WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | THE JERKY JOINT
The Jerky Joint, located in the Frankenmuth Riverplace Shops, is the home of what is likely Michigan’s largest selection of jerky. With over 300 varieties of meats and flavors, I challenge you to come up with someone offering more!
The Jerky Joint was designed by William Zehnder Keller, the grandson of William (aka Tiny) and Dorothy Zehnder, founders of the famous Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth. William designed the interior of the store to pay homage to his family’s “deep-seeded” farming roots in the Frankenmuth area. He is proud to display items reclaimed from the family farm, including a giant sliding barn door from 1910, a meat cleaver from an old slaughterhouse on Grandpa Tiny’s farm, and a wood-carving bench from the Oscar Frank cabinet shop, created in the late 1890s. The store’s atmosphere is fun and lively, making it an enjoyable destination to visit along with shopping.
The Jerky Joint specializes in a diverse mix of meat choices – from alligator to kangaroo to ostrich and buffalo – it’s all there. And with flavors such as blackberry merlot and bacon jerky (yes, I said bacon jerky), how can you go wrong? Besides the exotic meats and flavors, they have all the old standbys: beef, venison, elk, turkey, and chicken, in your favorite honey BBQ, cherry maple, and teriyaki flavors. The Jerky Joint’s flame thrower and whiskey flavors are gaining in popularity as well.
Store manager Tammy Rodda says that fruit-flavored jerky has caught on and become a real hit in the store. Pineapple mango and apple cranberry come in the form of jerky sticks, which makes them convenient to grab and go. Another unique item (that this writer wants to try!) is jerky-flavored cheese spreads. The spreads are available in pheasant and smoked Gouda, along with elk and roasted garlic. Yum!
Besides all these tasty treats, the store stocks many interesting items. Make-your-own jerky kits, jerky shooters, and drying racks for the do-it-yourselfer are available, along with branding irons, Himalayan salt cooking blocks, and many meat rubs and sauces.
Need a special and unique gift? How about the Jerky Bucket of Meat? Make your selections and have them arranged and wrapped in a creative gift pack, or choose a pre-made gift package if you are in a hurry.
Store hours vary based on the season.
The Jerky Joint 925 South Main, Suite B1 Frankenmuth 48734 l (989) 430-2687 l JerkyJointFrankenmuth.com