Sharing the spirit of the West

13 Aug 2022

Leaving the world of finance behind, Mekki Jaidi finds his path in the Tetons

Summer 2022

Written By: Melissa Thomasma | Images: Courtesy

Mekki Jaidi recalls the moment everything changed. As the plane approached Jackson Hole Airport from the south, ending the short flight from Salt Lake City, he gazed out the window.

And that view — rugged snow-capped peaks, untamed rivers, endless swaths of wild forests — stirred a shift in him. The trajectory of Mekki’s life had been fundamentally altered. Now, just a decade later, he’s one of Jackson Hole’s most successful entrepreneurs, steering an ever-expanding constellation of local businesses. And he’s never felt more at home. “It was the summer of 2012 when I first visited Jackson Hole. I just remember thinking to myself as I flew over the valley — ‘Wow, I can’t believe this exists here in America,’” he recalls. “I grew up in New York, right outside the city in Bronxville. My mom immigrated from the Philippines, and my dad from Morocco — it was important to them that we grew up in the U.S. … I went to college at Columbia [University] and lived there for the first part of my adult life. I never felt connected to the place, the people, you know? There’s never any sort of sense of community. When I came to Jackson, it was completely different.” After graduating from Columbia, Mekki spent four years at a trading desk working foreign exchange. The schedule was brutal — lengthy hours, holidays, a demanding pace. Whenever he was able, he retreated to Wyoming. Until one day, he’d had enough. “It kind of felt like I was trapped there and just going through the motions. Every single opportunity I got, even if it was just a three-day weekend, I wanted to get out to Jackson. So one day in 2014, I quit that job on a whim. I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going out to Jackson Hole and I’m going to start this thing. I don’t know what it’s going to become, but it’s going to be enough for me to live off of.’” Beginning with a single vacation rental property, Mekki launched Outpost. From there, the momentum has been ongoing. At the end of 2016, just prior to the birth of his first daughter, he started O2 Cleaning. Next, he joined forces with a pair of talented local chefs to create Provisions, a private chef and catering business. In collaboration with his brother-in-law, Mekki launched Terrain, a landscaping and snow removal company. Most recently, in December of 2021, Mekki acquired local coffee roaster Snake River Roasting Company. “Outpost is in the business of making memories. We are the ambassadors that welcome people from all over the world into Jackson Hole and educate them before they get here. So they know not only what to expect, but also how to treat the people in the valley, the animals here, and to make sure that everybody is doing their part while they are in our home, figuratively and literally. What we’re trying to do is give them the opportunity to experience what I felt when I first got here. Give them a chance to enjoy that for themselves.” Now the proud parents of two daughters, Penelope and Lila, Mekki and his wife, Jane, feel that they’re part of the fabric of the community. While Mekki is delighted to see the businesses that he helms gain traction, he’s equally glad that his family is thriving in a place that is everything the city he left behind isn’t. “It’s incredible to be able to raise kids in an environment like this,” he smiles. “The wildlife, the community, the experiences — there’s nothing like it.”
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