What started as a hobby morphed into a business, and now Shannon Ronan and Breelyn MacDonald are “helping to smash the proverbial glass ceiling in the industry and be a presence.”
As founders of Two Chicks Jerky, a women and LGBT certified jerky company based in San Rafael, CA, they’re bringing female faces to a predominantly masculine market.
Their story starts in Nevada City, CA, where they both grew up. Despite attending the same high school, their paths didn’t cross until they started working together at a local restaurant. From there, the relationship blossomed. They fell in love and got married.
While at home, Ronan started to make homemade beef jerky as a healthy, high-protein snack they could bring on hikes, road trips, concerts and everything in between. It was important that they knew where the meat came from and how it was raised, so they started sourcing it themselves and began testing recipes.
The jerky took center stage when the couple embarked on a five-month road trip. They wanted quality food high in protein to fuel them, so they packed plenty in their backpacks, and then shared it with folks they met along their journey. And got incredible feedback.
Upon their return, people started asking where they could buy their jerky. As requests rolled in, they decided to get serious about turning their passion into a business. They ran a Kickstarter campaign to help launch their venture, and Two Chicks Jerky was officially born.
Today, the two attribute their success to the quality of their most important ingredient: 100% grass-fed and finished beef. The jerky comes in five flavors: classic, habanero, carne asada, classic turkey and spicy turkey.
What makes their meat even more enticing? The fact that they’re passionate about giving back to the community through their Giving Back Initiative. “We always knew we wanted to give back to non-profits that were meaningful to us,” said Ronan.
Causes they’ve supported over the years include Bear Yuba Land Trust, One Tam, ACLU, Color of Change and the Looking Out Foundation. Many of the organizations close to their hearts support women’s rights, the environment and LGBTQ rights.
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