs building local and innovative businesses. Mike and Shurky Jurky are part of a movement that is changing our economy and moving it toward a path of sustainability.
Shurky Jurky is well on its way to reaching its goals. The jerky is sold on-line, by word of mouth, and at local markets. Mike has plans to expand to other geographic markets too. When he does, he will source the meat and craft the jerky local to those new markets. He is unwavering in his mission: To build a completely sustainable new kind of snack business and to bring trust back into the process.
Learn more about Mike and Shurky Jurky at ShurkyJurky.com.