About Black Mountains Smokery - Our Story
The Black Mountains Smokery team has a core staff of just 10 that work on-site, with an extra 3 members that do some very important jobs from afar! The team then doubles in our busy autumn months. For Christmas 2021 we peaked at 23 busy worker bees, working double-time to dispatch over 3000 parcels in December! We are very grateful to our wonderful local community and lovely friends who have clubbed in to help or put forward some bright-eyed gappies for recruitment. A big thank you to all those who helped here at the smokery and good luck on your next adventures – and come back next year!
With the ups and downs of the past couple of years our team has managed at one stage to run only with 5 people, similarly to most small business our greatest threat so far has been Covid. Yet we survived and are here to take on another year. Our team looks very different to pre-covid times; we have taken on new full-time and temporary staff and we’re all getting thoroughly stuck in!
Here is an introduction to our current team:
Blyth is a close family friend who has now been working with us for a full 2 years now. He was helping out wherever he was needed during lockdown but he has now properly reassumed his role in the office as marketing manager. Smokey Jo and Blyth manage all things admin, so any new content online or on social media comes through Blyth. You’ll get a chance to talk to him when you phone your orders in!
Corinne has become our fabulous and resilient mainstay leading our production team. We welcomed her back after her quarantine with delight. Her cool-headedness and proficiency in production came as a great relief! She is bright and bubbly, organised and calm, and has brought many changes to streamline our processes.
Tori has joined us for her student placement year from Harper Adams University where she studies BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development. The bonus of working for a small business is the chance to work everywhere. Currently she has dabbled in the warehouse and the office, with undoubtedly more experiences to follow. She is a bubbly and charismatic character, the perfect combination when it comes to customers services either in person or over the phone.
Alex joined us in August 2020 to become our full-time production assistant on a youth employment scheme. He has assimilated wonderfully into the production team after Corinne took him under her wing. He’s quickly become a reliable hand and he’s possibly even the fastest salmon slicer! He’s a local boy and both of his parents work in the company next door to us. It feels great to be so close-knit!
Naomi is a returning graduate student and another Harper Adams alumni. She was previously our placement student from 2019-2020, although Covid cut short her time here. We have been really pleased to welcome her back and to no surprise she is soon to become a dab hand in production. Naomi is bright, kind and a great asset to production. She’s saving up to go travelling this year – do we dare let her go again?
Hugh, our son, has recently become a partner in a tent and marquee company yet he’s sweetly balancing his time between two businesses, and continues to be an integral part of our running. For a while at the beginning of lockdown, he was practically manning all of our production on his own! He’s a machine when it comes to slicing salmon, and an all-important Mr. Fix-It whenever we need!
Our daughter Hetta has graduated from her time at BMS and has just last year, started her new venture in finance. However, she always takes the time to help out from afar, give suggestions, and generally poke her parents in the right direction!
Anna is our part time superstar packer, she is kind, meticulous and a real asset to the warehouse. After starting in May 2021 she has now settled in and continues to grow in confidence. She has proven to be a star in the shop and her local knowledge comes in handy especially when it comes to advising customers and taking orders.
Lucy has recently joined us from Waitrose and we are pleased to welcome her to the BMS family. Despite feeling quite overwhelmed starting in our silly season, especially having to learn all of our process and a new system, she welcomes the new pace of life and the challenges in front of her. Welcome to the tam lucy we are luck to have you.
Marcus is our dream neighbour, but he also is much more than that! He is a fellow Welsh country enthusiast, found always either cooking up a storm, up a hill enjoying the outdoors or going above and beyond to help us rural folk with our tech problems. He gives us his genius IT support and is always on call as our office superhero whenever any tech goes squiffy. He’s also a qualified chef and private caterer so he gladly acts as quality control when any food needs testing! Here’s a picture of his dog Fizzy as, despite his many talents and sparkling reputation, Marcus is a bit camera shy!
Emma is our digital marketing go-to. If ever there is a job too complicated or too onerous for us in the office, we ping an email over to Emma and she sorts it in seconds! She works for InSynch, who have been assisting our business and website for years and we cannot thank her enough for keeping our marketing modern and a true reflection of our ethos! We’re eager to have her down to the Smokery when we can, to give her a proper tour and tasting.
Kate has been our trusty bookkeeper for a few years now. She started working for us in between gardening jobs. Now we keep her so busy we fear there isn’t much time for green fingers! She’s a local gal and a part of the extended BMS family. She’s been working from home during the COVID period. We can’t wait to have her back on Fridays for a good old catch up in the office!
Jo & Jonathan started Black Mountains Smokery in 1996. The smokery has grown a lot since then but remains a family-run local business with the same principles it started with.
Together, they are quite the team and it’s only because they’ve done so well that they need all the extra hands!
Emma R, February 2021