UPDATE FROM THE OWNER 10/28/22
Time for an update from the boss man himself.
What's been going on in the world of Empire Jerky. A LOT. The below is a "brief" explanation, update, transparent for transparency all wrapped up in a story time.
START: I know it's been a little while since the last update and I apologize. This is the long version: our old production company (#3) was bought out... again (that makes 4 times in 3 years). This set in motion a mad dash of companies like Empire Jerky, to find a replacement. Fortunately we were already looking not long beforehand for one to do our Hell's Fury flavor (from what I was told it was due to poor ventilation the old one was not allowed per OSHA). When the new company acquired, no more orders were filled, THUS Preorders. THEN they informed us they were not taking on all the clients. THEN after being toyed with I was told they were not taking on any clients and were going to only produce for themselves. HATS OFF TO THEM and I wish them good luck, they are going to need it with the history of that location.
BUT that put us in a bind. With the surge of companies going to market looking for a new production company, many had found our "new" production company. This caused us to be put on a waiting list. It was 20+ weeks out. Because we were only doing the 1 flavor at the time with them, (Hell's Fury). SO I went on the hunt again, visited a few places, called allllll of the leads and companies I could.
SIDEBAR: I connected with some individuals, like minded people, more specifically jerky company owners and or former CEO/COO level people, that were just as frustrated. We had a meeting of the minds and devised a plan. We ARE working on a much larger plan of action for 2023. So stay tuned for that -> Owning a production company is now the main goal. It's hard to have frustrations on production when you are part owner of it. For now let's call it PROJECTMEAT.
ANYWAY. After a lot of back and forth with 4-6 other production companies, Empire Jerky has found a temporary production company to call home until PROJECTMEAT takes off. To be candid and clear, transparent, straight forward like I believe you all deserve, This temp production company has a very high cost to us. So much soo that sadly (I held out as long as possible) we did have to raise our prices. Attribute this price hike to covid19 causing issues with supply chains, or greedy supply companies not lowering prices once things started to get more "normal", or new laws and regulations around beef and other farmed livestock...
I'll give you a few examples. Our bags, empty non labeled bag price increased something like 43% per unit. Another example, if by chance you haven't been to the store lately, beef prices are, in a word OUTRAGEOUSLY high. That's no different for us. (YES we are considering the option to go from farm to bag. Meaning actually partnering up with and ultimately owning the ground and cows all the way to owning the production company, again another thing to add to PROJECTMEAT. Doing this whole PROJECTMEAT thing is not only going to make more flavors, new products, more control over the current uncontrollable, BUT we will reduce pricing as soon as possible.
Some unforeseen issues with some of our flavors and some labels arose (specifically sizing of the labels, colors not coming through, and even the way they are prepared to be applied had to change) at our temporary production company.
OH and the Empire Jerky Support Team aka EJST went through some turnover a few times, no bad blood, different times in people's lives lead to different directions!. BUT yes they are still here!
ALLLL THAT being said, I can confirm that our fulfillment center will be receiving the shipment of jerky within the next 2 weeks, and from there they will be on their way to you! Oh and on that shipment will be 2 new flavors! Brought to you by popular demand and request. Cracked Black Pepper. ANNND then the newest, HOTTEST flavor #2 of the 3 plan total--> Hell's Fury. Yes it's hotter than Dragon's Breath... BUT if you like hot, it still has a good flavor to it.
1) Production company bought out again 4x in 3 years
2) Big scramble to find new company too way too long
3) Prices for jerky went up. (But they will come back down as soon as possible)
4) Shipping of pre-ordered jerky will take priority, and should happen once we get our shipment in, ETA about 2ish weeks!
5) NEW FLAVORS! Hell's Fury & Cracked Black Pepper
6) Update your address within your quick pay/fast checkout/autofill
7) firstname.lastname@example.org = good for order issues info@ = good for suggestions on flavors/artwork/content ideas/ questions NOT related to your order
8) Shipping insurance = WORTH IT. Starting 11/1/22 will not be re shipping orders to people who don't have it due to shipping company issues, bad address, stolen, lost in transit, damaged etc... That's why shipping insurance is there!
On a personal level: Empire Jerky is and always has been a passion project for me, I truly do love it, otherwise it would have been long gone by now, especially after this crazy year. IF you didn't know here is a little recap about me and some info: My name is Dustyn, I am the husband of an amazing woman, a dad of 3 wonderful kids, fur daddy (is that what I am?) to a crazy cat who loves to bring home/inside from outside alive (oh yes) play toys & a 90lb 9 year old puppy. This year I lost my day job of 5+ years, and obtained a new day job (which is much better by the way) . My day job continues to be in the field of Finance (12+ years strong!).
I guess what I am trying to say is thank you. We are still learning, teaching, tasting and testing all the time! So thank you for your continued support, and THANK YOU for your patience (and even peer pressure with this new flavor I didn't reallllly want to put out, but because of soooo many requests, yes we do actually go through suggested flavor emails, they get forwarded to me from the support team)
QUICK SOAPBOX RANT:
For the love of all that is JERKY, if you have an issue with your order ie. change of address, you want to add to the order (yes we can do that, we will bill you before we send it though), do not respond to your order confirmation email. Send an email to email@example.com
THE firstname.lastname@example.org GETS CHECKED MAYBE 1 TIME A MONTH MAX.
MAKE SURE your address is correct before checking out. Make sure your address is updated with ANY autopay system ie. Amazon, Paypal, your phone autofill...
IF you don't know about the shipping insurance, get the shipping insurance... it's worth it. IF you don't get it, we do NOT reship your order if it's lost/stolen/damaged. That is what shipping insurance is for! This is a small company. We aren't Amazon or another big box store that can just eat the cost.