New Specialty Food Shop Opens: Beef Jerky Experience

7/14/2020 - Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Foodie, Shopping
Beef Jerky Experience
Beef Jerky Experience
Beef Jerky Experience
Beef Jerky Experience
Beef Jerky Experience

Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets now has a Beef Jerky Experience franchise, which is owned and operated by Kevin McCoy, his wife Amy McDonnell, and Amy’s father Vince McDonnell. Beef Jerky Experience is the nation’s leading retailer in premium, hand-crafted jerky. The store opened at the outlet center in early July 2020.

According to Amy, her husband has been a big fan of their jerky and didn’t realize the company had started to franchise. Once he did, they pursued having their own franchises. Amy and Kevin met while in law school at Valparaiso University. Kevin is originally from Tennessee and Amy is from Indiana. After finishing law school, they lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area. Amy’s dad spent 52 years working in the retail grocery industry. Once retired, he jumped at the opportunity to apply his retail expertise to the family’s new business venture. 

Beef Jerky Experience specializes in more than 100 varieties of premium jerky including exotic meats like kangaroo, alligator, venison, and elk, as well as specialty flavors such as Prime Rib, Cajun BBQ, and Biltong. Most of the jerky is made at meat plants owned by the parent company Beef Jerky Outlet. There are two styles: the dehydrated, tough jerky is made in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, while the smoked version is soft and tender with a higher moisture content. This kind is made in Michigan. Some of the wild game flavors come from other suppliers. For example, the elk comes from Minnesota and the salmon comes from Alaska. Gourmet snacks, popcorn, candy, jellies, jams, sauces, spices and rubs are also available. As well as “edible bugs”, which kids and “kids at heart” love!

In a media release from the new store owners, Beef Jerky Experience is described as an amusement park for carnivores and a dream for gourmet snack lovers. While normally a large focus is on sampling, in-store sampling is now more limited due to the pandemic. There is still some prepackaged samples available to try before buying.

Here are some fun facts about jerky: Jerky has long been seen as an easily transportable and long-lasting food source. Today, jerky is one of the fastest growing snacks in the snack food industry. This is in part due to an increasingly high demand for lightweight, high protein, low fat, nutrient dense foods. Jerky has traditionally been the number-one favorite snack of the military, and for years, NASA has sent it into space with astronauts. Runners, weightlifters, hikers and weekend warriors eat jerky before, during, and after exercise. And did you know that chefs are now incorporating jerky into their gourmet dishes?! 

The Beef Jerky Experience was founded in 2010 and is the country’s first national jerky franchise. The company is headquartered in Kodak, Tennessee and there are currently more than 90 franchise locations, including six founder-owned stores.

The Pleasant Prairie Beef Jerky Experience is located at 11211 120th Avenue, Suite 74. Its hours are Mon.-Sat. 11am-7pm, Sun. 12-6pm. Shoppers can also make purchases online at Every online order over $100 enjoys free shipping to anywhere in the USA. Sign up for the rewards program either in-store or online and start earning free jerky with your first purchase! Beef Jerky Experience also offers all military and first responders a 10% discount. Find the store on Facebook and Instagram: @WIjerky. The store can also be reached at (262) 288-6222.

Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

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