Seattle boasts Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon as some of its biggest companies, but there are other popular brands that operate in the Emerald City as well. One of them is Oh Boy! Oberto. The family-owned business started here in 1918, and now it’s the most popular beef jerky in the country. The best part is: you can trace the company’s history and buy all of their products at the Oberto Factory Outlet Store in Seattle.
The Oberto Factory Outlet Store is located at 1715 Rainier Ave. S. in Beacon Hill. You’ve probably driven past the building’s neon green and red lights at some point. If you haven’t — you won’t miss them when you do. And trust me, if you’re a jerky lover, you won’t want to just drive by — you’ll want to stop in.
The Oberto Factory Outlet Store sits in what used to be the old Oberto factory. The Oberto family even had their house on the corner of the lot. Oberto made all of their products at this location until the 1990s. That’s when they outgrew their space and moved operations to Kent. You can find all this history and more at the outlet store. There are big boards sharing the company’s past (just like a museum), and the friendly staff is more than willing to share their knowledge as well.
I’m personally convinced the Oberto Factory Outlet Store is jerky heaven. No matter what direction you turn, you’re surrounded by beef, pork, turkey and bacon jerky. Not only does the Oberto Factory Outlet Store sell all the popular brands you can find in supermarkets, they also have exclusive jerky you can only buy there (a perk for visiting them). On top of the exclusive items, Oberto also sells their prototypes at the outlet store (some bags for as cheap as $1). That means you can to take part in the testing process and try items before they hit the market.
NOTE: If you like spice, you have to try the Oberto hot slab beef jerky. It’s exclusive to the Oberto Factory Outlet Store, and it’s amazing! It’s an awesome mix of teriyaki and heat (ingredients include red crushed chile and cayenne). I was told by one of the employees that the more pepper seeds in the bag means the hotter the product, so keep that in mind when you make your purchase.
One of the biggest perks of the Oberto Factory Outlet Store is the discount you get on jerky. The best deal I saw was three bags of jerky for $17. These aren’t your typical 3 ounce packages of beef jerky though. The discounted bags at the factory outlet are 8 ounces. That means 24 ounces of jerky costs you $17 at the Oberto Factory Outlet Store, while it would probably be around $40 (at $5 per 3 ounce bag) at the grocery store. That’s not a bad deal, but it does require you to buy a lot of jerky.
The Oberto Factory Outlet Store doesn’t stop at jerky. They also have a deli that sells hot dogs, sausages, chili, pulled pork sandwiches and more. I was there around lunchtime and the place was busy. On top of the deli, you can also find different types of specialty meats (like Busseto salami), Uncle Bud’s deep fried peanuts, Lowery’s microwave pork rinds (no joke — they pop like popcorn), and much more at the factory outlet. It’s fun to just snoop around the store to see what you can find.
I randomly stopped into the Oberto Factory Outlet Store, but the employees tell me it’s a popular destination. They said tour buses frequently stop in. It’s not a huge place, but it’s packed to the brim with jerky. Any type of Oh Boy! Oberto jerky you’d ever want is right there at your fingertips. The hardest part is picking only a few types to take home with you. Unless, of course, you just buy everything in the store. That’s not a recommended move, but I have to admit that it’s a tempting idea.
Have you ever visited the Oberto Factory Outlet Store? How was your experience? Were you able to contain yourself and just take a few things home? What did you buy? Ok…I’m clearly excited about this…I’m asking too many questions. We’d obviously love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more cool places to check out around the Puget Sound!