About Black Mountains Smokery - Our Story
How it all began – 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 South Wales and the Brecon Beacons. Drawn by the love of the beautiful 16th century Welsh Long House, where Jo had spent much of her youth “out in all weathers … damming streams, walking, riding and picnicking 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 the 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.
Jonathan Carthew, Black Mountains Smokery
Celebrating 27 years!
We have developed a fresh, delicious and sustainable range of traditional, naturally oak-smoked salmon, fish, meats, duck, poultry and cheese, containing no artificial anything, delivered to you with friendly and reliable service.
From frighteningly small beginnings, 27 years on, our 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.
The gift side of our business has grown out of all proportion and we now work closely with many like-minded artisan family producers, mostly Welsh and many local, to keep our hampers selections full of integrity and flavour. There is nothing pointless in our hampers. Our beautifully branded sleeves and boxes create gift packing for that extra special luxury experience.
C & R Ellis, December 2022