Our first farmers market was February 9, 2002 at Stetson and 5th Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale. We had one table and one tent strapped to an old jeep with one product in a cooler. A few months into it, I started bringing a small smoker to promote the product and attract attention. Nothing works better than a fresh free sample of smoked salmon on a toothpick with the aroma of hardwood smoke hanging in the air. Sometimes we could see a stranger catch the scent 100 feet away and make a bee line to the source with a smile of anticipation.
We have hosted many smoked salmon classes to interested parties over the years. Some stick with it and enjoy the process and ritual, while others never do it again and appreciate my effort providing all the necessary steps to provide a freezer stable ready to eat product.
My old and dependable smoker caught on fire last spring. I decided to take a break from the ritual of thawing, fabricating, curing, smoking, drying, chilling, vacuum packing, freezing and labelling. I have spent the last few months thinking about purchasing a commercial smoker vs. building a custom unit. What size to buy or build is what I am contemplating now. Past trends and sales records help, but the future will determine whether decisions made now are good, bad, or indifferent. So, I ask you good people for input. Who wants smoked salmon? Sockeye is by far the most popular. What package size do you prefer? Two equal portions totaling 5 to 7 ounces sells the quickest so far, but variety helps the larger market. A sea salt cure with hardwood hickory smoke has won the ten year experiment on what you the customers prefer to eat and feed your families and friends.
Help me help you by ordering smoked salmon in advance. The response from this story will determine how much capital we commit to continuing the smoked salmon business.
Our email list consists of approximately 2200 subscribers. About 600 typically open and read the contents of an average post. One percent usually respond directly with an order or comment. Be that one percent if you want me to smoke some salmon for you ASAP.