Renée C. Gage
Q: What’s your background? Was your family in the food industry?
A: I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri, lived in Daytona Beach, Florida, then Alice, Texas for the past 25 years. I did carpenter work for most of my life. But over time, my bad back wouldn’t allow me to do it very well anymore. My family has always been in construction, but I needed something new.
Q: How did you get in to making jerky? Do you sell anything else?
A: I’ve always loved jerky, and I thought this could be my next venture! I get the jerky shipped in from a father and two sons that make it, and all I know is that everyone says it’s the best out there. A winter Texan, Tony Langford from California, taught me how to get set up. I took his model and tweaked it a bit. Although Jerky is so popular, I sell other items such as high-end hunting knives and homemade slingshots that I make myself. You never know what you may need on the road!
Q: What’s the crowd favorite?
A: Smokehouse original is the best seller. But Teriyaki, Pepper, Hot, and Sweet & Hot also fly off the shelves. But I also sell outside-the-box Jerky such as Elk and Buffalo for those adventurous types with curious palettes.
Q: Why did you choose to sell here on the side of the highway?
A: I know that Jerky seems to be on the menu for travelers so that’s why I set up shop on the highway! Considering most of my clients are travelers, I am only open on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays, weather permitting. For four years I’ve bounced around from Victoria, Beeville, Goliad, Green Lake, and currently Rockport. I seem to do better when I move from spot to spot, that way, people don’t get tired of me!
Q: What are some of you most memorable customers?
A: The most memorable customers and travelers are the little kids. There’s nothing more special than seeing the smile on their faces when I joke around with them. I work hard at making it a great experience when people stop at my stand and it allows me to show the power of God through me. I work at letting my light shine. Sometimes I want to paint on my signs “Jerky, tourist information, and counseling.” Ha!