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The Eleventh Day of Smizness: Fat Man’s Beef Jerky

The Eleventh Day of Smizness: Fat Man’s Beef Jerky

Fat Man’s Beef Jerky

A Love Affair With Beef

A quick round of research online tells me that jerky has been around since the 1500s. 

Fat Man’s Beef Jerky has only been around for the past 7 years, but it certainly does justice to those years of history.

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Rick Robey runs the company out his USDA inspected facility in Roswell, NM and sells in retail locations all over the state.  But that’s not the limit of his reach.  Rick also does a healthy online business, shipping their 14 unique flavors across the country.

Not Your Average Jerky

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Yes, you heard that right, 14 flavors – everything from barbeque to maple and brown sugar to green chili.  Every single one of those is made with 100% American beef, no preservatives added.  Rick takes an enormous amount of pride in this high-quality product.

“Fatman’s Beef Jerky is a gourmet, specialty jerky made from all natural ingredients, using excellent quality meat.  Each unique recipe is developed in my own kitchen by myself and my wife Ellen.”

When Rick talks about the main ingredient, he’s talking about all American beef, all the time.  Which makes sense, because Rick comes from a cattle family. 

“I owned a cattle business for 35 years. I have always been in the cattle industry, even before owning my company. My father was a cattleman and I was honored to follow in his footsteps.”

Family’s important to Rick and it’s important to Fat Man’s Jerky.  The jerky is made by Rick and members of the Robey family and his dad was the inspiration for the company’s name.

“I used to call my dad “fatman” as a term of endearment and it just happened to make quite the catchy name for my business. It’s kind of my way of honoring my father.” 

Working with his dad in the cattle business is where the seeds for Fat Man’s were planted.  Rick loved beef and loved beef jerky.  But he was continually disappointed in the quality of jerky he’d buy.

“The poor quality of beef jerky in convenient stores led me to the idea of making a better quality product. I was looking for a new venture and when the idea struck me, I knew it was the path for me.” 

The Battle For Shelf Space

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That’s how Fat Man’s was born.  Rick’s loyal customers and growing list of retail locations are evidence of his success.  His jerky can be found in convenience stores, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, lumber and hardware stores and farm and feed stores.  The battle for retail presence is one that is hard fought by Rick – and it’s what he calls his biggest business challenge.

“My biggest challenge, by far, is keeping the company financed. I was accustomed to working in the cattle business where a person’s word is their bond, the retail industry is very different. Large corporations make it almost impossible for a small business to succeed. I was surprised to learn about the ‘incentives’ large companies offer to store to keep other brands out of the marketplace.” 

But he clearly hasn’t let that keep him down.  He’s tireless in his pursuit to expand Fat Man’s reach while remaining true to the product’s promise of quality production and best possible ingredients.

“If I were to give advice to someone starting a business, I would say the most important thing to remember is: Never lose your vision.” 

If you’re interested in trying Fat Man’s Beef Jerky – and let’s be honest, you know you are – check out their website or visit them on Facebook