Get to Know Winter Farmers’ Market Vendor: Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky
Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky is one of the more than 80 local vendors you can find at this weekend’s Winter Farmers’ Market. From 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 make your way through the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) to find beef jerky with that smokey flavor dogs love.
What is your business?
Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky, headquartered in Omaha, NE, started from giving and selling all-natural and preservative-free beef jerky, as a way to give back to Heartland German Shepherd Rescue (HUGS). A portion of the proceeds earned from the business continues to be donated to HUGS in support of the dog rescue organization.
What do you specialize in?
Treats contain three seasonings that offer benefits to dogs, including:
Cinnamon – Helps counteract diabetes in dogs
- Ginger – This helps with GI issues and upset stomachs
- Turmeric – Helpful as an anti-inflammatory and with joint issues
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for the business came about after noticing the amount of drool Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky Owner Sean Monahan’s own dogs produced while he attempted to make his first jerky.
How long have you had your business?
Since July 2022. Currently, there are no storefront or online sales, so all the company is doing are market events.
What’s your favorite part about the Winter Market?
Partner Matt Allen suggested attending the farmers’ market in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), but it was too late to participate in the summer Downtown Farmers’ Market. He went ahead and applied for the Winter Market, attending the November event. While it was only 15 degrees at the start, the reception was positive for Jax & Josie’s Smoked Jerky. They will be at The Market this weekend, too.
What memory stands out the most when you look back at your time at Winter Market?
When attending Markets, Monahan enjoys interacting with the dogs the most. When people see how they react to the jerky, they want to purchase right away. Along with learning more about different dog breeds, Monahan enjoys being as interactive as possible. For summer events when they can bring a small dog pool for the dogs to cool down in.
At the November Market, Monahan appreciated the Greater Des Moines Partnership team welcoming them to their booth and meeting the other vendors and see everyone’s willingness to help.
What advice would you have for new vendors?
Do it! Not only is there exposure, but when you’re at the Market, buyers can see the passion you have for your product and want to be a part of your business’ story. Meet some amazing people as a small business owner. You never know who might help you out when you network at events like the Market.
How can people support your business outside of The Market?
Online sales launch at the end of this week at jandjsmokedjerky.com. Watch for information on pop-up events on the Jax & Josie's Smoked Jerky Instagram and Facebook pages.
From May to October, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Downtown Farmers’ Market featuring nearly 300 family farmers, bakers, artists and crafters from around the state. It’s easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.
In November and December, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Winter Farmers’ Market, now taking place in the Historic Court District.