The Inspiration

Why I started making jerky.

Montreal gourmet beef jerky maker and dog on dock

Against the advice of some, I decided I would tell the WHOLE story. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s who I am and what got me this far.

My name is Alex. I was born and raised in Montreal, in a loving home with Hungarian roots, with two loving parents that would do anything to see me succeed. I had a great education, graduating with a civil engineering degree from McGill University. I had a great career as an engineer, travelling across the country, from the Northwest Territories all the way to Northern Quebec, working on unique, one of a kind projects in places that people could only dream of. I met some amazing people and built friendships that would last a lifetime. I had the best group of friends anyone could ever ask for, amazing parents and a supportive family, a good job, and I even purchased my first home at  27 years old. Everything seemed great, well at least on paper.

Truth is I’m human, and like many others, I’ve had my share of problems. Some self inflicted and others as a result of certain actions beyond my control. I’ve had my battles with substance abuse. I developed a skin condition known as vitiligo, most likely brought on by stress. I’ve suffered on and off from depression and anxiety, most recently in the summer of 2016, which would eventually lead me to where I am today.

My inspiration began far before I knew it would involve making jerky for a living. It happened on April 19th, 2014, when Thunder, pictured above and now my Chief of Security, part time taste tester and most importantly, my best friend, entered my life. After being in a shelter for 4 years, his luck had finally changed as would mine. The bond that was ignited between us from the moment I first met him would surpass any that I had experienced with anyone else before. I was in a happy place.

premium beef jerky maker and dog

I would continue working as engineer for 2 years after adopting Thunder, although travelling became a lot harder having to leave him behind. That coupled with pressures from work would eventually lead to my undoing, or as looking back on it now, new opportunities in disguise.  In the summer of 2016, I suffered a major burnout and I had to take a leave of absence. Questioning myself about what I did wrong or how I could have done things differently, led me into a depression yet again. However this would open the door to therapy which would eventually lead me to start making jerky as a hobby, to take my mind off things.

When it came time to return to work, the anxiety was palpable, the feeling of pins and needles shooting through my body. I knew something had to change. Making jerky had quickly become a passion and having my best bud by my side made it even better. The decision was simple. I quit my job and MTL Jerky was born, and I haven’t looked back since. At the very least, my wish is that this story has given you hope and inspiration to follow your dreams and do what you love. We only have a limited amount of time on this beautiful planet and we never know when our time will be up, better make the best use of it.