Duke’s Meats. var script = document.createElement('script'); Justin "Duke" Havlick. “Yup,” he says, “it’s me! At Duke's, we don't sugarcoat the truth or our meats. Thanasi Foods is a manufacturer and distributor of packaged snack foods. not give it much thought, but jerky is kinda huge in our state. Search our database of over 100 million company and executive profiles. View Justin "Duke" Havlick’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. His friends loved it, especially the flavors produced by the marinades Duke used. After marinating in natural ingredients, it’s exposed to heat and hardwood smoke; larger processors would likely use liquefied smoke resins instead. Thanasi was founded in 2004 by Justin "Duke" Havlick. JUSTIN “DUKE” HAVLICK. 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 … var first = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; Justin ‘Duke’ Havlick of Duke’s Jerky. In fact, it’s fair to say the state has a vigorous and creative smoked meat culture, from the jerky selection up at the Dublin General Store down to the smokehouses of classic Detroit barbecues. Summary: Justin Havlick's birthday is 11/14/1972 and is 48 years old. Of course, these “small” batches can run as much as 250 pounds, but each batch is loaded onto racks and placed in an individual oven as big as a tool shed, where it’s monitored individually for temperature and moisture content. The air is infused with the woodsy aroma of a guttering hardwood campfire. Best Beef Jerky Reviews – Duke’s Meats. 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. It’s pretty cool.”. script.setAttribute('data-npo-id', npo); The smoke from the chips goes through a process that filters out the undesirable volatile substances. Smoking is my favorite segment of the process, and probably the most interesting,” Havlick says. 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. © 2021 April 22, 2014 Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Thanasi was founded in 2004 by Justin "Duke" Havlick. It chews a little tough at first, then gives way to a light, almost crumbly consistency that’s free of the fatty emulsions and greasy mouth-feel of shrink-wrapped meat product. Retail Locations: Store Locator by State. Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential. Among those visitors who’ve taken a shine to Michigan’s protean protein scene is Justin Havlick, founder and CEO of Duke’s Small Batch Smoked Meats. Founded by Justin "Duke" Havlick and his homemade recipes. “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.”. “Hopping out of the car, running across the street and rummaging through the different types of jerkies and asking 1,001 questions on how you make jerky properly, whether it was elk, buffalo, venison or beef jerky.”, In 2004, he started smoking jerky in his backyard smoker and sharing it with friends. Havlick makes no bones about it. U. p until 2007 or so, the jerky and snack meat market was mostly shared between four major players. “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.”. first.parentNode.insertBefore(script, first); 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. 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. Any trip “up North” will prove that Michigan abounds with small-town general stores and roadside stands that have a heaping helping of jerky for sale, made of not just beef but venison, elk, turkey and much more. We’re offered a little craft sausage and give it a try. script.src = 'https://us.commitchange.com/js/donate-button.v2.js'; Moving into the Macomb County neighborhood is Justin Havlick of Colorado-based Duke's Smoked Meats. He said he started the company 13 years ago because he had a passion for fire roasting seeds and slow cooking meats. “It was one of my favorite memories growing up,” he says. })(); 'Esquire' names three metro Detroit spots on list of '100 restaurants America can't afford to lose', Supino Pizzeria's New Center location is almost ready to open, Heated 'luminarias' will bring wintertime outdoor dining to Southwest Detroit restaurants. 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 … 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. “Batch by batch, they became more popular as I was playing with recipes and kind of tweaking them, purely from a hobby standpoint,” he says. Variety Is The Spice Of Life! We have to ask, was our state’s beef jerky identity really potent enough to merit locating here? Thanasi Foods will continue to be led by Justin Havlick and the existing leadership team of Thanasi … Zero of the companies are still … Justin "Duke" has 3 jobs listed on their profile. Lifelong Michiganders may not give it much thought, but jerky is kinda huge in our state. Thanasi Foods's Co-Founder & CEO, Justin Havlick, currently has an approval rating of 70%. The proof, after all, is in the pudding. Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox. script.id = 'commitchange-script'; Havlick’s eyes light up. We slice each whole brisket steak against the grain, marinate the slices overnight, and then slow-smoke each batch for a rich flavor and tenderness you can't get from sugary shortcuts. Now, across the … A lot of the smaller, boutique places are making some great stuff. The Coloradan grew up loving jerky, and recalls visits to his father’s cabin in the hills outside Boulder. “It’s one of my favorite smells. If entrepreneurs like Havlick have their way, ever-tastier things certainly await us all. We declare it excellent. 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. DUKE'S Known for being chunky and chewy, Duke's beef jerky comes in thick strips of Angus beef. 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. All parts of this site Copyright © 2021 Detroit Metro Times. The company was acquired by Conagra Brands in 2017. (He’s from Colorado, right?) 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. Here in the heart of the facility, the “cook cycles” are really four to eight-hour dehydration cycles, typically never exceeding 170 degrees. 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. His love of smoked meats really kicked into high gear when a neighbor gave him an old backyard smoker. It’s a fun visit, and Havlick is a fast-talking, excited, almost breathless host, delighted to talk up the products he’s obviously proud of. 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. Justin Havlick, founder and CEO of Duke’s Meats. In fact, it’s fair to say the state has a vigorous and creative smoked meat culture, from the jerky selection up at the Dublin General Store down to the smokehouses of classic Detroit barbecues. 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. Duke’s promises fresher cuts of meat; real, whole ingredients; inventive, unexpected flavor combinations; and a small batch commitment to quality. “Big time,” he says. “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. “People might say, ‘You’re crazy! if(document.getElementById('commitchange-script')) return; Contact Us: Send Duke’s Meats a Message. 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 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. Could Michigan go from being known as the home of some of the world’s largest industrial corporations to a grand bastion of craft food and drink culture? Our shortcut-free smoked brisket slices are made with pasture-raised, 100% grass-fed beef. 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. Weirder things have happened. Thanasi Foods's primary competitors are Cattaneo Bros, Golden Valley Natural & Old Trapper. ” is misleading There ’ s happening within jerky is kinda huge in our state from our,... The companies were formed over a one year period with the woodsy aroma of guttering. 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