Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sasa Watt, Owner of Jamie's Jerky, located in Crested Butte, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a father/daughter owned and operated Jerky Company, providing jerky to top quality jerky lovers. We sell wholesale all over the states in small shops and online to those who cannot pop into a store to get their fix.

Tell us about yourself

We started making our signature "Original" recipe in the early 80's when Jamie bought some jerky on the road and said to himself, "I can make this... and make it better"! So in 2012, we decided to start making it to sell locally and are now USDA-approved, giving us the ability to sell wholesale. Owning a jerky business is tough; it takes a lot of love to go up against large corporate companies, competing for a spot on the rack, but we have a great time working together, telling dad jokes all day that it ends up being more fun than work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment would be actually starting a business from scratch, using our own money, and getting USDA approval. Meat is an entirely different beast compared to other food manufacturers, but we've succeeded in that part, so now it's figuring out how to market our small company to the rest of you.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest aspect of being a business owner is realizing you HAVE to do it all until you have a little bit of money to hire others. It's also tricky with jerky because our process is not as cut and dry (no pun intended) as it may seem, and we're really picky on quality control, so finding the right people to come work for us is proving difficult. Tackling web design, getting new accounts, advertising, etc... on top as well can be a bit overwhelming, but we're learning a lot and hope to be around for a very long time!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't give up!
  2. Keep the workplace fun and respectful.
  3. Don't be afraid to hire people to take over job duties so you can grow your business as you see fit.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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