Our product starts with Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon from the beautiful, cold Alaskan waters. To create our classic smoked flavor, we brine it in a mild sugar and salt solution. After the brining process is complete, we hot smoke it gently over a 100% pure charcoal and wood fire.
Unlike other products, what you get is hot Smoked Salmon that is:
• lightly salted, • gently smoked, • very moist, • and still tastes like salmon!
We are currently working on a "plus" version of our classic flavor by intensifying the amount of wood smoke to create a more smoky taste. We also want to develop other flavors, such as Cajun, Asian, and Tandoori. Pick the right backer level reward so that you can help us develop new flavors!
Please see this video for more details about our process:
Who are we?
We are a father and son team who decided to bring you hot
Smoked Salmon from our back porch to your front door. Martin, Jr. has been smoking salmon for about 20 years on the family’s back porch – he experimented with his recipe and process
for 5 years before perfecting it. Martin
III has worked in Alaska
for the National Park Service, and he makes annual fishing trips back to the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers – he knows his salmon! Martin, Jr. has several decades of experience
with entrepreneurial small businesses, and Martin III has been involved with
startup firms. We have a passion for
smoked salmon, and we know how to start a small business and make it work!
Why are we doing this?
For years, we have smoked salmon for gatherings of friends and family. Over the past several years, our friends and family have bought the salmon and asked us to smoke it for their parties!
So, finally, we decided, let’s begin this venture to make our hot Smoked Salmon available to everyone, no matter where they live in the country. From our back porch to your front door!
Our environmental philosophy:
Our goal is to utilize sustainable resources and to reduce, reuse, and recycle where possible.
Wild sockeye salmon is a sustainable resource. In fact, the wild sockeye salmon industry is carefully managed so that there will always be an ample supply.
Part of our plan is to reuse an abandoned restaurant for our smoking facility. It is located in an urban area which cannot easily sustain a restaurant - so instead of there being another empty urban storefront, we are helping to revitalize the neighborhood.
Another part of our plan is to ask all our backers and future customers to send back the shipping container and gel packs so that we can reuse them for another shipment. We will include a postage-paid label to make it easy, and we will give a discount on future orders to those who help us reduce our impact on the environment.
What is the project?
In a nutshell, our project is to take our back porch recipe and turn it into a commercially acceptable process.
We quickly learned that you just cannot start smoking salmon on your back porch and then legally sell it! You can imagine that we needed to learn how to standardize our recipe and technique, figure out what commercial equipment we would need, and find a facility that would meet local zoning and state regulations. But, what you might not realize (and we certainly didn’t!!) is that we also had to research the seafood regulations and then undergo a training process to make sure that we know how to write a Seafood Safety Plan!
After we write our Seafood Safety Plan, lease our facility, and remodel it as necessary, then our plan and facility will be inspected and approved by the appropriate state regulators, who act on behalf of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Once we have been given our license as a Food Processing Operation, then we can start making hot Smoked Salmon for everyone!
Where are we now?
• We have finished our Seafood Safety training. • We have found a facility which will work with little modification (which keeps our costs down!) • We have tested the right type of vacuum packaging which lets us keep our recipe without modification. • We have costed out the commercial-grade equipment that we need. • We have tested our standardized recipe and process on several “tasting groups” around the country.
What comes next?
With your Kickstarter help, this is what happens next:
• We lease the facility and remodel it as necessary. • We buy the commercial-grade equipment and supplies. • We install the equipment. • We implement and test the process before calling the state inspector. • We pass the state inspection and are granted our Food Processing Operation License. • We make hot smoked salmon for backers that get salmon!
After all that, we are ready for commercial sales to caterers and restaurants and online sales to individuals.
About our Backer Rewards
Some notes about our Rewards.
We realize that our lower level Backer levels are a bit higher than a lot of Kickstarter projects. The higher price is because the shipping is so much higher for a perishable product.
We talk about a "side" of salmon. A "side" is literally one side of the fish, basically a full fillet. Our sides average 1.5 lbs, sometimes close to 2 lbs. Since it only makes sense to smoke an entire side at a time, then it also makes sense to describe the rewards in terms of sides.
The T-shirt! We found a really awesome T-shirt related to Smoking Salmon -- it has this design on the front:
For the Kickstarter campaign, we will personalize the T-shirt with some additional words to make it a one-of-a-kind edition that only our Backers will receive.
Risks and challenges
Our most important challenge is implementing our production space so that the state regulator (acting on behalf of the FDA) is satisfied that we can manufacture a safe seafood product. There is nothing fundamentally difficult; the issue is that it can take several iterations with the inspector.
We have already been in touch with our inspector, and we have created a virtual tour of the space so that we can ask him to identify problems before he even makes a physical inspection. This will save both him and us time and reduce the number of physical visits he has to make before issuing us the license.
Yes, we only use Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon -unlike farm raised fish, which are fed additives to color the flesh and drugs to keep them healthy. We do not use color or liquid smoke. Throughout our process, we use salt, sugar, natural spices, water, charcoal, and natural wood. At this time, the only allergen in our product is fish!
Food operations are approved and monitored by the state and federal governments. For smoked salmon, our product is regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We have completed all of the required training (HACCP Seafood Safety Training) and we are currently undergoing additional safety training (GMP, SSOP). Our process and facilities have to be reviewed, inspected, and approved before we can sell the product.
A T-shirt smoked to perfection! You get a "Smoked Salmon" T-shirt (see project narrative for a picture) filled with smoke from our pure charcoal and wood fire. Make your party guests think you worked hard over a hot fire to cook their dinner! You can get an un-smoked T-shirt if you prefer. All backers will be acknowledged on the web site, if desired.
Smoky (or unsmoked) T-shirt plus 10 "sides" of smoked salmon (your choice of flavor), including domestic shipping. This reward will be divided into 5 separate shipments in a 12-month period. PLUS for one year be a member of our flavor "tasting panel" and vote on whether to offer a new flavor. Where else can you influence the selection of hot smoked salmon products?
Smoky (or un-smoked) T-shirt plus CREATE your own recipe! Backers will receive a 1st shipment of 2 sides of our different flavors. Backers then interact with us to create a backer-inspired recipe. Backers receive a 2nd shipment of 2 sides of their flavor. For the 3rd shipment, backers may modify their recipe or keep it as is and then receive 2 more sides. Domestic shipping only. Backer-inspired recipes will be considered for inclusion as a future product!
Do you want a one-of-a-kind dining experience? You get the $1000 "tasting panel" reward plus the backer and 1 guest are flown to the Dayton area (domestic shipping and domestic airfare only). See the salmon being prepared and smoked. In a private dining experience, an award-winning chef will provide dishes to complement the salmon that has just come off the smoker -- this is the only way to get hot smoked salmon just made! Several dates will be available for this reward.
Do you want the ultimate "catch your salmon" paired with the one-of-a-kind dining experience? You get the $5000 reward plus the backer (only, no guest) is flown to Alaska during the prime sockeye fishing season for a personal fishing experience. Your fish will be processed there and shipped back to us for storage until you and your guest come to the Dayton area. Domestic shipping and domestic airfare only. See YOUR salmon that you caught be prepared and smoked, then enjoy the private dining experience with the award-winning chef. This is the ultimate way to enjoy what you caught during your fishing vacation.