About Black Mountains Smokery - Our Story
"Smoking and curing used to be about preserving the food, nowadays it's all about taste enhancement." - Jonathan Carthew, Black Mountains Smokery
HOW IT ALL STARTED - HEADING HOME TO WALES
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.
CELEBRATING 23 YEARS!
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. As a family run business we have strived to maintain our original commitment, "Making really good food even better," and serving it up with good old fashioned service.
We have developed 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, 23 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. Alongside 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 gifts and hampers. We have developed gift packing in the form of beautifully branded sleeves and boxes for that extra special luxury experience.
It’s all hands on deck! The Carthews — Jonathan, Jo, Hetta (25) and Hugh (23) - are often to be seen at food festivals and fairs working together. This year, our head of production Corinne welcomes Naomi and Mike to the team. Kate remains Queen of the office, but she does have help from Blyth, who has worked with us before but is stepping up to office second in command. We always handpick an enthusiastic bunch of seasonal helpers, (most often family or friends in their gap year), to help us through the busy run up to Christmas. This year we welcome "gappies" Hugh (we know... very confusing) and his friend, Kit. We also have my niece, Rebecca and her boyfreind Keigan, who are mad enough to be joining for the final Christmas dispatch weeks! Please treat them all gently while they find their feet! Click here to Meet the Team
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 the best food festival in the land!
Our smokery shop-showroom has easier access & parking. You can order in advance and collect. Please visit us!