Black Mountains Smokery
Skilled at making top quality ingredients taste even better, the Black Mountains Smokery supplies some of the best restaurants in the Brecon Beacons and beyond.
Jo and Jonathan Carthew had just returned from working in Africa and were casting around for a business idea when Jonathan went on a fishing trip to Scotland. There he got wind of a nearby smokery for sale. Instead of buying that one, they decided to set up their own in Wales.
They now smoke 10,000 sides of salmon a year and count The Hardwick, Felin Fach Griffin and the Millennium Stadium’s corporate entertaining arm among their clients. They take orders for smoked fish, smoked meat and cheese from as far afield as Australia.
The key to their success, says Jo, is the quality of their ingredients which are from sustainable sources. The salmon is from an RSPCA Freedom Farm approved salmon farm in Scotland. Other fish, like trout, is sourced locally and they use cheese from the Blaenafon Cheddar Company.
Even the oak used in the artisan smoking process is local - they use off-cuts from a cabinet-maker based four miles away.
Taking care with the process and the ingredients they smoke has proved a winning formula – as Jonathan says, you can’t improve a product by smoking it, only enhance the raw material.
Awards and accolades
Black Mountains Smokery has been a finalist at the Wales True Taste Awards several years running and their their smoked salmon won silver in the 2012-13 awards. The smokery also won a gold award for its smoked duck in the Great Taste Awards 2012. Its products have been widely praised in the press and its smoked fish hamper box has been cited by The Independent among its top 10 Christmas hampers.Black Mountains Smokery, Elvicta Estate, Crickhowell NP8 1DF, Wales, tel 01873 811566, www.smoked-foods.co.uk