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How a Fox alumnus turned his favorite snack into a career

December 16, 2019
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Photo source: Chudabeef website

When Kevin Casey, BBA ‘10, tried his first piece of homemade beef jerky, he fell in love with the taste. Shortly afterward, he decided to make his own. Casey initially started making jerky for himself and his friends, a project that blossomed into creating it for the Long Beach community and beyond. Since the official launch of Chudabeef Jerky Company in 2014, the business has been rapidly expanding. Kevin Casey’s passion and drive serve as an example of how Fox’s resources and networks prepare students to succeed. 

At the Fox School, Casey took full advantage of the resources offered to him, and he continues to utilize these skills in his current business venture. “The courses were excellent and engaging, and the curriculum opened my eyes to how much fun it would be to someday run my own business,” says Casey.

As President of the Temple Snowboard club, Casey innovatively combined courses and extracurricular activities into skills that he finds extremely useful when running his business. “I was able to transfer a lot of skills I learned at Fox into running the club and overcoming all of the challenges you would normally go through during the startup phase of a business,” says Casey. “We always had to find ways to be creative and fun, and I think what I learned at Fox helped me grow the club to one of the largest on-campus!”

As an alumnus, Kevin Casey is still taking advantage of Fox’s resources to help grow Chudabeef Jerky. “The resources available to Fox alumni have been incredibly valuable,” says Casey. “Everyone has been very helpful, there is always someone available to help with any roadblocks that I run into while running my business.” 

Recently closing a deal with supermarket chain Publix, Chudabeef will be on Publix’s shelves in January 2020, serving as an exciting start to the new year. “Publix is huge for us because it will open the doors to more East Coast distribution. This also increases our store count from 1,200 to 2,430 stores—so 2020 is already off to a great start,” says Casey. 

While attending Fox, Kevin understood the importance of a work-life balance, and now while managing a booming business, he still finds time to relax with his wife and close friends. “In the summers, we hike and camp as much as possible and in the winter, I blow off steam most weekends snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain,” says Kevin. “And, of course, I bring a ton of jerky to stay fueled for the day—and to keep my friends fueled.”