Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. Robert Brown, managing director of Encore Consumer Capital, said, “Thanasi Foods’ founder and CEO Justin ‘Duke’ Havlick decided to bring on … It offers a satisfying snap, and tears away reluctantly. View Justin "Duke" Havlick’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. script.setAttribute('data-npo-id', npo); Meanwhile, Boulder, Colo.-based Thanasi Foods' popular Duke's "Shorty" Smoked Sausages "are full of lean protein due to the natural smoking and drying process, which allows for lower density of fat and higher density of protein," notes Justin "Duke" Havlick, the company's president, of … Website powered by Foundation. “What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire roasting seeds and slow smoking meats, has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the U.S.,” said Justin “Duke” Havlick, founder and CEO of Duke’s and Bigs. Thanasi Foods will continue to be led by Justin Havlick and the existing leadership team of Thanasi … “Big time,” he says. Robert Brown, managing director of Encore Consumer Capital, said, “Thanasi Foods’ founder and CEO Justin ‘Duke’ Havlick decided to bring on a strategic and financial partner, and we are honored that he chose Encore to help the company grow. April 22, 2014 Such back-to-basics food is something urbane consumers out West pay a premium for, and something rural Michiganders never quite got away from. He compares the rise of Michigan’s craft food scene to the rise of the state’s beer culture, and sees it as all part of meeting a growing demand for food that’s made the old-fashioned way, in small batches, with natural ingredients. The meat is carefully cut, almost filleted, to tear away in strips, unlike the clumsy chunks of food-service jerky typically available at gas stations. U. p until 2007 or so, the jerky and snack meat market was mostly shared between four major players. Thanasi Foods to be acquired by Conagra Brands By Jensen Werley — March 17, 2017 All parts of this site Copyright © 2021 Detroit Metro Times. If entrepreneurs like Havlick have their way, ever-tastier things certainly await us all. It’s a long way from a smokehouse in a Colorado canyon, but we can see that the natural principles hold, if the practices are given mechanical precision. Zero of the companies are still … As a young Cub Scout ascending to Eagle Scout and spending time in Colorado \u0019s backcountry, Duke and his father would often enjoy batches of homemade smoked jerky found at roadside jerky stands. var first = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; "This is an incredibly exciting time for our brands and our team, and we are looking forward to working with the Conagra Brands team on the next chapter in our journey to take Duke's and BIGS to another level," said Justin "Duke" Havlick, Duke's and BIGS founder and chief executive officer. No attachments will be considered. Havlick isn’t giving us some rehearsed marketing ploy. The roots go deep with Duke \u0019s Smoked Meats. View Justin Havlick's profile for company associations, background information, and partnerships. Havlick purchased a … Smoking is my favorite segment of the process, and probably the most interesting,” Havlick says. This special memory sparked a … From our standpoint, it’s a great cultural movement that’s happening within jerky. var npo = 5487; Along the way, they’d stop at a jerky stand in a canyon, where the young Havlick would go hog wild. He invited us to come by and visit the plant, and excitedly gave us the lowdown on why Michigan made sense. So how do you make craft, small-batch jerky in a factory? Products distributed by Thanasi Foods are available in approximately 45,000 supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, and drug stores in the United States and Canada. The head of a snack-food company based in Colorado has purchased a Hawaii estate, Pacific Business News has learned. Justin "Duke" Havlick is the founder of Duke's and Bigs. Havlick also shows us the drying room, where perhaps several days’ worth of batches of miniature sausages are drying in a state-of-the-art room that controls airflow and temperature. It’s great to be surrounded by the culture of making great smoked meats.”. “Over time, people started to ask for more and more of the product, and I started the process of distribution in a small way, store by store, until it grew to the level it’s at today.”. Greg O'Neal, left, is vice president of marketing, and Justin Havlick is founder and chief executive of Thanasi Foods, creator of Duke's meat snacks and BIGS seeds. It reminds me of south Texas a bit in the diversity of all the different flavor profiles, the types and styles of jerky that you see here in Michigan, which is part of the reason we love being here. Food & Drink. Duke’s Meats. His friends loved it, especially the flavors produced by the marinades Duke used. Justin "Duke" Havlick CEO & Founder at Thanasi Foods Becky Brown. You can automate it and you can make more margin.’ But at the end of the day, we’re interested in making a fair margin, but producing an outstanding product. script.src = 'https://us.commitchange.com/js/donate-button.v2.js'; The smokehouse facility is much smaller than most large processors. Best Beef Jerky Reviews – Duke’s Meats. “We feel that there is a genuine-ness to actually doing it the backwoods way, if you will, which is delivering an actual smoke process to the meats in real time.”. Thanasi was founded in 2004 by Justin "Duke" Havlick. (He’s from Colorado, right?) Havlick was so taken with the state’s identification with craft-cured meat, he chose Macomb Township as the site of his small-batch factory three years ago. We’re seeing more and more people who want to make jerky at home again, working on new artisanal recipes and different ways of jerking different types of meat, like turkey or pork, venison and other games too. “Yup,” he says, “it’s me! In this sense, it’s very modern, with a bay of devices on the wall registering the humidity and heat of each cook cycle, recording it with electronically activated pens on paper disks. Well, perhaps the term “factory” is misleading. Duke’s Smoked Meats was founded in 2013 by Justin Havlick, a man whose brother once called “the Duke of Jerky.” Today, the brand has become a beloved favorite in the smoked meats category. Justin "Duke" Havlick. "What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire roasting seeds and slow smoking meats, has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the U.S.,” shared Justin "Duke" Havlick, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Duke's and BIGS. var script = document.createElement('script'); To all appearances, he just thinks our state has a great meat culture and is proud to have it produced here. Justin "Duke" has 3 jobs listed on their profile. We ask him if that’s sort of like a vaporizer. Becky Brown Senior Accountant at Thanasi Foods Robin Carter. Why did Duke's want to be acquired? The companies were formed over a one year period with the most recent being incorporated four years ago in May of 2016. Justin "Duke" Havlick, Duke's and BIGS founder and chief executive officer, said, "What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire roasting seeds and slow smoking meats, has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the U.S. not give it much thought, but jerky is kinda huge in our state. We don hairnets and sterile garments and cross the threshold when the smell hits us. Founded by Justin "Duke" Havlick, Thanasi Foods is one of the top 10 food companies that industry sources identified for The Deal as being likely … So, the difference is exactly that, it’s the craft of smoking it batch by batch, where we can circulate the right amount of smoke, the right amount of heat and humidity across the entire rack of jerky, just like you would like to in a small-batch process.”, Havlick gets animated talking about smoking, so we head to the smokehouse. “There’s a craft component here that we choose not to deviate from,” Havlick says. Retail Locations: Store Locator by State. The buyer is Justin "Duke" Havlick, president and CEO of Boulder-based Thanasi Foods, which sells Frank's Redhot Beef Jerky, Jim Beam Beef Jerky, Stubbs BBQ Beef Jerky, Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages, Duke's Beef Steak Strips and Bigs Sunflower Seeds. He said he started the company 13 years ago because he had a passion for fire roasting seeds and slow cooking meats. When we arrive at the plant, where more than 50 employees perform the labor-intensive process of small-batch smoking, we’re pleasantly surprised to see that he is, in fact, the guy on the package, ball cap, work shirt and all. As a kid, Duke was an Eagle Scout who grew up running around the Rocky Mountains searching out roadside jerky stands and exploring Colorado’s back country with his family. Their brands include Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages and Bigs Sunflower Seeds. 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