Vegan jerky saves couple’s bacon

VEGAN jerky has helped an Ipswich couple climb out of a financial abyss and almost into a "dream come true".

Just nine years ago Sue and Graeme Randle were forced to sell their cars, house and even camping equipment after they lost a huge investment in an education technology company.

"We were developing the company, when the guy basically took off," she said.

"We thought, we're not going to let us break us, which it did for a bit.

"We thought, we'll … start our company and not invest in anyone else, we'll invest in ourselves."

Now, they have sold tens of thousands of packets of their vegan jerky since last December and are stocked on IGA shelves across Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.

Sue Randle of K.M. Foods with her range of vegan jerky plant-based protein snacks. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker
Sue Randle of K.M. Foods with her range of vegan jerky plant-based protein snacks. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker

Originally, they wanted to sell imported vegan jerky but did not like any of the brands they tried.

"We thought, how about we do our own?"

The Augustine Heights couple worked with a manufacturer in Taiwan to develop a meatless jerky with good flavour and texture and a nutritional profile similar to traditional jerky.

They developed four flavours - teriyaki and ginger, barbecue, Texas barbecue and pepper steak - put in their first order last September and started selling in December.

K.M. Foods range of vegan jerky flavours. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker
K.M. Foods range of vegan jerky flavours. Picture: AAP/Richard Walker

"I mean it's not quite a dream come true yet, it's a dream in the process," Ms Randle said.

Sue Randle has been vegetarian and vegan off and on since she was 13 but finally decided stick with it.

"I thought, 'no, enough'," she said.

"It was no good for my body, no good for the environment, and no good for the animals.

"I missed a lot of things being vegan, and one of them was jerky."



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