RICHFIELD — You can jerky anything.
Mike Rothschadl is a firm believer in that. After spending 25 years in the military he decided to open the Beef Jerky Outlet.
“We say you can jerky anything,” Rothschadl said. Rothschadl, 44, said the Beef Jerky Outlet is a franchise that was created four years ago. After Rothschadl retired from the Air Force, he was looking to open a business.
He was in the Army as well, specializing in homeland security. The outlet has a franchise program for veterans. It offers a 50 percent discount on the franchise fee for them. The outlet also gives high priority to recruit former military into the franchise.
Mary Rothschadl, 39, Mike’s wife and co-owner, said she laughed when Mike told her he wanted to open the Beef Jerky Outlet.
“No, I was completely supportive of him opening a business, but I laughed at the beef jerky idea,” Mary Rothschadl said. “Then when he showed commitment this is something he was really interested in he sold me on some of the reasons why I was maybe fearful. I bought in very quickly.”
The Rothschadls live in Watertown. Mike Rothschadl said he looked at a couple of locations before settling on Richfield, but he said the owners of the building and the village were receptive to the business.
“We had to rezone the entire store and the village of Richfield has been outstanding,” Mike Rothschadl said. “With that kind of a combination and the reception from the community it was a slam dunk decision to go here.”
Village President John Jeffords said Rothschadl is enthusiastic and has a good model. “The same people that end up going to Cabela’s will end up in his store,” Jeffords said. “They compliment each other.”
He hopes the outlet brings many customers to Richfield and they will explore the rest of the village.
The building that features an outdoor theme is filled with beef jerky, hot sauces, rubs, gourmet popcorn, peanut butter and novelty items like suckers that have real worms, ants and scorpions in the center.
The beef jerky is made in Tennessee and Michigan. Mike Rothschadl said it’s flavorful because the beef jerky comes from premium cuts of meat and is made in small batches. “One is an old school Worcestershire-based jerky and it’s more old school like your grandfather used to make,” Rothschadl said.
“Our newer school stuff is made in the Michigan facility. It’s a sweeter cut, a thicker cut. It’s either got a honey glaze or brown sugar. It’s two different ways of doing jerky,” he added.
Visitors can taste any item before they buy it. Large barrels line the back of the store so customers can sample the food.
The Beef Jerky Outlet opened a couple of weeks ago and it’s been busy. Mike Rothschadl said beef jerky is flying off the shelf and he had to order more three times last week. He usually orders once a week.
“Jerky is extremely popular. It’s over a $2 billion-ayear industry. This is the only franchise with a nationwide beef jerky franchise outlet. We broke the mold,” Mike Rothschadl said.
There are four employees, but they are looking at hiring two more for the summer. Mary Rothschadl said she has spent most of her career in human resources, which has helped. “That’s where I’ve been stepping in,” she said. “I also have a degree in marketing. We complement each other in getting this off the ground.”
Mike Rothschadl said the store is a fun experience. The Rothschadls are also committed to helping the community. First responders get a 10 percent discount everyday.