NJ veteran's homemade beef jerky is a hit in military care packages
A veteran from southern New Jersey is putting smiles on the faces of fellow veterans through his signature beef jerky. What started as a hobby is now a thriving business.
Marine veteran Jim Ewen is the man behind Jim’s Jarhead Jerky. He says that it started as a way to pass the time when his son-in-law was deployed.
“To keep us occupied and to keep my daughter’s mind off of his deployment, we started sending him care packages. Well amongst the care packages, I made my homemade beef jerky,” Ewen says.
And from there, the effort took off. Ewen says that he sent his jerky with care packages overseas.
“We started getting emails from not only Tim but other Marines and other soldiers,” he says.
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Two years later, “I donated over 2,000 pounds of homemade beef jerky made in my kitchen,” Ewen says.
And this is when Jim’s Jarhead Jerky was born, and the business began. It has now been 11 years, and the jerky is in stores and shipped worldwide. There are several flavors and different snacks.
Ewen has met some of the servicemen and women who have received his jerky.
“Here comes these four young men in civilian clothes and they saw the Jim’s Jarhead Jerky banner on the table and one of them said to me, ‘Are you the guy from New Jersey?’ And I said I am. And he said, ‘Oh my God, we’ve had your product in care packages,’” Ewen says.
Ewen says that the gratitude he gets from veterans and service members is why he does this.
“When you know that you’ve made someone’s day a little brighter – that’s good stuff,” he says.
Jim’s Jarhead Jerky can be found in several stores in South Jersey and other states in the country. They also ship directly to those serving overseas.