It was a sad holiday season when this past fall we heard that Jim Close and his family were going to shutter their PDC Smoked Meats store in Playa del Carmen. After years of supplying the community with in‐house smoked meats, handmade sausages and more, we were despairing on where we were going to get our next bratwurst, Canadian bacon and pastrami. Then, a white knight came to the rescue – Jaime Valenzuela, owner of OL Store Weber.
We had a chance to hear from Jaime about his plans to continue the tradition that Jim brought to the area, as well as how he landed in Playa after living in Cuernavaca and Mexico City.
“My background is in finance, accounting and having worked for seven years for Grupo Bimbo’s world operations, I came to Playa del Carmen looking for a place full of opportunities and development and opened the OL Store Weber in 2009.”
Jaime shared with us that besides selling smokers and grills, he is also a distributor of Kobe Beef and CAB (Certified Angus Beef), which is making the transition of adding the roster of PDC Smoked Meats products that much easier.
“Jim is a very wise man, has a lot of experience and has been very generous sharing his knowledge, teaching me to make all the quality products. This first season we are starting with beef jerky, roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, black forest ham, smoked ham, Canadian bacon, bacon and smoked salmon.”
When asked when we can expect to start seeing these items in his store, he answered, “They are ready to enjoy now and for the next season we will produce some sausages as well.”
For those of us not yet barbecue or smoker pros, the OL Store Weber hosts quarterly cooking trainings, coordinated by the Weber brand. The PDC Smoked Meat products and current merchandise will go perfectly with their next class where he will also familiarize us with the fact that these grills and smokers, whether charcoal or propane are the only ones that resist the climatic weather conditions in the Riviera Maya. When Jaime isn’t brining, smoking, salt‐curing or drying meats you can catch him working out (Crossfit) or with his second love as a financial and tax advisor.