Get ready for a new beefy grab-and-go spot in Downtown Saratoga Springs. The Beef Jerky Outlet officially opened on November 29 (Black Friday) at 514 Broadway in the Algonquin Building space that was until October the Comic Depot. The new location is part of a growing national franchise dedicated to the protein-heavy snack, and offers more than 50 varieties and flavors of premium jerky and jerky-related products. We’re talking a meat-lovers paradise: everything from selections of jerky meats that include traditional beef, salmon, venison, elk and even vegan options (yes, meat-free jerky!) to a panoply of flavors to choose from, such as teriyaki, spicy buffalo, honey barbeque and, for the bold, crawfish-flavored.
“We need some more grab-and-go places like this up here in Saratoga,” says Mike Kinnally, a Guilderland teacher who co-owns the Saratoga store with his brother, Tim, and their partner Cory Leggiero. “Growing up, you think of the beef jerky you’d see in convenience stores, but this is high-end beef jerky.” Kinnally’s not kidding either. Beef Jerky Outlet uses only whole muscle beef raised in the United States. In addition to that aforementioned smorgasbord of meats, Beef Jerky Outlet also features a wide variety of meatless snackables, from sweets and candies, flavored popcorns, cheese crisps and pickled products to more than 100 signature hot sauces, dips and jams. The Saratoga location will stock a number of locally-made items as well, including honey, maple and cheese products. “It’s not just a store for your man cave,” says Kinnally. “It’s a store for everybody.”
To show off that gastronomic variety, the Saratoga location will also host regular tastings of the store’s dips, jams and jellies. Plus, there are always free, in-store samples of jerky all week long. “In the summertime, we’ll also have things like free cheese tastings with some of our local cheese providers,” says Kinnally. “Every weekend we’ll do something different.”
Kinnally first got the idea to open a jerky store from a vacation he took several years ago with his wife to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was there that he encountered his first Beef Jerky Outlet store, and later got to meet the owner of the chain, which is headquartered in Kodak, TN. “We thought something like that would do well in New York, considering how many people from the Northeast were shopping in those stores,” says Kinnally. Shortly after returning to the Capital Region, the Guilderland teacher and soccer coach followed through with his idea, opening New York State’s first Beef Jerky Outlet in Latham in February 2017.
Since then, Kinnally and his business partners have expanded the operation, opening a pop-up location at the Crossgates Mall in Albany and now, as of two weeks ago, the Saratoga storefront. “We always wanted to be in Saratoga and thought it was a great home-base for all Capital District people,” says Kinnally. “Really, we just want people to come in, and see what we have. If they like jerky, they’re going to love it here, and if they don’t like jerky, they’re going to love it when they leave.”