Imagine our surprise when we received several packages of craft jerky and sausage in the mail the other day. The brand was Duke’s, and we opened Duke’s package and ate his meat. (Yeah, we know.) It was tasty stuff, and the label on the package said the company was located in the Southwest. But we soon learned that the company’s founder and CEO, Justin Havlick, was starting up the smokehouse to make these products in Michigan. A business opening in Michigan? Was this an example of Gov. Rick Snyder’s low-tax, pro-business policies paying off? We considered that perhaps there had been thousands of jerky manufacturers just yearning to locate in Michigan, but the flames of their enthusiasm had been dampened by our pesky old single-business tax! We were all ears on why Havlick chose to locate his facility in Macomb. Well, turns out that the CEO had nothing to tell us about low taxes rewarding him as a job-creator. He just wanted to talk about how Michigan people understand meat and work hard. “Michigan is highly reputable for their sausages and smoked meats,” he told us through his publicist. “We wanted to be a part of the state’s famous meat culture.” He also mentioned “good, honest employees that specialize in labor for packaging, distribution, etc.” Havlick also praised the infrastructure in the state, saying “The layout of the ‘smokehouse’ made for a perfect facility for making smoked meats. We looked at quite a few facilities in Michigan, and finally found the perfect one.” And so he’s chosen Macomb Township as the site where he’ll produce his all-natural jerky, creating jobs for more than 50 Michiganders. How about that? It sure sounds like honest hard workers, extensive food infrastructure and vigorous local food culture made the difference here. (As for those “pro-growth” policies — well, keep on trying, governor. We’re sure prosperity is right around the corner.) To learn more about Duke’s jerky, see dukesmeats.com.
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