Top Herd: How it all began…

By 2015 we had settled in to our new regime. We’d lost weight, we felt good, we had loads more energy and what’s more we were eating tasty yet healthy meals. Bingo!

One of the cornerstones of our new way of eating was getting more high protein foods into our diet.  It was fine when we were at home, but it got a bit more challenging when we were out and about. I mean have you ever tried munching a chicken fillet when you’re on the treadmill? Believe me when I say I got a few odd looks when I whipped out a smoked mackerel in the changing room.

Sure we’d got over the need for sugary carbs to give us an energy boost, but we needed something quick and easy to refuel; we wanted a healthy snack, that was high protein and and low carb – something we could eat on the hoof, if you’ll excuse the pun, but we discovered there was nothing on the market.

I had an idea. My family are from Zimbabwe and South Africa where biltong, which is a dried cured meat snack, is hugely popular. It’s delicious and very similar to the jerky you get in America. Simon was also a bit of a glutton for salami & rather partial to a Peperami.

The problem with these products though is they have lots of nasty additives and enough saturated fat to sink a small ship, and by now we were obsessive about avoiding these.

Call me nuts but we decided to try and make a our version of jerky at home. We were just so determined to sustain our new high protein, low carb diet and maintain our slimmer waist lines.

Simon is a bit of a whizz in the kitchen so he started knocking up some delicious marinades while I learnt the art of air-drying meat which preserves it. When I tell you that the most complex food preparation technique I had mastered up to that point was boiling an egg you’ll get some idea how ambitious this was, but I maintained that if our stone-age ancestors could pull it off thousands of years ago, then so could we.

It was like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in our kitchen (without the chocolate obviously). We experimented wildly turning our favourite flavours into tasty meat marinades. We loved our jerky and skinny salami creations. They were yummy and easy to carry around. I would throw a couple in my handbag and Simon made sure he had some in his ruck sack to snack on after his run. My teenage step son, and our then two year old twins loved them too (note to Mums, the salami sticks are not just a tasty and healthy snack for the kids, they double up as Star Wars lightsabers).

When friends came round we replaced Pringles with tit bits of jerky and found we weren’t alone in loving the taste.

And from these humble beginnings our Top Herd jerky business was born.

There is nothing we like more than hearing from budding entrepreneurs like us, who think they have come up with a great idea but don’t know quite how to bring it to life. If you want to get in touch, we’d be happy to have a chat; share some of our experiences; and if we can, help point you in the right direction.

Please contact us directly on Philippa@topherd.co.uk or Simon@topherd.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Meanwhile we hope you have a great day and we’ll see you all again soon.

Love Philippa & Simon x


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We believe that healthy food should taste (and make you feel) amazing. Here are some delicious everyday recipes which use our yummy 100% natural Love Lean Salamis and Jerky.

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