JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A golf caddie’s homemade snack is now being packaged and sold, with help from the Professional Golf Association and a local investor who believes beef jerky could translate to big business.
"It was always a dream I had to run my own company one day, and now I’m fortunate enough to get to do it.”
This dream came about when Jeff King started working on a healthy snack to eat while he was a caddie for the PGA. That healthy snack is now the official jerky of the PGA Tour.
“He was frustrated with what he saw out there in the market, so he found a dehydrator from Bass Pro Shop and pulled some recipes off the internet and started making jerky and bringing it out on the tour in Ziploc bags and getting input form players and ultimately created the products you see here today," said Brandon native Tom Ponder.
Ponder played football and was a finance major at Millsaps College in the late 80’s. He heard about an investment opportunity with Kingmade Jerky and is now the CEO. He says being a part of this company and having the sponsorship deal with the PGA is a big deal.
“There’s just such strong connections they have with their fans, and such an impact they have in the local communities where they have events, it’s a great league to partner with," said Ponder.
After taking a swing at this company and hitting a hole in one, Ponder gets the chance to walk the halls that he walked 30 years ago. Advisors say that they get to sit back and cheer him on in his accomplishment.
”It’s been a privilege to get to know you, that’s for sure, and to watch your career go. You see, that’s the reward that we get," he said.
Recipes concocted by a caddie are now finding new success well beyond the golf course.
"We would love to have this brand wherever meat snacks are sold.”
Currently, Kingmade Jerky is sold across the country at many golf courses, such as the Jackson Country Club, and is also available at KingmadeJerky.com.