The Wee Smokehouse
The Wee Smokehouse, formerly Fat Albert Smokehouse, was purchased by Juliet and Alasdair McLeod back in 2018 from Keith and Alison Hatton, just outside of Fairlie. Juliet and Alasdair initially thought it would be a good retirement project but quickly realised it would be much more than that, so partnered with their son Tom and his wife Jennifer to buy the business. In July of that year, Alasdair and Jennifer took turns living out of Juliet and Alasdair’s bus (RV) in Fairlie while taking a crash course from Keith on all things Smokehouse. Alasdair has been smoking fish as a hobby most of his life, whereas Jennifer knew absolutely nothing about it, so learned everything from scratch. By the end of August, they had a new smokehouse built at their current location north of Geraldine with all the equipment moved in from Fairlie.
They have a hot smoker and a cold smoker allowing them to process over 100kgs of salmon per day, 2 chillers, and a large vacuum packer - initially only doing hot and cold smoked salmon. Jennifer has grown the business over the past 4 years, and in conjunction with High Country Salmon, has increased the range to include products such as gravadlax, cold smoked beetroot salmon, gin cured salmon, truffle cold smoked salmon, and a refined sugar-free honey & thyme hot smoked salmon. As well as smoking salmon, the also have hot smoked duck and hot smoked chorizo.
Cold smoked salmon and beetroot cold smoked salmon in the smoker.
Alasdair and Juliet have stepped back from working in the smokehouse but still attend local farmer's markets and fetes throughout Mid and South Canterbury. They’ve brought on a full-time employee and have up to two part-timers over the busier summer months. A third smoker and larger Smokehouse are in The Wee Smokehouse’s future plans, as well as adding in a few more smoked products.