Anyone who has ever been thwarted in their quest for a bag of Teriyaki Beef or the ever-elusive Swinesational by the dreaded "Sorry – Sold Out" sign will be glad to learn that Tim O'Grady, the owner of Moscow's Jive Jerky, has plans to increase his production in the not-so-distant future.
Jive Jerky has been open for over nine months, and if there's one thing O'Grady has learned, it's that his product sells very well and very quickly.
"I've realized how important it is to keep up with the demand. Just trying to keep up with it in general is the hardest part," he explained.
"Christmas was nuts! I slept on the couch in the back for a week. It was cutting and cooking during the night, selling during the day. It really was a lot of work those couple of weeks before Christmas," he elaborated.
The Jive Jerky store on the corner of Main and Church Streets will remain open as the retail location at which customers can purchase their favorite flavors of jerky by the bag or in bulk, but production of the delicious treat will be moved just around the corner to the former North Pocono Public Library building at 113 VanBrunt Street.
The old library building is 2,200 square feet in area, which will allow for the production area for more than 30 flavors of jerky to be housed separately in the rear of the facility while freeing up the front of the building for other uses.
O'Grady plans to open what he calls a "high-end coffee shop" in part of the building.
He said, "It's going to be called Jive Java, and we'll have coffee, tea, pastries, fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, and fresh juices."
O'Grady's girlfriend, Fawn Dellavalle, works closely with him at Jive Jerky.
She said, "The coffee shop will be inspired by the industrial look like you see in New York City or Milwaukee. It's going to be a cool place to hang out, with wifi. It will be dog-friendly, with outside seating in the warmer months, and we'll have dog beds and water dishes out there."
O'Grady added, "It's going to be totally different than what's already here in town. We're not trying to compete with someone who's already here, but rather to offer something different."
Dellavalle has plans of her own for filling some of the space in the former library building. A talented celebrity make-up artist who works with celebrities nationwide and with designers in New York City, Dellavalle intends to open a make-up studio called Tru-Colours in the building.
"Tru-Colours will be a make-up studio, retail space for certified organic cosmetics, and a space for shooting photos of models," she said.
Dellavalle's award-winning artistry has been featured in a number of magazines, including Veux, Brides, Westchester Magazine, and In Touch.
Page 2 of 2 - She has worked with a numerous celebrities, such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner from the television show "Keeping up with the Kardashians."
Dellavalle is also a highly sought after make-up artist for brides and bridal parties, and usually does 40 to 50 weddings a year.
In addition to her professional career, the Marshall's Creek native also founded and manages Be You First, a group of highly trained beauty artists that "inspires people of all generations to see their personal beauty inside and out, to follow their dreams, and to help others by sharing kindness."
The artists in the group donate time to underprivileged individuals and families in need to help them with their appearance and self-esteem. They have worked with underprivileged children and people with special needs, helped to raise money for children with medical issues, and have hosted beauty days to help people learn how to look and feel their best.
"It's more of a lifestyle than a job," said Dellavalle about running one's own business.
Although she said she has very little free time, she mentioned that in her spare time she's "either here at the jerky shop, or building my craft, which I'll soon be doing in my family's building."
Commitment to family and to the community run strong within the Jive Jerky crew. O'Grady's parents live nearby, and his father Dennis, helps out at the store. Even his 86-year-old grandmother, Mary Kester, has decided to get involved. She will be selling her handmade jewelry made of precious stones at the new coffee shop.
"We want to be a part of this community for a long time, so we bought the library. It made sense because it was a good price, the location was right, and it's close to the store," explained O'Grady.
O'Grady and Dellavalle, with some help from various family members along the way, have already begun the renovations that will turn the old library into a new and vibrant space.
O'Grady hopes that with the increased production capacity, and eventually some additional employees, he will be able to begin more widespread distribution of his jerky to local and perhaps regional outlets.
He also hopes to provide the community with a new and unique place to enjoy some coffee in an interesting and comfortable setting, and to continue to provide the North Pocono region with his delectable Jive Jerky, hopefully in large enough quantities to ensure that the "Sorry – Sold Out" sign can be put away for good.