Hi everyone! My name is Julien and I am the founder of Jacked! Jackfruit Jerky. I created Jacked out of my love for animals. After 18 years of consuming meat and dairy, I began learning about how cruel modern-day animal agriculture is. Factory farming often leads to animal neglect, poor sanitation, and extremely crammed living conditions. After watching the popular Netflix series, Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives, I knew it was time to rethink what I was putting into my body. A year and a half later, I had completely cut meat and dairy out of my diet.
Growing up with a chef as a father, I was always super fascinated by his line of work. My mother would occasionally take my sister and I into the city to visit him at work. When he brought us into the kitchen, my mind was always exhilarated. Witnessing all of the hustle and bustle and creativity occurring in one space inspired me to want to work in a similar environment one day!
Since adopting a vegan lifestyle, I have built up a passion for contributing towards a more sustainable, cruelty-free world. I wanted to translate those values into a food product that people would resonate with.
I spent my senior year of undergrad developing Jacked. In May of 2021, I entered a pitch competition and shared the idea of Jacked! Jackfruit Jerky to community members and faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University’s da Vinci Center. After gaining initial funding, it was time to turn the idea of Jacked! into a reality. I decided to stay at VCU for another 18 months and pursue my masters degree in product innovation while building Jacked.
After over a year of developing our jerky, spending countless hours in the kitchen, and giving hundred’s of samples out, we launched a successful Kickstarter Campaign in the summer of 2022, and Jacked! was officially born! I am now working full time to bring Jacked! to a store near you!
Why the name Jacked?
The name Jacked! is an homage to the amazing jackfruit- the largest tree-borne fruit in the world! According to Guinness world records, the heaviest jackfruit weighed in at 94 pounds!