From Kitchen Dreams to Heartache: The Tale of Tibbs Beef Jerky

Hey there, folks. Let me take you back to 2012, to where it all started, I got hurt on the job (tore my Achilles) and could not walk for a year, I laid on the couch with a boot and got to an unhealthy weight. I got myself in some weight trouble and went from 155 to 260 pounds due to the medications I was taking. During a doctor's visit, my doctor told me "Steve you're fat, and fat people keep me in business " I looked down and agreed that's when I needed a change. I first needed to change my diet, I looked for a diet that would fit my needs and found the keto diet. The keto diet was the choice for me. it had low carbs and high-protein foods I loved it!. This was a time when my apartment in Sacramento and this was my starting place. As my leg and ankle got better I started to wander out and work on my PT for the injury. I stumbled upon a store called Fry's Electronics my PT was along the way. so I stopped in for a quick look, they had so much cool stuff. Walking down an aisle I found a jerky machine for $69 I picked it up and little did I know me buying that machine to make beef jerky would become a worldwide sensation... I’d mix spices, slice meat, marinate, dry, package, and giveaway jerky for free and I accidentally created something special: Tibbs Beef Jerky...

Fast forward to August 2016. I dialed in my recipes and my co-workers would get mad at me for not making it quickly enough. I just filed for my business licenses and have upped my production size considerably. I told my story on Reddit: I’d lost 120 pounds by munching on my jerky. Suddenly, orders flooded in like a storm. I was on top of the world, shipping jerky left and right. all over. Life was good—until it wasn’t. I never meant to start a beef jerky company let alone, knew how to run one. This was on accident...

See, I relied on a co-manufacturer to make my jerky, as I was still very new to this industry. They were my lifeline. They made my specific recipes and packed them in a bag. All my designs. I got a call from the owner one day, in early 2018 that the quality control person no longer works for the company... (looking back I think that was the moment my company was in trouble and I didn't realize the situation). Orders got delayed, quality suffered, and my dreams crumbled. By the end of 2019, the owner of the company told me they were going to file for bankruptcy., the quality issues and delays in my jerky orders made me think that they could not produce my jerky for me at the standard I needed and you all wanted. I needed to find another manufacturer before it was too late, and in the end, I could not. The issue I would have, I would drive a full truckload of my freshly made jerky back to the manufacturer because it tasted horrible and was not my recipe. The whole batches were ruined which would then make me sell out of current stock and then miss out on sales and cause delays in the orders getting to your front doors this was while I was waiting on the new batches to be made. They kept doing this to me over and over and it ultimately made me close my doors.

2020... My Dad died, lost Tibbs Jerky due to Covid, and moved to Maryland to start anew.

2020-2024. In early 2020 I still had orders flowing in online while I was sending out delayed emails due to my dad's death ( I could not process orders at that time as I was away in Mississippi ). Come March 2020 while was looking for a new manufacturer and could not find one... then Covid shut things down and because everything was shut down I was out of luck. I watched as my bank accounts dwindled to Zero due to the loans I had. then came the big problems I had orders but no jerky and had to refund as much as I could... from the end of 2020 to 2022 I paid back all my debt from losing the company. it was a little over $100K I sold my house and lived paycheck to paycheck to pay this all back. I never filed for bankruptcy I pulled myself out of it.

But here’s the real deal: I won’t give up. I never forgot about you and my dream. well now I want to build my jerky factory—one where I control every spice, every slice, and every moment of this delicious jerky recipe shared with you. and this is where you come in. Your support can make it happen. Imagine your name on the factory wall, a symbol of hope and redemption.

So, let’s chew through this together. With your help, Tibbs Beef Jerky will rise again!

This is how you can help my goal. I’m reaching out with a heartfelt plea—a dream that smells like hickory smoke and tastes like adventure. My mission? To raise $700K+/- and construct the Tibbs Beef Jerky factory—a place where flavor meets precision, and jerky dances with destiny.

Why a Factory?

I’ve meticulously crafted a list of essential equipment. From marinade mixers to drying racks, each piece is a note in our jerky symphony.

Picture this: a location humming with anticipation, where seasoned meat transforms into chewy magic. Tibbs Beef Jerky will rise again, and this time, we’ll hold the reins.

How Can You Be Our Hero?

Donate: Your contribution isn’t just money; it’s hope. Every dollar nudges us closer to our smoky haven. Jerky for You: As a token of gratitude, once built and USDA certified. I promise a year’s supply of jerky. and other gifts of gratitude. Imagine those savory strips arriving at your doorstep, a reminder of our shared mission. Your Name on the Wall: Yes, you read that right. Your name—etched alongside other believers—will witness our revival. A testament to resilience and community.

Why Does This Matter? Because jerky isn’t just sustenance; it’s a memory. It’s the road trip snack, the campfire confidant, the late-night companion.

Because together, we can make Tibbs Beef Jerky a household name. Let’s turn this dream into a smoky reality.

Let’s Chew Through Adversity: Your donation isn’t just about dollars; it’s about flavor, tenacity, and the thrill of a comeback. So, grab your apron (real or imaginary) and join me.

Let’s build a factory where jerky dreams come true.


Steven Tibbs - Founder, Tibbs Beef Jerky
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