The Story Behind It All
Meet Liebenthal, Kansas
The town of Liebenthal, established in 1876, this settlement was founded by immigrants of the Saratov/Volga region of Ukraine in Russia. The entire town sits on 72 acres with a current population of 93 residents. Take the Hays, Kansas exit on interstate 70, exit 159, and drive 17miles south on US-183. Pat’s Beef jerky will be on your right.
Pat Carver started the business as a side hustle in his 30s. He was working for the city of Hays (Kansas) and noticed people were liking the jerky he made. He started experimenting and using friends and family as taste testers. He finally came up with a recipe, which is still a guarded secret, and eventually developed the four flavors the business sells today -- regular, hot, teriyaki, and peppered. He said the secrets to the jerky's popularity are flavor and preserving as much tenderness in the meat as possible. Carver intended to keep his full-time job and work on the jerky business two or three nights a week, but the business grew to the point it became a full-time endeavor. Carver said his grandfather told him he would get out of business what he put into it. Carver would stay up putting countless hours into Pat's Beef Jerky. Some nights he slept on the floor of a small business on U.S. 183 in Liebenthal rather than drive home to Hays for a meager hour or hour and a half of sleep. The floor was cold, so he eventually bought a cot. He hopes to sell the business to a local buyer who will keep the business in Liebenthal. "I just hope whoever buys [the business] has the heart and soul in the business as I had and can make it go," Carver said. "I would like to see Pat's Beef Jerky continue for another 30 years."
THE MEET PAT section is from a 02/15/2020 article from the Hays Post written by Cristina Janney. We would like to thank Hays Post and
Cristina for permission to use this article.
Meet Chris and Dana
When Chris and Dana Schumacher learned that Pat was selling his iconic business and legendary recipes, it was just the opportunity they had been looking for. They were not the only buyers in the equation, but when Pat got to know them and one of their partners, Dana’s father, Van Witthuhn, Pat trusted that his legacy and the future of the business would be in good hands. He also knew the business would remain local and true to what makes Pat’s Beef Jerky some of the best jerky you’ll ever taste. Chris and Dana Schumacher are high school sweethearts, born and raised in Hays, Kansas. They have two children, Gavin and Griffin. Today, Pat’s Beef Jerky continues to be a family-owned business and a labor of love. Dana runs the front end, retail, and marketing side of the business. Dana is one of the biggest and most loyal Kansas State Wildcat fans you’ll ever meet, and her loves include family, friends, and community. She also enjoys keeping Chris on his toes as she promotes Pat’s Beef Jerky brand on social media and local events. Chris runs the cooking operations and the back of the house. During the early days, he spent most of his time working alongside Pat, perfecting his recipes and making sure nothing changes. The secret recipe and the legacy of Pat’s Beef Jerky is safe and sound. Chris grew up in the family Auto Sales business started by his grandfather in 1977. He worked alongside his mother and father in the family business for 21 years. Selling cars is what he did for a living, but his true love is the food business. In 2010, Chris started a successful catering business and an award-winning competition BBQ team called Shorty’s BBQ. His friends will tell you that Chris creates some of the greatest food and flavors you’ll ever experience. Taking over the legacy of Pat’s Beef Jerky has provided Chris the ability to live out his passion for touching people’s hearts through their taste buds. We can’t wait for when Chris is able to launch his own flavors and build upon the legend that is Pat’s Beef Jerky. The most important thing that Chris and Dana bring to the second chapter of Pat’s Beef Jerky is exactly what Pat was hoping. Chris and Dana are dedicated to keeping Pat’s Beef Jerky local to Liebenthal and putting their heart and soul into every batch, preserving the legendary taste that has made Pat’s Beef Jerky a local icon.