TIME TESTED SINCE 1971
Our roots run deep. For three generations our family has been creating tender cuts of mouth-watering beef snacks you can sink your teeth into. What’s our secret? Dedication, time-tested recipes and 100% Canadian beef.
WHO IS THE BIG CHIEF?
When I was seven years old my family immigrated to Canada from Germany. We moved to Toronto and then worked our way West until we found our home in Calgary. We were a family of five until my little sister was born in the mid-60’s. We had a few delicatessens before we started making beef jerky in 1971. We sold the deli’s in the early 80’s due to the success we had selling our beef jerky. When people used to come by our facility they always referred to my Dad, Wilhelm Klein as the “Big Chief” hence we named our product line after him. My Dad passed away in 1977 leaving the company to my Mother, my three sisters and me to run.
I am a shy, quiet and humble man, passionate about jerky. I am the creator behind the jerky that you have enjoyed all these years and prefer the back-end production process to the front end paperwork and sales side. I have always left that role to the powerful women in my life. As the sole owner of the company now, I have my three daughters helping me run the company.
We keep it simple…great tasting jerky…from our family to yours for 50 years and many more to come. BIG TASTE is what you will find from our family recipes for all your BIG ADVENTURES. And trust me with so many women in my life…it has been full of many good times and memories!
The Klein family (our family) made the long journey to Canada from their home in Germany and settled in the city of Calgary, AB.
Eight years later we took the sausage-making skills honed in our homeland and opened two delicatessens under the name “Tip Top Sausage” at Brentwood Village Mall and Mcleod Mall.
Taking it up a level
Another seven years passed before we changed our name to “Alberta Fancy Sausage”.
Purchased a small manufacturing facility located in the South East of Calgary. This is where our beef jerky journey began! We started researching and testing various recipes and cooking methods for beef jerky and through all this came our… Original flavoured jerky!
After the initial success of our Original Beef Jerky flavour we sold both delicatessens and dove into the jerky business head first! We launched new flavours including Hot Peppered Jerky, Beer Jerky, and Teriyaki Jerky. At the same time experimenting with kippered-style beef which was very popular at the time.
This decade saw the end of the Hot Peppered Jerky and Beer Jerky but a new flavour was born. We took out the pepper but kept the spice and launched our Hot Flavoured Jerky which is still around today!
Big Chief Meat Snacks
Up until this time we had still operated under the Alberta Fancy Sausage name with our beef jerky products being labeled as “Big Chief Beef Jerky”. The time had come to change our name to what so many people were referring to us by anyways… Big Chief.
We changed our name to “Big Chief Meat Snacks” and purchased land in the North East of Calgary and began breaking ground to expand our operations which we would move into the next year, 2005.
Third generation family members joined the company! With so many Kleins under one roof, you can imagine there were more than a few “family discussions”.
We launched our popular Jalapeño flavour!
A new era
Complete redesign and overhaul of our logo and packaging. A new era of Big Chief is born!
Bert the Bull Joins the Team
Standing 6’10” Hoofs to Horns Bert the Bull joins the Big Chief Team!
Our biggest milestone yet! This year we celebrate 50 Years in Business!
Two new flavours are added to our line-up! Black Pepper and Sweet & Spicy!.
WHY BIG CHIEF?
The Big Chief difference is based on four decades of experience and dedication to quality. Our meat snacks are carefully tended during the curing process to ensure each portion maintains that tender bite and bold flavour that comes only from 100% Canadian beef!
Big Chief meat snacks make an ideal snack for your big adventures. Whether skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, camping, or just kickin’ back, Big Chief offers exceptional tastes in flavours Canadians love. When a great tasting, high protein snack is needed to curb a ravenous appetite, Big Chief answers the call!