Smokehouse welcomes arrival of new fish smoking kiln - by crane
- Credit: Mick Howes
It is one of the few remaining smokehouses in the area that uses traditional techniques to cure and smoke herring.
And there was a new addition to the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft this week - as a new kiln was craned into position.
For the owners of the popular smokehouse, based on Newcombe Road, the arrival on Thursday of what they described as "the largest fish smoking kiln in the area", it is proof that there's still strong demand for local artisan smoked foods.
Owned and operated by husband and wife Gerry and Glynis Skews, there are two businesses on the site - a smokehouse and a food processing and packing business.
Once commissioned, the new kiln will be capable of smoking up to a metric tonne of salmon, herring and mackerel a day.
Mr Skews said: "It will more than double the capacity of the existing business which is in line with the significant growth in customers turning to natural, healthy and local products."
With interest in the Waveney Valley Smokehouse products having now spread well beyond the region, the team is now making twice weekly shipments to London and Grimsby for wider distribution across the country.
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Mr Skews said: "The new kiln has been craned in and this will be the biggest smoking kiln in Lowestoft, providing sufficient capacity to make the smokehouse a major regional producer of smoked fish.
"This will augment our half tonne kiln that we already use and will be re-purposed for a new range of speciality products."
The business now supplies more than 200 products to specialist retailers including independent Budgens, farm shops, delis and online sales.
The team has also built three new cold smoking brick kilns.
Mr Skews said: "These are completely unique with the basic kiln design modelled on the existing 200-year-old kilns that are used to smoke salmon, kippers, bloaters and haddock, but the new kilns have a design that radically improves product consistency and clean burning to significantly reduce carbon emissions while keeping quality and flavour paramount.
"This is the best of both worlds, we will be using 100pc natural, local seasoned oak in a controlled way that will use our skill and knowledge to continue to produce amazing smoked products with more consistency."
The smokehouse has just won an international award for its in house developed food safety software and has also recently opened an outlet at London’s famous foodie “Borough” market.
The new landlord of the smokehouse is businessman Peter Colby.
Mr Colby said: ”Supporting local businesses especially those involved in the local fishing industry is important.
"We have made a significant investment in helping to improve the standards of the building and infrastructure to allow Waveney Valley Smokehouse to realise its true potential in the coming years."