Meet The Face Behind JERKY MOUNTAIN
Hello, my name is Hagins Fugate (Hey-guns Few-get), the proud owner of JERKY MOUNTAIN®️ beef jerky. I look forward to sharing my company story and hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
Prior to founding Jerky Mountain, I had a successful twenty-five-year career as a Senior Design and Creative Director working for some of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies. I designed and managed internal and external creative design teams to produce everything from Print ads and TV commercials to creative package designs to household brand identities.
The Turning Point
One of the unfortunate realities of large companies is that they are always in a perpetual state of hiring or downsizing, which creates uncertainty, to say the least. The latest outsourcing was my entire creative department. We were informed just before Thanksgiving of 2014. I have been through this routine several different times in my career with other corporations. I had gotten in the habit of keeping my resume up to date and began searching online for employment opportunities. Meanwhile, during a routine check-up with my local family physician, I happened upon a book on the rack written by a hospice nurse entitled “The Top Five Regrets of Dying Patients.” The first regret they shared was Wishing they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them.
Examples they gave included the fear of failure if they started a business or regrets for working so hard to enrich others versus following their dreams to enrich themselves.
So I asked myself, “What if I did something else for a living? What would that be?” “What skills have I acquired or honed to apply to the next chapter in my career?” So I sat down and wrote a list of everything I felt I had enough knowledge and desire to succeed as a business.
I decided to pursue one of my passions I had been perfecting for longer than twenty-five years, making beef jerky. I was introduced to making Beef jerky by a long-time friend, Joe. He had sourced a basic recipe from a work associate and had purchased a small dehydrator.
After that first experience, I was hooked and started giving away bags of jerky as gifts to family and friends on special occasions and holidays. Over the years, I experimented with recipes by making minor tweaks, but I always stuck with the same philosophy of Better Ingredients, Better Taste, and Better Jerky.
Tasting Success (Eventually)
In February 2019, I started pursuing a business license. Admittedly, I had no idea just how complicated getting a license to process raw meat would be. It took a long time to get approval from the Arizona State Environmental Services and the Department of Agriculture. Understandably so, the requirements are substantial, with documented back-up systems in place for each step. It’s called a Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point Flowchart. After securing a commercial kitchen and meeting all inspection and process requirements, my approval letter finally came through on February 11, 2020, which was just before everything shut down for COVID-19. I built my first website shortly after that to keep the business alive, as well as knocking on many, many doors selling individual bags to craftsmen and craftswomen because the farmers markets were closed. I’ve recently re-launched my website www.jerkymountain.com in June 2022. I would appreciate it if you would check it out and share your comments on my jerky.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that the internet is more flooded with email advertising than when the lockdown first happened in 2020. Getting a potential customer’s attention is far more challenging today with so much online noise. The price of beef and seasonal ingredients has also risen sharply during the past two years. Despite these challenges, I’m committed to using authentic ingredients to make the taste and texture of my jerky a cut above the rest. It includes using high-quality USDA beef, sourcing proprietary seasonings, and tenderizing the succulent meat to create mouth-watering jerky flavors. I currently offer six flavor options: Black Peppered, Pot Roast, Honey Garlic, Honey Sriracha, Sweet Heat Teriyaki, and 7 Chiles, and I’m working on perfecting more flavors including both Keto (Sugar-Free) and gluten free varieties.
Incredible Customer Satisfaction
I am customer and quality-focused and enjoy interacting with people at farmers’ markets, fairs, and events.
I operate my business honestly, and as an individual, I believe my integrity sets me apart.
In addition, I attribute my success to my wife, Anne. She has been instrumental in supporting my career change and in getting the company up and running. She performed every facet of the operation alongside me in our shared commercial kitchen to fulfill orders in our first year. I could not have made it this far without her physical and mental fortitude, her sense of humor and emotional support. As a result, my enterprise has grown substantially in sales, distribution, and capacity.
The most gratifying part of my business is witnessing someone getting pleasure and satisfaction from consuming the product I created from scratch.
When I’m not making Beef Jerky, I love fishing, camping, and exploring the Arizona landscape.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business. If you or someone you know could benefit from my expertise as the owner of an online beef jerky company in Phoenix, AZ, I invite you to contact me. Please call (602) 708-3059 or email email@example.com.
FARMERS MARKETS participation
Every SATURDAY 9 AM to 1 PM
Arrowhead Mall (In front of Dillards)
1st Sunday of each month 10 AM to 2 PM
McDowell Mountain Community Center
2nd Sunday of each month 9 AM to 1 PM
3rd Sunday of each month 10 AM to 2 PM
4th Sunday of each month 9 AM to 1 PM
ALSO Available everyday at
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Owner/Chief Jerky Officer