Joshua Kace says he was never a potato chip guy. "Dried meat was always my snack." He remembers road-tripping to national parks out west at a young age when his parents pulled over at a gas station—it was the first time beef jerky touched his lips. "I always wanted more jerky. There never was enough jerky," he says.
Kace, naturally, went on to launch his own small-batch artisan jerky company with two friends called SlantShack Jerky, the latest subject for Liza de Guia's Food Curated video series. The company's based in Jersey City, New Jersey, but have recently partnered with the Vermont Highland Cattle Farm to source all their grass-fed beef.
SlantShack Jerky sells over 30 flavor combos online in their Build-a-Jerky program, where customers can choose their own "jerky destiny." When you bite into it, Kace describes the flavor train you go on: the first car is the surface spices, then you start picking up on the glaze (is that brown sugar? spicy pepper?) and keep chewing from there (it's a pretty long train since it's so chewy). The goal is to have people say, "I never knew beef jerky was so good.. and could feel so good."