Biltong's Journey to America
In the late 1600s, the Joubert Family, who were French Huguenots, settled in the fertile valleys of the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa. For generations, their secret family recipe and method of curing beef was passed down for all of their future generations to enjoy.
Back in those days, biltong was simply sold over the counter and given to customers in a folded brown paper bag. No regulations, labels, or health requirements. Just delicious biltong in a bag. Dawid Joubert made biltong for himself and sold it at the butchers shop he owned. To his family and the South African culture, biltong was nothing out of the ordinary.
In the 90s, Dawid decided to expand his family's opportunities and moved to America. However, now being well over 8,000 miles away from home, the feelings of missing home started to settle in. Dawid made biltong for himself and his family to bring a little glimpse of back home. Made in his home, Dawid would season, cure, and slice the biltong fresh releasing happy memories with each bite. As they met new friends, they too would get to experience the delicious flavor and tenderness that biltong had to offer upon each visit. As usual, the questions of "What is that?" came first, followed a variety of 'yums' and finally a "Where can I get some?" Before Dawid knew it, his friends were requested some biltong for themselves. After simply asking for a slab or two the next time Dawid made some for himself, those requested started to turn into orders. That's when Dawid realized that he was on to something with great potential.
Thus, Biltong USA was incorporated in 1995. But the journey to get biltong where Dawid wanted, and where it is today, was only just beginning.
Dawid then began to invest in equipment, quality spices and beef, and a variety of potential locations for his company to grow. Then, he began his lengthy process of research, applications, and a long list of other processes to get biltong to where it needed to be with the USDA. Biltong was of course a foreign concept to Americans and due to the lack of heat, or cooking, in its process, Dawid struggled to get the approval. "Why isn't it cooked? Is it safe to eat? How is it safe if you don't cook it?" Testing, studies, and a variety of other steps became the norm for Biltong USA. If only one test was required, Dawid would take more to ensure his product was healthy and safe for consumption without cooking of any sort.
In 2005, it happened. Dawid, a.k.a. The Biltong King, got the approval from the USDA. His company finally grew from strong to stronger to becoming one of the most-loved and highest-quality biltong suppliers.
Dawid Joubert was able to make Biltong USA the very first meat processing plant to be approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). In addition to this great achievement, Dawid's biltong plant also acquired the internationally recognized HACCP approval (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) along with the approval of any FSIS agency (Food Safety and Inspection Service).
As the years passed, our team continued to grow. We are beyond thrilled to still have members on our team today who have helped Biltong to grow here in America many years ago. After over 15 years of our team's loyalty and determination to grow what we all knew would bring joy to others, and their appetites, our team has become close and stronger than ever. We've seen each of our team members grow their families and improve their lives as time went on.
"I like my work too much,
that's why I've been here so long."
Dawid felt that he wanted to provide a family atmosphere where the employees felt more like team members. To do so, each Christmas, Dawid and his wife would ask all their team members what their children were asking Santa to bring them. At the annual Christmas dinner party, Dawid would grill some of the delicious steaks, boerewors (sausages), and famous South African "pap" for everyone to feast on. After dinner, Santa would appear to pass out the wrapped gifts by the Christmas tree. The smiles on those young faces and the joy in their innocent laughs would fill the room as each child opened their new toy before Christmas day. The parents would smile, watching their children be thrilled by the surprise, bringing happiness to both Dawid and his wife.
© Biltong USA