GAIA: AN ORIGIN STORY
A Desire to Be Different
Gaia is our take on a traditional peppered jerky. Although the flavor profile is a variation of a classic, the concept of Gaia was born out of a desire to be different. We wanted to go above and beyond what a simple peppered jerky could be, but we also wanted to create something that was far different from our first two jerky recipes. The need to be different is what drove Gaia to be what it is today.
With Island Teriyaki and Habanero Guava beef jerky recipes under our belt, we felt that it was important to go in a very different direction with our third flavor. We didn’t want to paint ourselves into a corner and be known as a “tropical” beef jerky company. Instead, we wanted to remove all potential limitations by creating a recipe that signaled to our future customers that no style, cuisine or culture would be off limits to our jerky. Our new flavor would serve as a passport to other regions of the world and their flavors.
So how did this passport take us to the Mediterranean and inspire a garlic-peppered jerky? Well, it happened on accident. We settled on a traditional peppered beef jerky recipe because it would be different enough from our other flavors. It also seemed like a safe choice because just about every beef jerky company has an original peppered flavor. However, in typical Windward fashion, we sought to make a more premium and interesting version of it. Pepper alone would not suffice, so we packed the recipe with garlic, herbs, and smoked paprika. To finish it off with a gourmet touch, we decided to add extra virgin olive oil to the marinade. It wasn’t until late in the process that we realized that there was a heavy Mediterranean influence on this recipe. A desire to be different opened doors to new places for our beef jerky.
A Name that Grounds us to our Mission
Our new jerky recipe was full of herbs and spices that that had us thinking about the landscapes where they were cultivated. We market Gaia as beef jerky that will ground you to the Earth, but it also grounds us as a company to our ideals and mission. From the get-go we made it our mission to make sustainable beef jerky. From our use of 100% grass-fed beef and all-natural ingredients to our recent switch to eco-friendly packaging, sustainability has and always will drive our decisions. It seemed appropriate to name the new flavor after the Goddess of Earth. This was our way to creatively express our commitment to our mission. Gaia serves as a constant reminder of who we are, a nontraditional beef jerky company committed to sustainability.