Thursday, May 10, 2007

Billy Bob's Jerky

Have you ever driven past a particular store and wondered how it managed to stay in business? Being a business owner myself, and knowing a fair amount about the behind-the-scenes costs that can be involved, I often find myself thinking about that sort of thing when I look at certain businesses. Sometimes it is high costs that drive someone out of business, other times it might be insufficient customers, and sometimes it is just a "bad business concept" to start with. Sometimes I even feel sorry for the owner, because I just can’t help but think that the business was doomed from the start.

The other day, I was waiting for Alice (one of my crew bosses) to finish writing her First Aid exams at St. John Ambulance. It’s a pretty involved course that she was taking, so the exams lasted from 10am until 6:30pm. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that at the time, and I figured she would be done around 4pm, so I sat in my truck in downtown Kamloops from about 3:30pm until she was done. It wasn’t entirely a waste of time – I had lots of paperwork with me that I managed to finish, but I also spent a lot of time staring out the window at a store across the street: Billy Bob’s Jerky. And now, you probably see where this is going.

Billy Bob’s was closed when I first noticed it. I studied it for a few minutes, and decided that it must be out of business already. But then, at around 3:40pm, someone opened the doors and lit up the “open” sign. I was curious to see why a business would not open until 3:40pm on a Monday afternoon, but then I started thinking, “maybe they’re targeting the after-school crowd.” However, that was pretty doubtful, considering their product line. Among other things, they featured products such as King Crab legs and claws (10 lbs. for $99.95), hot sauces, and Ostrich Jerky.

I paid close attention to this store for the couple hours that it was open. Billy Bob’s closed at 5:30pm that afternoon, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any customers that “day.” Hopefully for the owner, it was just an off-day. I will admit though, that by the end of that afternoon, I had a burning curiosity to see what Ostrich Jerky tastes like. You see, I just can't think of a lot of other stores that I've run across which specialize in Ostrich Jerky. I may have to go visit Billy Bob the next time I’m in that part of town, looking for a quick snack.

On the drive home, we saw someone driving a shopping cart down the highway. Literally. Kamloops has a four-lane highway that has a three or four kilometer section that goes downhill at a fairly sharp slope. Someone was riding a shopping cart down one lane, at around 50-60 km/h, with cars in front and behind and beside him. I don't know whether I was more amazed that he was keeping pace with traffic without crashing, or the fact that the cars around him didn't seem that surprised by his presence.


  1. Maybe Billy Bob is more of a mail-order type establishment.

    I want one of those steerable shopping cart thing-a-ma-jobbies!

    yer old pal Tibby

  2. If you haven't had Billy Bob Jerky then you're missing out. It is by far the best beef jerky out there.

  3. ThIS IS BOB FROM Billy Bobs Jerky Inc (Chilliwack)
    Unfortunately our Kamloops Franchisee was not a good Businessman. We have been in opperation for 4 years now and sell many things, but make our jerky on sight. We are known world wide for our JERKY(THE TROOPS IN AFGANISTAN LOVE IT.(We also sell 1000 lbs of King Crab per month and have 150 different kinds of hot Sauces. If you are ever out to the coast please stop in and see us at 101 - 8645 Young Rd
    or contact me at

  4. me and my famliy stopped in on mothers was just a chance sighting of the store and we decided to stop in. they make the best beef jerky i have had in a very very long time. my husband and i finished off 3 bags in less than a week. and the Biltong that he makes is AWESOME!!!it was my first time trying it and now i am hooked, i am planning my next jerky run to be soon. if you are ever in "the wack" stop there, it is well worth it!!!!

  5. Billy Bobs Jerky In Chilliwack is still alive and well. Always fresh, always friendly. lease stop in to see them, you wont be dissapointed.

  6. Billy Bobs Jerky in Chilliwack is truly AWESOME!!! I highly recommend the Indian Candy Smoked Fish, the Jerky and the King Crab....Yummy

  7. I'm eating it right now and yes its much better than Oberto, McSweeneys and Jack Links combined!

  8. I went to Billy Bob's when I was in Chilliwack a couple of weeks ago.. Drove past it a couple of times and finally had to go in.. Their Jerky was awesome!!! I loved the original and garlic, but wished they had a peppered jerky. I also liked the sugar free cream sIda they sold... I wish I didn't live 15hrs away in Northern BC.

  9. I love the jerky as well. Only issue is I live so far away. Do they do mail orders if big enough?