The Foundation for Jack Link's began in the 1880's when Jack's Great-Grandfather, Chris came to America from the old country and settled in the wilderness of Northern Wisconsin. He didn't bring much with him, but he did bring his family's sausage recipes. Soon his sausages and smoked meats became legend among the pioneer families.
But like every great story ... let's start at the very beginning.
NATIVE AMERICAN PROVISIONS
It was the Native Americans who invented jerky. They cut buffalo meat into thin strips, dried it in the hot summer sun, and smoked it over the fire. They seasoned the meat with herbs found in the vicinity. Meat cured in this fashion served as a provision on strenuous hunting expeditions, as it was easy to transport and kept for a long time. It also gave the hunters energy with its high levels of protein and iron and very little fat.
THE PURSUIT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
The company’s history is based on the pursuit of the American dream. It begins with Jack Link’s great grandfather, Chris, who left Germany to make a new life in the US and laid the foundation for JACK LINK’S.
CHRIS & EARL
Chris settled in Minong in northern Wisconsin in 1885, having brought along a whole host of delicious meat recipes. His delicacies became legend in no time and farmers and lumberjacks practically ripped the snacks out of his hands.
Years later Chris’s son Earl opened a supermarket with a meat counter, selling everything from horseshoes and nails to pots and pans. At the same time, he carried on the old family tradition by producing the most delicious sausages and the very best dried meat that the New World had ever tasted.
JACK LINK'S - A FAMILY TRADITION
Earl’s son Wilfred “Wolf” Link was born in 1916 and never left his father’s side. The Link family divulged the jerky secrets to him early on and he even made a name for himself later as a cattle breeder. He taught his son Jack everything he knew about cattle breeding, the meat business, and how to produce the best products while Jack was still young. Years later, during a hunting trip with his two sons, Jack came up with the idea of trying out old family recipes in the production of jerky – and JACK LINK’S Beef Jerky was born.
JACK LINK'S - THE FULL STORY
The story of Jack Link's® Beef Jerky is a story of family traditions. It began with treasured family recipes that were passed from generation to generation, ultimately transforming a small North Woods business into one of the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturers in the world.
The foundation was laid in the 1890s, when Jack Link's great-grandfather, Chris, came to America from the Old Country and settled in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. Tucked away in his belongings were some of his most prized possessions - his sausage recipes.
From the first day Chris staked his claim in Minong, Wis., a new American tradition was born. Chris Link's sausages and smoked meats became legendary among the lumberjacks and pioneer farmers of Wisconsin's great North Woods.
Years later, Chris' son Earl opened Minong's very first general store and butcher shop. He sold everything from horseshoes and nails to pickles and sausages. Earl continued the family's tradition of making the best jerky and sausages folks had ever tasted.
Earl's son - Wilfred "Wolf" Link - was born in 1916. Wolf accompanied his father everywhere and practically grew up in the general store. He learned early on what it took to be the best in the meat business. Wolf grew up and followed in the family's footsteps, making a name for himself in the cattle business.
Years later, Wolf married and before too long, had a son named Jack. Jack followed Wolf everywhere, learning all about cattle, the meat business and how tomake the best meat products possible. Jack honored his heritage and carved out a healthy business for his own family by supplying top-quality beef to stores and restaurants throughout the Northland. Jack and his wife Mary Jo had two sons, Jay and Troy.
It was while hunting with his boys that Jack had the idea to begin making jerky
using his family's Old World recipes. Working with his sons, Jack perfected his great-grandfather's recipes.
The jerky was so good that the Links' friends and neighbors were continually clamoring for more. The Links decided to share their jerky with the folks in the region and began making large batches of jerky, which they sold to small stores across northern Wisconsin. Their first product - Jack Link's Beef Steaks - became a staple snack for folks in the area and spurred dramatic growth for the company.
The Links' reputation for quality grew throughout the region and a business was born.
Over the years, as consumer demand for convenient, high-quality snack foods increased, so did the company's product offerings and distribution network.
Today Jack Link's is operated by Jack & Troy Link is the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer in the world, and sells more than 100 different meat snack products in more than 40 countries.
More than a century has passed, but the Link family principles and traditions remain the same: hard work, integrity and a commitment to earn consumer respect by delivering the best-tasting meat snacks in the world.