Smoking and curing used to be about preserving the food, nowadays it's all about taste enhancement.
Jonathan Carthew, Black Mountains Smokery
Jo and Jonathan headed home to the UK in 1995 after nearly a decade spent in Southern Africa. After journeying home overland as far as Kenya with their baby daughter Hetta, their thoughts turned to the Brecon Beacons, South Wales and the beautiful 16th century Welsh Long House, where Jo had spent much of her youth. "Out in all weathers ... damming streams, walking, riding and picnicing in the mountains." Jonathan too had grown to love the cottage near Crickhowell in the Black Mountains. They had even honeymooned there.
"It was our dearest wish to make Penyrheol home. We came back from Botswana and searched in earnest for ideas to make it happen."
Ironically our destiny was sealed in Scotland, following a chance encounter between Jonathan and a Ghillie, who ranted about mail order smoked salmon and told Jonathan of a smokery for sale there.
The doors of Black Mountains Smokery opened in February 1996 after several months of product development. Then the real process of building a business began.
We are committed to producing a fresh, delicious and sustainable range of traditional smoked salmon, fish, meats, duck, poultry and cheese delivered to you with friendly and reliable service. From frighteningly small beginnings, 16 years on, our local artisan food produces a healthy turnover, servicing both the local rural community and a very loyal, ever increasing customer base further afield. Along side fantastic support from both wholesale and retail customers, we can boast a long list of Food Awards as well as some wonderful press coverage and testimonials for our Smoked Salmon and other Smoked Fish, Meats, Cheese and food hampers.
It’s all hands on deck! The Carthews — Jonathan, Jo, Hetta (20) and Hugh (17) - are often to be seen at food festivals and fairs working together. In addition to the family we have two hardworking and loyal employees. Jack worked for us for 2 years, had 2 years away pursuing other interests but still helping us at busy times and rejoined our team fulltime in November 13. We also handpick an enthusiastic bunch of seasonal helpers, (most often family or friends in their gap year), to help us through the mad autumn and run up to Christmas.
We are really proud to be part of what is now a vibrant and passionate local food community in the Brecon Beacons. From producers to plate this area is home to a wealth of fabulous food as well as several of the best food festivals in the land!
Please visit us!