All Y'all's Foods: Pioneering Plant-Based Jerky in the Heart of Texas
Are you ready to explore the fascinating journey of a Texan entrepreneur who transformed his love for animals into a thriving plant-based business? In our latest episode of the Plant Based On Fire podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Brett Christoffel, the founder of All Y'all's Foods. Brett's story is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and the incredible impact of plant-based living on health and well-being.
From Texan Steakhouses to Plant-Based Jerky
Brett's journey into the world of plant-based foods began in 2016 when he had a revelation – he loved cows as much as he loved dogs. This realization led him to stop consuming meat. Soon after, he embarked on a mission to create plant-based jerky, launching All Y'all's Foods in May 2018.
The Power of Plant-Based Healing
During the podcast, Brett shared the transformative power of plant-based nutrition. He spoke about how incorporating fresh ground flaxseed, rich in omega-3s, into his diet helped him overcome depression and other health issues. This personal experience fueled his passion for promoting plant-based foods as a means of healing and preventing diseases.
A Mission-Driven Brand
All Y'all's Foods is not just another plant-based food company. It's a mission-driven brand with a strong commitment to making a positive impact. A portion of every product sold goes to support Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, the first cattle ranch turned vegan animal sanctuary. This demonstrates Brett's dedication to creating a better world for animals and the environment.
Flavors That Stand Out
What sets All Y'all's Foods apart from other plant-based jerky brands is its bold and unique flavors. Brett's company takes inspiration from the diverse regions of Texas, with each flavor representing a different area of the state. From pecan-smoked to periclip haricert infused, their jerky stands out not only in taste but also in ethical sourcing.
Sustainability and the Future of Plant-Based
Brett envisions All Y'all's Foods becoming the largest plant-based protein producer in America. By using fewer resources compared to traditional animal agriculture, the company aligns with the growing sustainability movement. Brett's commitment to direct-to-consumer sales and food service partnerships demonstrates his determination to make plant-based options accessible to all.
For those new to plant-based eating, Brett encourages exploration and experimentation. Just like with any product, finding the right plant-based option for your taste buds may take some trial and error. He also highlights the importance of considering the ethics and values behind the brands you support.
Connect with All Y'all's Foods
If you're intrigued by Brett's journey and the delicious plant-based jerky his company offers, you can connect with All Y'all's Foods through their website and various social media platforms. Be on the lookout for their new flavor release in the coming months.
Brett Christoffel's story reminds us that with passion, persistence, and a commitment to making a difference, plant-based entrepreneurs can create businesses that not only thrive but also contribute positively to our health, animals, and the planet. So, the next time you're craving a snack, consider reaching for some plant-based jerky from All Y'all's Foods and join the movement towards a more sustainable and compassionate future.
> Podcast episode transcription:
Hello everyone and welcome to Plant Based on Fire. I'm your host, Brian, and we are here talking about plant-based businesses and their inspiring stories thriving in our plant-based world. So today joining us is Brett Kristoffel. Brett is a Texan who realized in 2016 that he loved cows the same way he loves dogs. So he stopped eating them.
And that's why he started making jerky out of plants, launching all y'all's foods in May of 2018. Welcome to the show, Brett.
Brett Christoffel (00:41.154)
Thank you. I appreciate you having me here.
I know you and I got to speak a little bit back and you just have such an amazing story. So can you give us the brief synopsis of your journey and how you got into this and how you created all y'all's foods?
Brett Christoffel (01:02.878)
Sure, there's many things and I'll try to get right through it. First thing that had me even suspect something was awry was a dozen years ago maybe. I read two books and I don't even remember why I got them, but it was a one-minute cure in medical miracle.
And after I got done reading those, I realized everything I had been taught growing up around food and disease and healing and cures and just everything was garbage. It's not true. And I started investigating further and I had dealt with depression myself for a decade. And a gentleman said, look.
here's the thing, your brain's over half fat and all I ate was meat, dairy, processed and fast foods. That's what I ate. He said, well you're feeding your brain garbage and so it can only perform so well. He said if you will begin ingesting, in this case I use fresh ground flax seed, omega-3s, plant-based, you can reverse or eliminate
a dare say cure, reverse or eliminate bipolar disorder, depression, ADD. You see all these issues with so many people these days. I think it's diet. It wasn't like this when I was younger. People didn't have all the problems they have today. So I began two tablespoons of fresh ground flax seed and a smoothie. And I did that every day. And he said six months and four months.
I stopped all medication and that was 10 years ago, 12? I don't know how long ago it was, about that long ago. And it's resolved and it's not been an issue ever since. I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, met a woman, Deanna One, stage four ovarian cancer, given four weeks to live, two weeks in, they're about to upper morphine because of the pain.
Brett Christoffel (03:04.598)
She remembered some stuff out of nowhere that her grandfather taught her as a child because she's of Chinese descent. She began taking mushrooms with a modified Gerson protocol. It's a dozen years, 12 years later. And she's showing people how to heal their bodies. So there's a lot to this whole food and our health. Most people think it's genetics and it's not. They think, well, grandpa had it or dad had it or Aunt Edna had it. And the fact is, is we repeat the behaviors by those who raise us, we tend to anyway. And so we get the same results.
Brett Christoffel (03:34.812)
That's what it is. It's not genetics. It's the results of what we put on in her body. And so I At the Institute for Integrated Nutrition, I published a book called Nutritional Truths and I talked about the elephant gorilla and rhino And how it just out of nowhere occurred to me You got a 10,000 pound animal full of muscle and strength and vigorous and they don't eat burgers and Chick-fil-A
eat plants and biologically from stem to stern we're the same damn animal. I mean we're a little bit different but for the most part we're the same animal and so and in the zoo one day it hit me when I was looking at the elephants this was February 16th that all animals are present and aware and they don't want to die. We kill a hundred thousand every minute of every day to consume them when we don't need to. All the protein all the calcium we need is in plants and these years later my protein's in the middle my calcium is in the middle.
consume them. And so now I tell people, look, meat is just a vehicle for plants. If you think about any kind of dish you enjoy, whether it's a seafood or steak or whatever, think about when it's not influenced by plants, smoke, char and salt. So people like myself started making that meat, if you will, from plants. So it chews a little different because it's plant fiber, not muscle fiber. So it's easier to chew, but...
It goes further in that I know compared to its animal counterpart when I serve you my products, it's got more protein, calcium, magnesium, and iron than B group. It's full of fiber and phytonutrients. It's not a class one or two carcinogen.
and it can be tasty. And so that's what we go for. We go for bold, unique flavors. And to nourish the customer, leave the animals be because the company, a portion of every bag sold goes to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, which is the first vegan sanctuary. There was a cattle ranch turned to Vegan Animal Sanctuary. They had about 135 animals. 70 of those are cows.
Brett Christoffel (05:37.302)
And that's why I chose them. I'm like, I'm starting with, you know, something to replace beef jerky. Then let me support those who support those animals. Um, so we enjoy relationship with them and we use less than 10% of the land, fuel and water to produce ours compared to animal protein. Um, so it's a win.
What's, what's the, but you, so incredible journey, right? And you, you hear so many of us that have been on similar ones as we enter into this whole food plant based lifestyle and stuff. Uh, I know, you know, you, you and I spoke before previously about some other stuff, you're, you're the Texan in Texas. Uh, why beef jerky out of all the foods you could try to, you know,
Brett Christoffel (06:08.343)
Demeat or whatever the term is kind of thing. What why the beef jerky side of it? And what was your first? Creation there with all y'all's
Brett Christoffel (06:31.97)
Well, the thing is to back up a little bit, about 10 years ago I opened a raw organic vegan juice and smoothie bar. After I learned from Matthew Kenny, that was biologically, if you look at the human body as a machine rather than something that likes to be entertained by fast food and so on, that's all it needs for the most part, aside from B12. And so...
Brett Christoffel (06:56.798)
I thought, well, I want to do that. So I opened a shop and I got good with the dehydrator. And so what happened for me was I stopped eating meat, and then I read that our second largest export here in Texas is beef.
And I was like, well, I don't like that. And I was like, are you going to bitch about it, or are you going to change it? And I'm like, I say that to myself out loud. I'm like, because people like to bitch. They'll bitch all day. And I said, no, I'm going to change it. And so I started working on it. I said, how am I going to make this? And the jerky was just there. It wasn't, I didn't think. I had thought about other options of other things over the years since I stopped, but nothing really landed. But in that moment, it was like, I'm doing this.
Brett Christoffel (07:43.768)
There's seven regions of Texas. Each flavor represents a region of Texas. And we use things like I said, like the periclip. We use periclip haricert because it's a state plant of Texas and we use pecan smoke. It's a state tree of Texas. So we do stuff like that.
I love it. And so you've got this big, I call it the b-hag, the big, hairy, audacious goal, I think you and I spoke about. Like you are trying to redefine Texas's protein traditions. And so like, what is your big goal? Hit it for us.
Brett Christoffel (08:05.934)
Brett Christoffel (08:11.288)
Brett Christoffel (08:14.798)
Well, that's good. So here's the thing about Texas. We're the largest petrochemical producer in the country, which is, in some ways, amazing. The thing is, is a lot of people are like, what? And it's like, oh, wait, hold on. So we also generate 30% of all wind energy in the US. We're the largest wind energy producer. And we're the second largest solar energy producer. OK, so there's this balance in the state. Well.
Brett Christoffel (08:42.578)
learning that we're the largest beef producer in the country is great. The thing is is...
we do plants. So we're going to be the largest, there's no reason Texas can't be the largest plant-based protein producer as well. And there's a lot of ways of capturing that. So we've just gotten underway and working with people in the state and actually throughout the country to make that happen. And so it's underway. And so I'm committed to us becoming the largest plant-based protein producer in America. And again, it's going to require some effort, but once people see the opportunity that's there for them as a business owner,
Yeah. I applaud your efforts there and we are right behind you with all of our listeners to help support you on that journey. So there are a lot I have to say, though, there are a lot of plant based jerky's entering the market. So what do you think helps set all y'all's foods apart from other plant based jerky's that are that are coming out nowadays?
Brett Christoffel (09:21.135)
It's going to be pretty easy.
Brett Christoffel (09:30.391)
Brett Christoffel (09:45.462)
Um, you know, I, whenever there's a new one, I try it. Um, but I think it's our bold, unique flavors and the fact that we're a mission driven brand and there's no one else that really is, I mean, they may have a mission of replacing beef, you know, with the plant-based protein, which is great. Um, but I, you know, I'm, I'm not the least bit concerned, the more the merrier. In fact, when PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, uh, and Beyond said, oh, we're going to come out with a plant-based jerky. I was like, huh.
And I thought about it, I was like, well, good, everyone's gonna, cause their distribution's amazing. I mean, there's not a store they're not in. So it's like, well, then everyone's gonna get a chance to see what the heck I'm doing.
Brett Christoffel (10:25.278)
It's not mommy, but the fact is, is if you try the two, they're very different. And so people just like cheeses or milks or any other kind of meat replacement, um, people are going to find the ones they like more than the others. And based on our feedback and based on our sales, uh, people like what we're doing, they like the consistency and they like the flavors and we're excited. We've got a new flavor coming out here in about another 60 days and excited to get that on.
market because it's a again it's a fun flavor that people like what it'll be fun
Cool. We can't wait to hear all about that one. So obviously the sustainability side of this is really, really important to you. Can you talk to us a little bit more about your brand and how you use it to, how you use less resources in comparison to basic animal production or potentially others that aren't, aren't sustainability focused?
Brett Christoffel (11:16.59)
Yeah, the bottom line is we use less than 10% of the land, fuel, and water that are animal protein counterparts will. Because if you think about all it takes to raise an animal and then take it apart so you can take that protein out that it was eating, see, we remove all of that. And we just go right to the plants. And it simplifies everything.
And for the consumer, it's a win because it's side by side, it's just healthier. And so we just keep going at it that way.
I love it. And, uh, like I, since I speak to so many plant-based businesses now with this show, you know, one of the challenges that I see a lot of us plant-based, especially in the food production side is figuring out those distribution channels and how do you reach the bigger, broader market besides like the farmers markets that we're all used to going to? What, what do you think has been some of your keys to success or any wisdom you can give to other business owners looking for distribution?
Brett Christoffel (12:34.41)
Um, you know, there's, if I had the money and the knowledge, two very different things. If I had those, if I had that in the beginning, I would have really pursued direct to consumer. Because it's just, it's an easier path. And I would have pursued food service. Again.
Brett Christoffel (12:57.762)
more profitable path than retail. The thing I didn't realize is what it costs to get in and stay on the shelves of grocery stores, of retailers. And it's not always a win. People think, oh, I got into x number of stores and whatnot. I'm like, all right, cool. Can you afford it? I hope so. Because again, there's a lot of cost to do in business. It's not just margins. It's it's.
Brett Christoffel (13:21.95)
It's free fills, it's ad spend, it's turns, it's discounts. They're just thing after thing after thing. I've been fortunate in that I work with UNFI and CAHI, the largest natural food distributors in North America. I only work with them in Texas. They want me other places. And I'm like, I can't afford that. Eventually we'll be there when it makes sense. So.
Being in more doors is not always the win. And maybe for some it is, and that's OK. But for me, it's never been that. It's about where is this going to be, and who's going to see it, and how is it going to be shopped. So we are working with larger retailers now, and starting off small and growing those. But we're really focused on direct to consumer, because that's where the big picture is.
Brett Christoffel (14:08.502)
the growth can really be for a company. Again, it depends. There are people who start companies, and they raise, I don't know, $5, $10 million. And they don't have to make money. No one's expecting them to make money. I haven't done that. So I had to get as close to profitability as I can, which we've gotten. And we hit several months a year. And it's just about.
Brett Christoffel (14:35.682)
being able to sell without having to spend as much. And so I'm still working through that.
What I'm hearing you say is persistency is definitely the key and also fail fast. Run some of these experiments and see how they go a little bit. Yeah.
Brett Christoffel (14:53.514)
Sure, yeah. Fall down six times, stand up seven. Yeah, no, and that's how we've been doing it. We've had opportunities to go into hundreds of stores at a time, but I was like, I don't know that I can make that happen.
That's right. That's right.
Brett Christoffel (15:08.834)
And so we've turned down opportunities. We're working on a lot of opportunities now. So it's all good. It's just not as easy as you might think. The individuals who sell just at farmers markets, that kind of thing, it's an honest, straightforward business. You don't have to wonder. But that's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a very Texas brand, a staple, a household staple in America. And...
Brett Christoffel (15:35.454)
internationally as well at some point when it makes sense.
So I would imagine me like many other of us vegans and plant basers out there are, well, we see it on the shelves in our grocery store. We're just like, oh, my goodness, I have got to try this. But like somebody like others in my family are those staunch meat eaters and stuff like no, I'm going to go with the Slim Jim because I, you know, want that. Like, how do you how do you say?
Brett Christoffel (15:51.881)
Brett Christoffel (15:57.646)
Brett Christoffel (16:01.754)
I like that exploration of the-
Like how do you, what's the marketing technique or the, the little one-liner that I can say, like, I guess it's a twofold question. Number one, how do you get the meat eaters to give it a try and fall in love with it? And then secondly, how do you get us plant basers after we've gone through the initial one, we just, it's going to, the flavor is going to resonate and I'm going to go back and get a second, a second batch, right?
Brett Christoffel (16:27.17)
Yeah, just like with any other product, because that's what I tell people. Look, if you're looking for a cheese, whether it's a sliced cheese, or shredded cheese, or block cheese, or whatever, you're going to have to try different ones. Some are better than others. And I'd say that about anything. Try it. And if you like it, buy it again.
Brett Christoffel (16:46.89)
The thing is, is there are companies that sell plant-based or vegan products that are vegan-owned and those that aren't. You know, one of the big cheese companies is owned by Japan's largest pharmaceutical company. Like, how does that happen? So, I would also encourage people to just be aware of what and who you're supporting with your money. Again, you don't have to. It's your money. Do whatever you want to with it. But it's something to consider because once you start looking into it and thinking about it, it's like, well, wait a minute. So, um...
Brett Christoffel (17:15.87)
Yeah, the big thing is, since I started, is just to trust the process. Do the next right thing and trust the process. Because when I'm in the flow, it's like the universe is conspiring with me. And I could not have done this at all without the universe's support.
Absolutely. So I heard sometime in the next couple of months, a new jerky is coming out. What other future plans does all y'all foods have? And where do you sort of envision the company's role in this plant-based movement?
Brett Christoffel (17:50.21)
To be a sh...we have...there are products and opportunities outside of this, but primarily to be a shelf-stable plant-based protein company. To stick with gluten-free. To always be non-GMO and use the best ingredients we can afford to put in. You know, I was talking with someone the other day, we use olive oil in our jerky, and they're like...
Why? I'm like, well, because I could get canola oil for a third the price, but I don't think it's good for the human body. Now, I don't think a lot of oil at all is great for the human body. I'm learning. I'm still learning. But olive oil, to me, is more nourishing and less harmful than like rapeseed oil or canola oil. And I'm not a scientist. I just go off of what I read. So there are opportunities to make more margin, but that's not really what it's about. I mean, everyone wants to have a successful company.
Brett Christoffel (18:45.944)
And we're going to be even more successful as a brand. The thing is, is our product lines, like we've got.
When it comes to jerky, we're working on sticks and links and chips and other bits, like our bacony bits. We got a black pepper. We got a maple bacon. And then other flavors entirely that you wouldn't think of, because people have this thing for protein. They want to make sure they get enough protein. And I always remind people, I'm like, there are no protein deficiency departments in America that I'm aware of.
That's right, that's right.
Brett Christoffel (19:21.43)
because we don't have a problem getting protein. But it's pounded in our head just like calcium. You gotta drink milk. No, you don't. But again, yeah, yeah. So we'll just keep making tasty things that people enjoy and the new flavor is a new flavor. I've not seen it anywhere. And we're excited and we'll make sure you get some when it comes out.
There's a whole documentary to unpack there for sure.
Awesome. So how do people get in touch with all y'all's foods? It sounds like you're launching some direct to consumer stuff where it's already out there. What can the community do to help? What's the best ways to get in touch? How do we reach you?
Brett Christoffel (19:56.523)
Brett Christoffel (20:01.906)
Well, you can reach us through the website. There's a form you can fill out there and all of those come across my desk. Those come to me. And so that's the best way. But follow us on social media. We're on almost every platform, I think, including Threads Now and TikTok, et cetera, and YouTube. So I would say check us out there and just do a Google search.
You'll find a lot of stuff, most of it good. So yeah, thanks.
Yeah, awesome. Well, we will check that out. That's allyallsfoods.com, right? All right.
Brett Christoffel (20:41.217)
Yes. Yeah, and all you all do is put a name on all the platforms as well.
Perfect. That is awesome. Well, we will be sure to reach out and help spread the word on that as, as things continue, continue to move forward. That is all the time we have with you today, Brett. Thanks again for being here.
Brett Christoffel (20:52.312)
Brett Christoffel (21:00.494)
Sure, Brian. You bet. Glad to obey.
We appreciate you being one of our guests here on Plant Based on Fire. And thank you for sharing your insights and experiences with our community. I'm sure that will help some other plant-based business owners out there. So we'll see everybody next time. Until then, keep the fire burning.
Brett Christoffel (21:15.587)