A shoulder injury left former chef Nigel Smith contemplating his career in food, knowing he wanted to continue following his passion, he decided to start producing beef jerky.
The Marybrook resident started his business one year ago, and said it took him more than two years to get his business to the point of production where he could operate commercially.
He now produces around 200 kilograms of beef jerky a week, which he supplies exclusively to other small businesses in the South West.
"I hand cut it all, I am a sucker for punishment, I have started to experiment with a few different machines, but I am compulsive obsessive, I like to have all the fat and sinew removed," he said.
"That is what stands-out in the quality of the product.
Mr Smith's products, Crackatinny Beef Jerky, were recently recognised at the Perth Royal Food Awards where he collected two bronze and a silver.
"It was great, I entered the awards thinking it would be great if at least one of them received a bronze, to walk away with two bronze and a silver was amazing," he said.
"No golds were awarded for beef jerky this year and I received the highest points for sliver, I was pretty wrapped with that.
"It took many a year of trials with flavours to get there."
Mr Smith said he felt lucky that he could do something he loved and follow his passion full time.
"I have my products in heaps of South West shops from Bunbury down and I thoroughly enjoy doing all the deliveries and representing myself as well," he said.
"You get to meet all the small business owners in the South West, you make a personal connection and I think that is what's keeping me away from expanding up to Perth because you would lose that."
On one of Mr Smith's routes he drives from Bunbury to Manjimup, then Nannup and back to the Busselton region.
"It takes about nine hours to complete that loop, by the time you stop and have a chinwag, and it is great to see how other businesses are doing in the South West," he said.
Mr Smith said the Beer Farm was his first customer who took on his products before they were released and he had made any packaging.
"Being in the South West has been great and there are a lot of businesses that say, when they support local, they do," he said.
"One of the good things down here is that businesses will give you a go, especially if you are a local product, it seems to work well down here."