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Tasty venture for Zelow family

Posted: 8am 19 Oct 2021

Trent Zelow’s family taught him the value of a strong family-owned business and the success they achieved with Zelows handbags is the benchmark for his own venture – Butchermans Beef Jerky.

It is a business he started with the support of his parents and extended family and links back to his grandfather Kevin’s cattle farm near Maleny.

Helping out on the farm sparked an interest in butchery and prompted Mr Zelow to complete an apprenticeship and later open a butcher shop Murrumba Downs Gourmet Meats with his parents.

For the past six years, he has been experimenting with spices and flavours, making his own beef jerky and perfecting five recipes.

“It started as a small business at my own house – I built this shed and everything to produce my own beef jerky there. We started selling it through the butcher shop with great results,” Trent says.

“With COVID being a little bit of a unicorn year last year, it gave us the opportunity to go that one step further and start this factory here (at Clontarf), so we can start offering jerky to everyone Australia-wide, really and soon to be worldwide.”

Trent says they bought the building at Snook St, Clontarf, in August last year and spent a couple of months fitting it out.

The team is now producing five flavours – original; hot chilli; sweet chilli; lemon, garlic and pepper; and Aussie barbecue.

“It took us a while to make sure we perfected all the flavours. There are more flavours we do want to do eventually but we also don’t want to tarnish the brand because the flavours we’ve got at the moment are mind-bogglingly good,” Trent says.

“To me, I haven’t tried beef jerky like it. The flavours certainly stand out from all the other beef jerkies out there.”

Family links continue

Some of the beef from his grandfather’s farm is used to make the jerky, another all-important link to family and quality.

“From being in butchery you definitely do get a better understanding of what flavours and herbs, spices, marinades can go with what meat,” he says.

And then there’s the family ‘focus group’ to provide candid feedback.

“There is nothing wrong with doing a test and maybe sitting around having a beer and throwing the jerky out on the table. It’s a great way to make sure you’ve got some great product there and generally family’s always going to be pretty honest, if they think it needs to be changed as well,” he says.

“We’ve got this one thing we say with our Aussie barbecue: ‘I brought this flavour to a family barbecue years ago and when it was gone before the prawns, I knew I had a winner’.”

So, what is his favourite flavour?

“Hot chilli and lemon, garlic, pepper are definitely the most original flavours there. You won’t find another lemon, garlic pepper … it’s got this awesome lemon flavour through it and the pepper just gives it that little kick as well. They’re so unique and hard to describe unless you get it in your gob yourself,” Trent says.

Butchermans Beef Jerky’s biggest seller is Aussie barbecue.

“It’s a very relatable name, I guess. A lot of the mainstream jerky companies will always have original and barbecue, so it’s something a lot of the customers can relate to,” Mr Zelow said.

“The beef jerky is hopefully going to turn out as something like Zelows was … the whole family was involved and that’s exactly what we want here as well. Who better to work with than your family? We’ve proven that it works in the butchershop as well.”

For more information and to order online, visit butchermans.com.au

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