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Jessica Kwong founded Jack & Friends after graduating with a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University. She honed her technical knowledge and prowess through not only Cornell’s vigorous Food Science curriculum, but also developing everything from yogurt to baby food to baked goods while working in the R&D departments of Sohha Savory Yogurt, Hain Celestial, and Mondelez International—the last of which extended a full-time job offer that she declined to pursue Jack & Friends. Passionate about crafting food inclusive of different lifestyles, diets, and allergy restrictions, Jessica is focused on utilizing her technical background to innovate products that fulfill her brand’s self-created mission.


New York

Years in business

0-5 Years


Advice and resources on food science/technical areas, bootstrapping, scrappy marketing


Investors/fundraising, digital marketing, customer retention strategy

About Brand

Jack & Friends believes in inclusivity—especially when it comes to food. We are committed to crafting products you can feel good about eating, regardless of your lifestyle or diet, so you can enjoy food without compromising on quality. Our first product line is a plant-based jerky made from jackfruit (the “Jack” in our name) and pea protein that is not only vegan and top 8 allergen-free, but also a good source of protein and fiber with no added sugar.

Launched in


About Products

Most vegan jerky products can be divided into two categories: soy- or wheat-based and dehydrated fruits/vegetables. While the former is popular due to chewy texture and high protein content, both soy and wheat are two of the top 8 food allergens, which alienates the millions of consumers with those allergies or sensitivities. Jerky made from dehydrated fruits or vegetables—like banana and mushroom— avoid the allergen issue, but have little to no protein content in a category expected to deliver such nutritional benefits. Jack & Friends takes the best of both worlds by uniquely combining jackfruit and pea protein to remain vegan and top 8 allergen-free, while also providing a good source of protein and fiber with no added sugar. The ingredients and proprietary processing also help our product better mimic the texture expected of jerky and allow for limitless flavor options for future expansion.