Anyone who enjoys beef jerky may soon find themselves making frequent trips to Hamilton Crossing shopping center on Louisville Road.
The Beef Jerky Outlet opened recently at the shopping center in Alcoa behind Panera Bread. Manager/co-owner Craig Dinwiddie and his grandfather Hillard Crowell started the business and said their story began in Florida.
“A friend I worked with selling beef jerky on routes had the first store in Fort Myers,” Crowell said. “We moved up here, and danged if he didn’t, too, and he started a store in Sevierville.”
When Dinwiddie and Crowell decided to open up the Beef Jerky Outlet in Alcoa, Crowell said his friend helped them start it up.
Dinwiddie moved here recently from Florida to get the store going and hasn’t regretted the decision. “It’s gorgeous here with the Smoky Mountains and the ability to do so much. The people are amazing here. I don’t think I’ve met as many nice and courteous people,” he said.
Dinwiddie said the 900-square-foot store will carry a large variety of jerky. “We’ll be carrying at least 200 varieties, anything from dry jerky you take on the trail to the more juicy kind you would have at home. We’ll have more flavors -- from teriyaki to hot flavors and barbecue,” he said. “There will be exotic cheeses, hot sauces, and we’re hoping to tie in with Mr. (John) Clark who owns Vienna coffee.”
Crowell said the store will have wild game jerky and numerous other types of jerky. “It comes from different places in the U.S., some from Michigan, some from Washington, some locally,” he said.