When I look back at how Holy Smoke started, one could have thought that we were a little crazy! No plan and very little money! I was cooking fish & chips at the local take away & had an idea of manufacturing smoked products. Ten years later, still a little crazy but a little better organized and now many amazing products!
So how did we get into food manufacturing? Not only food manufacturing but the ancient art of smoking! Even though I am Italian, I had no experience at smallgoods manufacturing. Friends were visiting from Perth during Easter and had popped in for a cuppa before heading back to the big smoke. We were talking about work with the idea of possibly starting a home handy man business but the discussion extended to the reality that no one was really doing smoked products around here. As a laugh, someone said we could call it “Holy Smoke” as we were all part of a Christian Community! Thus began the “Holy Smoke” journey!!
The local owner of the trout farm suggested that we come up with a smoked trout dip before the smoked trout. He was right, thanks Egon! And so we began. The local butcher allowed me to manufacture my dip from his shop. We started with 1kg batches which at the time gave us 7 tubs. If we sold them in a week, wow!
At the time friends of ours, the Bendotti’s, started valuing adding their own produce into frozen chips at the old Simplot site in Manjimup. The first time that I was showed the site I thought of a scene out of Mad Max. Anyway that’s where we are!
From our small beginnings, our products are now available from the Great Southern region of Western Australia, through the South West and into Perth. Our success to date is from the many people who have either been a part of the business or offered sound advice at the right time, especially our suppliers. Even with all this, the support from my beautiful family has been invaluable. Through all the upheavals it has been our faith that has kept us in good stead and helped us to persevere.
From when I first walked into the old derelict apple juicing plant to now as a fully operational food production factory and HACCP accredited, our journey has been quite amazing! Three years ago, along with some special friends, we opened up a Gourmet Food Shop in Pemberton as a means to showcase our products. Many people are blest as they spent time in our beautiful shop.
How does faith and the business co-exist? It’s the vehicle that we hope to enable those in need especially the young to be able to eventually finish their education, tafe or to work at Holy Smoke.