On occasion, we test new products in small distribution regions across the country. Currently, we are rolling out a small batch of grass-fed, grass-finished beef jerky in the Northeast. Here’s a little background on the small business, Brothers Artisanal, we partnered with on this trial release.
New Bedford, Massachusetts has a rich sea-faring history. Once the whaling capital of the world, it was the setting off point for both Herman Melville and his fictional character Ishmael on their epic real—and imagined—whaling adventures. It is also the port from which ButcherBox sources its wild-caught scallops.
So, it is quite interesting to stumble upon Brothers Artisanal on a sidestreet of the New Bedford Historical District, a harpoons throw from the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Founded by native sons of the city, brothers Pierre and Phil Beauregard, Brothers Artisanal makes a multitude of uniquely flavored jerky from grass-fed, grass-finished beef, organic turkey, and heritage-breed pork.
On a recent visit to Brothers’ headquarters, a bright warehouse where it’s hard to find wall space that isn’t covered in colorful street art, the focus on high-quality ingredients and the attention to detail that goes into creating amazing jerky are evident.
Phil Beauregard—an angel investor and serial entrepreneur—spends a lot of his time these days at Brothers kitchen and storefront tasting room. The founder grew up in the New Bedford food industry working his way up from busboy to prep cook in area restaurants. “It was kind of that normal course of action for a kid my age coming from New Bedford,” Beauregard said. “I learned most of my culinary abilities that have been waxing and waning since then in every position that you can possibly imagine in a restaurant.” Later, Beauregard’s first company, Objective Logistics, which was acquired by CarbonBlack, was a restaurant-focused software application that gamified scheduling for waiters and waitresses.
Phil’s older brother Pierre is a self-taught chef and writer. His wife’s family came from a line of Iowa farmers and dairy farmers, and, as Phil explains it, they had an old-school jerky recipe that I remembered. “I asked my sister-in-law for that recipe and I started making 10 pounds of beef jerky at a time, and fast-forward five years, that hobby turned into something where and all my buddies that had tried the jerky started asking to buy it off me while I was still running the tech company,” Beauregard explained.
“It just really kind of took on a life of its own and my brother got into the mix and we started making better and better recipes.”
Brothers has a myriad of recipes from an array of international cuisines. “We take these iconic international dishes and infuse them into the meat,” Beauregard said.
The company features flavors such as Ginger Dumpling Pork, created off of a Chinese Han Dynasty recipe or Burning Pig, a recipe inspired by the flavors of Negril, Jamaica. Its Korean Barbecue jerky takes a South Korean recipe and infused it with the bright sweetness of organic Fuji apples and Asian pears.
The relationship between Brothers Artisanal and ButcherBox goes deeper than just brand and mission alignment. ButcherBox founder and CEO Mike Salguero met Phil years ago as part of the tightknit Boston startup community. Beauregard talks a fair amount about leaning on Mike for some advice, especially in the early days when Brothers first launched as a Kickstarter campaign. “Mike was very very helpful and very, very insistent that I used grass-fed, grass-finished beef and other high-quality meats in all our products.”
Being able to offer Brothers Artisanal in limited supply is also a way to support the growing Massachusetts startup food community. Further adding jobs to an area like New Bedford is also a key part of the story of this partnership.
“There is not only an entrepreneurial and manufacturing history with New Bedford but a deep-seated food tradition,” Beauregard said.
“We are located right in the heart of downtown New Bedford, right next to the Whaling Meuseum. We are proud to be part of the food legacy of this city,” he added.
“But we decided to start pumping out the world’s best jerky as opposed to the world’s best seafood.”