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Inside the Plant

Williams & Conner Beef Jerky started as two students, Brady Williams and Troy Conner, studying Nursing Anesthesia and needing a break from school. They became fast friends. Williams had a good recipe and a Ronco Dehydrator, cleverly given to his wife as a Christmas present for her crafting hobby. Conner had a taste for quality and spices. Many sticks of jerky were consumed during those late-night study groups. After graduation, Williams and Conner began practicing Anesthesia together in Uvalde, Texas.

They began to challenge each other to new heights, no longer having tests to occupy their time. The first challenge was weightlifting. Little did they know this would change their lives. As they lifted weights, they discussed various work issues, politics, and current events, but the highlight of the day was who had come up with the next “million-dollar idea.” Ideas ranged from kitchen devices to healthy snack alternatives and medical modifications. They discussed how their jerky recipe would add value to the lives of all their friends seeking a healthy snack alternative. A few days into the new year of 2005 Conner issued the ultimate challenge - “Let’s stop talking about our ideas and start doing something about them.”

So, a small make-shift jerky lab was established in the Williams’ home. Batch after batch, modification after modification, research on top of research, and Williams & Conner, LLC was born. Williams and Conner spent 1.5 years preparing for USDA approval and developing a professional look to match their superior product. In the spring of 2007, Williams and Conner had invested personal money and time to open their jerky manufacturing facility. Conner married and his wife quickly learned not only their passion for growing a business but the time and effort necessary to complete such a feat, with only heart and desire as background knowledge for breaking into the difficult jerky market.

As both Williams and Conner continued their day jobs to pay for their investment, Williams’ wife, Amy, utilized the blessing of our local HEB allowing them to stock their shelves, thereby having a DSD vendor number, and began to visit all their Meat Market Managers throughout the Greater San Antonio Area. A pregnant mother of five, worked each day at the facility to ensure quality production and traveled the 2-hour drive at 3 am two mornings a week to make the store deliveries. Within a few months, Williams & Conner received the invitation to distribute through the HEB warehouse system.

Fifteen years later, Williams & Conner has expanded their line of jerky products from the original Hickory flavor to include Mesquite, Pepper Trio, and Applewood, as well as WC Moo Chew – Shredded Beef Jerky and Texas-Sized Big Strips. In addition to supplying for HEB and 3 Wal-Mart Distribution Centers, Williams & Conner has serviced Stripes locations in and around Texas, several private label brands, and recently 7 different warehouse locations for the Horizon/7-11 Corporation. In fact, our jerky is considered “out of this world” due to a special request from Space-X and the International Space Station. Over the last year, we have focused our efforts into growing our online presence so customers a little closer to earth can find us.

Since Amy has been managing the day to day manufacturing for several years, Williams & Conner formally turned over the operation to her in 2012. Early 2020, the business was officially designated as a Small Woman-Owned Business as well as a HUB Zone Designated business. She completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program in December 2020. She is working to improve their reach to customers who are looking for a healthy, delicious snack alternative in the protein market.

SBA - WOSB Woman Owned Small Business

Goldman Sachs - 10KSB

HUB Zone Certified  
ESBE -Emerging Small Business Enterprise

Through R & D, Amy plans to add more flavors as well as snack products to their jerky line. As a child, Amy's mother was always very concerned about her food choices, despite her weight being in the normal range for her height. After having 6 children and entering the less than prime of her life, those concerns have become a reality. Packing lunchboxes has taken on a new importance as she has tried to teach her children how to fuel their bodies with healthy calories so they can develop strong habits for a lifetime. She is working to make jerky a snack choice everyone can enjoy.

If you happen to drive through Uvalde, she would love to give you a tour. Come see, smell, and taste the W+C Jerky difference because we know we’re going to change your brand of jerky!

                                    
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