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Cool Jerk: A Look Back


The Cool Jerk Customer Appreciation party is Saturday, November 22nd!

It’s a great chance to show pride in Minnesota’s minority-owned, women-owned business community in Northeast Minneapolis. They make hand-crafted Lao American beef jerky with St. Paul’s award-winning Big Steer Meats! Mali Kouanchao and Mike Davis, the founders of Cool Jerk, the Lao Minnesotan beef jerky company, are inviting community members to be their guests at their first ever Customer Appreciation Party, Saturday November 23rd at CO Exhibitions, from 6-9pm. Guests will get to try all four flavors of Cool Jerk, win door prizes, and hang out with some of their favorite jerks in town. You can visit them at

To celebrate, Little Laos on the Prairie is including some of our favorite moments and memories from the Cool Jerk journey over the last 3 years:


One of the very first introductions of Cool Jerk to the public was at Minneapolis’ Hell’s Kitchen Beef Jerky Contest in April, 2010. They received a lot of feedback and positive response from the event, and it was really something to see a Lao beef jerky on the voting ballot:


The lights were dim but the heat was on that night!


A few months later, they were part of the Lao American Writers Summit, and also the Lao Artists Festival,  in Elgin Illinois, where they introduced Cool Jerk to community members from across the country, in addition to the Djai clothing line:



In October, 2010, they were a big sponsor of the Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities interdisciplinary exhibition, donating a generous supply of Cool Jerk to the opening and closing events. They had a great response, with people asking where could they get more?

Legacies of War

Cool Jerk even made it as far as Hemet, California as part of an amazing gift basket during the Mt. San Jacinto College Annual Gala for their silent auction to raise funds to support the students.


This month, they were recently at Chow Girls Locavore Design Boutique on November 16th, and the Minnesota Cup Food Division Kick-off Event at Mill City Museum. Everyone is anticipating big announcements tonight about the future. We’ll have pictures soon!


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