I am a cold-smoking fool. After moving to a small lake community in 2012, I discovered the local restaurants had limited bar food menus and low-quality food so I became obsessed with the idea of supplying them with smoked meats. I bought my first Masterbuilt® smoker in October 2012 and my first order was a 25lb Thanksgiving turkey. I quickly realized my dislike for handling raw meat, but didn't want to give up smoking. There was a brand new winery being built and schedule to open mid-summer 2013 and I wanted to somehow be a part of their menu—that's when I decided to smoke cheese instead of meat.
The Smoking Loon Smokery® was born March 2013 and has tripled cheese sales in just over a year. I ultimately moved from the lake back to Columbus, OH to better service my accounts. I've outgrown the backyard smoker and have a commercial kitchen space where I smoke, prep, pack, and store smoked cheeses for several local markets and restaurants.
I am currently testing a new product: cold-smoked coffee beans. With the flurry of craft breweries opening recently, I am developing a smoked bean to create an award-winnng smoked coffee stout beer. The possibilities are endless!
I discovered SMF in the early stages of my business and it has been a fantastic resource, thanks to the forum submissions. After a couple years cold-smoking under my belt, I can now offer some of my experiences.