Last Thursday it was wet, and cold, and it felt like winter instead of the breezy fall Brooklynites had experienced a few days prior, but those who came out to Kings County Saloon were greeted with a delicious and unique treat in the back of the establishment: three bowls each filled with different flavors of vegan jerky. This was the launch party for CocoBurg Vegan Jerky.
Maya Perry and Kelli Fisher, jerky masters.
Seth Sybery is the founder of CocoBurg, which raised $13,000 on Kickstarter. Since successfully crowdfunding he’s bought a bunch of equipment and hired two staffers, Maya Perry and Kelli Fisher, whom he calls jerky masters.
Jerky in the works.
The decision to have the launch party at Kings County Saloon was an easy one: “We share the kitchen,” said Seth. The bar doesn’t use the kitchen in the morning and that’s when Syberg and his recent hires produce the meat alternative. How much more local can they get sharing a kitchen with the Bushwick bar? They also buy all the ingredients for the vegan jerky, except the coconut, from the Bushwick Food Co-Op.
Three types of jerky were available at the launch party: chili lime, original flavor, and ginger teriyaki.
Seth who was vegan for many, many years “made every vegan recipe under the sun” before he decided to start the business. “To me they’re a small snack“ he said. He’s heard of people using them as “dippers” but advises they’re not really to cook with as they’re “meant to be eaten straight” from the bag.
“Very flavorful, all three” said Wei Gan co-founder of vegan ice cream purveyors Three Little Birds. “We would use it as a toppings [on the ice cream].” “Best Friday night you can imagine” added Seth. Another use for the vegan jerky includes chopping it up and putting it in a salad.
It’s kind of staggering the diets you can tick off with vegan jerky made from dehydrated coconut meat: it’s raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and paleo according to their website. Many people went in for second fistfuls of the snack. “The textured is different. The texture’s a little smoother, not stringy. If someone told me it’s meat I’d believe them,” said jerky lover Tessa Kramer.
Kings County Saloon’s customers celebrating the launch of this tasty vegan jerky.
“I thought it was delicious and surprising,” said Ashley Roche. “It reminds me of dried mango. Awesome option for vegan options you don’t have to prepare. The convenience is super awesome.” She bought four bags for her vegan sister.
The three bowls of jerky up for tasting were chili lime, original flavor, and ginger teriyaki. While Seth has found that there’s no clear favorite overall, for the night, original won out; a sentiment echoed by Ms. Roche, “I loved the other two [flavors], but the original was my favorite.”