These beef jerky flower bouquets are perfect for the hard-to-shop-for gentleman in your life.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner and many girlfriends and wives are probably already scratching their heads over what to buy for their significant other this year.
We get it, guys are hard to shop for. That's where Manly Man Company bouquets come in.
Yes, you read that correctly, a beef jerky bouquet of flowers. They sent us a sample of this unique gift for a taste test and I spoke with Manly Man's Co-founder and Head of Marketing Ben Wynkoop about their unusual product.
Like most big ideas, the idea for beef jerky flowers was born out of a casual conversation in 2017. The company's other co-founder Greg Murray was having a conversation with his wife Jacquie. They wondered, why was there not a gift for men along the same lines as flowers? Something simple women could give their loved ones?
From this, the idea of making a bouquet of beef jerky was born. It was shortly after that Ben Wynkoop entered the picture. The two friends had enlisted in the Marine Corps together out of high school shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and had a long history together.
"That's one of the factors (9/11) that motivated us to enlist," Wynkoop said.
Once they were back home, Murray became a web developer and Wynkoop was a digital marketer. Those skills made for a great combination to market the innovative new product Ben and Jacquie had developed.
Thus, the Manly Man Company was born. Wynkoop told me he was brought into the company as a co-founder with "basically an hour's notice," but the flowers and other products from the veteran-owned business have proven a hit with customers.
"It's been a roller-coaster ever since," he said.
The company sent me a full dozen of their flowers, which come packaged nicely in a black box. The flowers themselves are seated in a pint glass and sealed in a bag for freshness until you open them. The product they sent me was a mixed batch, so I got to try all the flavors, including original, teriyaki and hot.
The petals of the flowers are very tender and explosive with flavor. The beef stick stem sections weren't quite as tender, but they were still mouthwatering good, and better than you can buy off the shelf at any store.
My favorite of the flowers was probably the teriyaki. There's just the right amount of sweetness from the added brown sugar to the petals.
As simple as the idea behind these "man bouquets" is, Wynkoop said it wasn't easy finding the right meat.
"There's a lot of R&D that went into finding the right beef jerky you can make into flowers," he said. "It's a lot more restrictive than we thought."
It's safe to say if you buy these "broquets" for someone, they aren't going to last very long! Yes, they're that tasty. If you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a meat eater, it's hard to go wrong with this!
There are a few amusing little bonuses in the box, too. I found a coaster and a small envelope about the size of a credit card labeled "Official Issue Man Card." I won't spoil the funny joke list on the side of this "manly gift," but inside was a very nice metal bottle opener to go along with the Manly Man pint glass. There's also an option for a beer mug instead.
"We put a lot into the details," Wynkoop said. "The gifting experience is important."
In addition to the standard flower products, the company also offers a beef jerky rose bouquet, which is similar, but the petals are in the shape of a rose instead.
Another option, which they didn't send but sounds delicious, is their bacon roses with dark chocolate or caramel. It's basically a piece of brown sugar and maple candied bacon fashioned into a rose atop a piece of chocolate about the size of a mini Reese cup.
Filling a Niche
Wynkoop acknowledges Manly Man Beef Jerky Flower bouquets are an unusual product. But it's one he loves to embrace.
"We've become like a D-list celebrity in the product world," he tells me with a laugh. "We've gotten the attention to where you get the hate also."
In the modern age of marketing, many companies now hire social media specialists that get their official name brands to banter with both customers (and haters) on Facebook and other social media platforms. It's something Wynkoop lives for.
"It's a thrill to get online and banter with these people," he said. "I wake up every morning just thrilled to do that."
You have to love a company with a sense of humor.
"Our arrangements are 100-percent edible and truly made for that rugged, one-of-a-kind, hammer-swinging, IPA-drinking, duck-hunting beast of a man-animal you call yours," the flower's description reads.
Laugh at them all you want. They have found a niche market that works for them. Countless online reviews thank them repeatedly for finally finding a product for the hard-to-buy for men in their lives.
"That's the world to us, because they're right and I never thought about until they articulated it," Wynkoop said. "I didn't realize how much of a solution it is for a need they have that's unfulfilled."
They did recognize the need early on to diversify the product a bit, though, which is why they launched Awesome Gifts Co. This company offers many of the same products, including the beef jerky flowers, just without all the masculine branding. Wynkoop said they can also do special unbranded orders if you contact customer service because ladies enjoy beef jerky, too!
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