“If you want something done right you gotta do it yourself” …
or so the old saying goes, but for Kevin Schmidt, he took it to heart. After several years of being a commercial fisherman catching salmon in Bristol bay up in Alaska, Kevin was disappointed by the lack of quality salmon in the Red River Valley area. With a plan of action in mind Kevin started having his catch custom processed and sent home to the direct market. After five years of this process, he started to see the value in offering small batch, specialty smoked salmon to the local wild salmon fans. So, with Stephanie his wife working the sales and Kevin catching the fish, the two embarked on the mission of giving the Red River Valley the tasty smoked salmon it deserves.
“We started smoking our salmon ourselves because we weren't fully satisfied with hiring out the job. You could call us salmon snobs, but we only want the best for our customers and to do justice to one of the most wonderful food sources on the planet. Producing our own value added product also made us eligible for the Red River Market which was a huge deciding factor in moving forward with the smoked salmon project.” the two commented.
What really highlights these two’s devotion to good fish is the entire process of getting the fish from Alaska all the way to your plate ready to eat. Kevin explained “We catch our salmon in June and July each year, professionally fillet and freeze them. Then they are barged and trucked down from Alaska. In small batches, we brine our sockeye salmon in a brown sugar and salt mixture for several hours. We then smoke it in our commercial smoker with natural wood for about 9 hours. Finally, all of the smoked salmon is vacuum sealed and frozen. This variation of smoked salmon is considered a Pacific Northwest Style.” And the hard work truly pays off with an end product that will reel in even the most picky of taste buds.
If you haven't caught these two at the market yet, I recommend you do before you get baited by other stands. Trust me nothing fishy’s going on, just one try and you’ll be hooked! 🐟