Smokehouse welcomes arrival of new fish smoking kiln - by crane

New kiln craned into position Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - 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.

New kiln craned into position Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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.

Gerry Skews Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

Gerry Skews at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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.

New kiln craned into position Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

Once commissioned, the new kiln will be capable of smoking up to a metric tonne of salmon, herring and mackerel a day.

New kiln craned into position Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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."

New kiln craned into position Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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.

New kiln Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

The new kiln after being craned into position at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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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 Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft.

The Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

The business now supplies more than 200 products to specialist retailers including independent Budgens, farm shops, delis and online sales.

Gerry Skews Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

Gerry Skews at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

The team has also built three new cold smoking brick kilns.

Jenny Adams vac packing kippers.

Jenny Adams vac packing kippers. - Credit: Mick Howes

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.

Paul Knights with a tray ready to put in the kiln.

Paul Knights with a tray ready to put in the kiln. - Credit: Mick Howes

"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."

Glynis Skews weighing pre cut cold smoked salmon.

Glynis Skews weighing pre cut cold smoked salmon. - Credit: Mick Howes

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.

Gerry Skews Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

Gerry Skews at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

The new landlord of the smokehouse is businessman Peter Colby.

Gerry Skews Peter Colby Waveney Valley Smokehouse Lowestoft

Gerry Skews and businessman Peter Colby at the Waveney Valley Smokehouse in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

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."



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