Harris Smokehouse is a fourth generation, family owned and operated smokehouse located in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Sourcing the highest quality, raw seafood from Australia as well as overseas and use traditional curing methods to create a subtle, smoky aroma that doesn't overpower the premium produce that has been harvested from pristine waters.
The fourth generation in the family to smoke seafoods, Adam Harris is proud to follow his family tradition and maintain the family reputation. We caught up with Harris to learn more.
Who are the team behind Harris Smokehouse and what made you launch?
I am the fourth generation of our family to Smoke Seafoods for a living, but of those four generations there a four businesses, two in the UK and now two in Australia, so its been a new business each time, rather than the same business passed down. When my parents sold their business "springs smoked salmon" to HUON in 2005, they reduced their range of species to focus on salmon, so I started all over again to focus on a variety of species, hand made, small scale, back to basics to fill the gap in the market that appeared. I was lucky to have a team of lovely locals who worked for the family before who knew exactly what to do, so we just put the band back together and started again!
What does a day in the life of the Harris Smokehouse team look like?
Busy, ever changing & challenging. The drastic ongoing increases in the cost of the raw materials is putting us under constant pressure to improve every aspect of our operation, so no day is spent contently supplying demand, every day brings a new challenge and something else to improve to ensure success.
Can you tell us more about the smoking process?
We operate today as my great grandfather did in 1954... the same recipe and the same process, just with some added tech to keep it more controllable, safe and consistent. Salmon will cure on the salt for anywhere from 4 to 10 hours depending on the condition of the fish through the season & then up to 36 hours in the smoker depending on the weather outside. Every batch is different, and we are still learning how to get it spot on everytime even today... but when everything is perfect, its pretty special!
What is your favourite Harris recipe?
When the cold smoked salmon is the perfect balance of salt, smoke, oiliness, aroma and texture its truly amazing, but beyond that I love the smoked octopus. We have produced some amazing products over the years that just weren’t viable like oysters or abalone and its such a shame the numbers just don’t work out, as the end product can be pretty special.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Surviving, thriving in our niche and growing .... As a local manufacuter it’s a challenge to even exist with the increased costs of production locally today. But we have built a loyal following of customers who trust us to provide them products that suit their own life's morals and ethics, and to supply them something super yum at the same time that they can buy and serve to their friends knowing its going to be just as awesome as the last time they bought it. Its not been an easy journey, but what has been created is lovely to look back upon.
It's been an amazing nine years of business. The Australian Consumer is wanting to know more and more about the food they eat, perfect timing for us, as by going back to basics in our production methods has allowed us to ride that wave of consumers asking questions, for their health, for their ethics and for the planet... we use every single gram of fish we buy, nothing goes in the bin, not even the bones or skins! As we sell them to premium pet food businesses. We recycle every single box we are sent from suppliers, and then buy our fish from the smaller fishermen, or grower who care like we do. So our customers can trust in our brand that we aren’t jut profiting from their business, but making a difference at the same time and producing the products how they were 50 years ago. Naturally and to be amazing.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 things, what would they be?
My wife! My fishing rod & my boxer dog