Richard Brookman has run the Brookman’s Artisan Smokery, near Nashville, Tennessee, with the help of his wife Amy, since it was a mobile seafood market.
Now it’s a fully-fledged business, selling artisan smoked meats and smoked salmon.
Mr Brookman said: “We started the current smokehouse in 2018 with the shop that we’re in now. Originally, we were selling fresh seafood and started smoking salmon as well. So, we were looking for a new place because we were using a trailer.
“Once we got in to the unit, we decided to make it a retail outlet as well. We have our smoker out the back, we bring the salmon in, brine it overnight and then smoke it.”
“We’re fairly small, we have about 1,200 square foot shop and a large smoker out the back.”
“We’re open from Wednesday through to Saturday. I’m the only employee at this time. Amy helps on Saturdays, but works full time throughout the week.”
The business receives two shipments of fish, including atlantic salmon, per week from an American company called Verlasso. They sell around 100 pounds of that shipment of salmon each week.
“The area we are in, the people are not familiar with smoked salmon,” says Ms Brookman.
“So, we’re really the only company in Tennessee who’s smoking the salmon. There’s no-one else here doing that.”
“The thing that surprises us the most is people’s preconceived notion that they don’t like salmon but when they try ours they love it.”
“And we’re very proud. It’s taken six years to get the salmon recipe where it is now. A lot of trial and error.”
“We’ve been doing salmon since about 2013, but we really wanted to focus on perfecting the salmon and getting more people exposed to the area.”
Now they’re getting ready to open up a wholesale arm of the business.
Ms Brookman said: “We’re going to see how that goes, in terms of building up our facilities. We’ll be supplying restaurants all over the US with salmon.”
And who has been some of their most famous customers? “We have lots of sports figures we’ve served,” Mr Brookman said. “Sterling Marlin, for one, who’s a racing car driver.”