What started out as a passion for good meat is becoming a full-time gig for Gary Leo.
Leo, a 20-year resident of Marathon and bartender at the Brass Monkey bar for the past seven years, said he started making beef jerky as a snack and sold a few bags of it at work.
Demand grew to the point where he decided to open his own store, Little Weeps Jerky, at 6799 Overseas Highway oceanside, in between the Pro Fades Barbershop and Purrr-fect Thrift Store.
“People love it. It’s handcrafted jerky, not mass produced,” Leo said. “Each piece is hand cut. We take our time in the marinating and cooking process.”
That process takes a full 24 hours, including preparing meat for three and a half hours, marinating it for 12 hours and cooking it for eight and a half hours.
So far, Little Weeps’ flavors include spicy teriyaki, and original beef and turkey recipes. Leo plans to expand into other meats like buffalo, elk, ostrich and whatever else he can get.
“It’s a good snack food. Riding a motorcycle, it’s nice to have a bag of jerky,” Leo said.
A half-pound bag of jerky costs $10.
The website www.littleweeps.com is still under construction, however, Leo said orders can be requested through the website. He’s said he’s attracted customers as far as New York, California and Ontario, Canada. A majority of orders are filled by walk-ins.
Outside of jerky, Leo is in the works on making all-natural dog food treats.
If you go
What: Little Weeps
Where: 6799 Overseas Highway, Marathon
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays