Meet Biff and Buck
What's the story behind your nicknames?
Biff: Nicknames stick sometimes, when my kids were just teenagers, they dared me to do a karaoke once. And they wrote down Biff as the potential performer which was me. somehow that's 35 or nearly 40 years ago and my nickname is Biff. That's why on the back of the Jerky Bag the story says by Biff and Buck!
Buck: When I left the farm after high school, I went to a college in Calgary, I joined the track club there and because I was a farm kid - they called me Buck Owens. So Buck stuck with me for years and years racing with the Canadian Track and Field Club. ever since then my friends just kept that name going, it seemed natural to me.
How did KATZ AZZ come about?
Biff: So Lee and I got into business together about 20 years ago and we got involved in the petroleum industry, and providing specialty automotive and Equipment lubrication products. We built our business on that right up until about four years ago we decided to diversify from our existing chemicals and we decided we're going to really diversify and come up with a product that isn't quite so seasonal.
Buck: I was driving back from Las Vegas, I was at a trade show. And every time I stop for gas I grab some water, power bars and my favourite is Jerky. I picked up this Jerky and it was something that I had never seen before - it was different than other traditional beef jerky I was used to- on the way home I could not stop eating this Jerky! When I got home, I told Biff he needed to try this and it's the best thing I’ve ever tried.
What about if we diversify in our summer months and try to put together something like this. Biff took a look at me, and thought how hard could that be? Well took about 4 years, but we came up with something pretty incredible.
The Name KATZ AZZ
Biff: We used to produce and distribute a lot of specialty aerosol spray, and we would private-label our aerosol spray to hundreds of companies.
We figured out we weren't getting any kind of brand recognition, so we wanted to come up with very own product name. Strangely enough, a huge amount of our customers would try our product and tell us "This sh*t is the KATZ AZZ".
So, there you know when you're when you're putting a label to your product I mean you want to come up with a name that people remember but you still have to be mindful that you don't want to be over the edge and offend people but everybody out in the everybody out in our industry our customer base has been call our products the Katz AZZ for decades.
I don't mind offending some people…
Buck: Biff really doesn't mind pushing the envelope, and offending maybe a small group.
Biff: Our logo is a little edgy. I mean it's a nasty cat, an old biker helmet on with a huge cigar so this day and age, some of those things I suppose, are not politically correct. Our customer base just doesn't have a problem with that, we used the logo for our test Market, and everybody just loves it! They loved the name! The name is not a new name, is been used in the industry for years and years but nobody had ever trademarked the name KATZ AZZ so this is trademarked in Canada and United States - we have just changed the spelling a bit.
How has it been - starting your own jerky company?
Biff: Let's talk about how complicated it is to get a product like this, this is not a simple process! First of all, finding a company that can produce this product in the quantities that we were looking for, but also it has to be up to Federal standards so that the product can be shipped absolutely anywhere in Canada.
When our Federal plant decided to take on this Product, it was very different than their already manufactured beef jerky product that they distribute throughout Canada, but because they saw the logo and how different the marketing was behind it, and the texture which we wanted to accomplish. they decided to take it on.
Buck: Every time Biff and I do something we want it to be the best that we can be. When you open up the bag, the smell the taste, you cannot keep from going back to get more. Make something the best it can be.
Being a Canadian company, Biff and I both grew up on Alberta farms. We thought this would be an incredible product to support the beef and pork suppliers of Canada. This is completely Canadian-made, based In western Canada, our head office is in Red Deer Alberta. We just wanted to put out the best product and support the local beef and pork producers of our country, and we are very very proud of what we have been able to accomplish
We're also very very proud to be involved in community activities within our company and our product is used by many Junior sports teams for fundraising are involved also in fundraising and we're really really excited about some of the upcoming sporting events that we have been in that you invited to to get involved with so watch as soon there's going to be a proper cat's ass mascot possibly at a sports arena near you someday soon
Buck: Jerky with attitude means so many different things. People that are working, people that are active, it is just a favourite snack of people that are involved.
Building this product building this business we're so excited to share this with as many people as we can and one thing for sure we are absolutely insisting that everybody that uses our product drives our product be 100% happy with what we have done here we already know that's the case and so far we just want to say a big thanks to everybody has supported us we're looking forward to taking this company to the next step.
What's your favorite flavor of katz azz jerky?
Biff: You know, of the three jerky flavours we have so far, sweet teriyaki cracked pepper and mild ghost pepper my favourite is teriyaki
Buck: ghost pepper is my favourite absolutely. I find when I bite in the ghost pepper it takes about 22 seconds- between 20 and 22 seconds sometimes, 21 seconds I just start to feel the heat and then at 22 seconds it starts to mellow out and by 23 seconds I'm wishing I would have been back where it was about 20 or 21 seconds