Our Hebridean Home
The Hebridean Smokehouse is located on North Uist, part of the Scottish Outer Hebridean archipelago that lies off the extreme northwest of the British mainland.
This long island chain that extends from Isle of Lewis in the north down to the Isle of Barra to the south and is separated from the Scottish mainland by the Minch channel. To the west is the North Atlantic Ocean which has a profound climatic effect on the islands from the relatively warm ocean currents that sweep up from the south – this is termed the gulf stream and it moderates winter cold and summer extremes of temperature.
Seen from the air, North Uist appears to be as much water as land with a concentrated patchwork of freshwater lochs dominating the landscape. This watery scene is most pronounced on the eastern side where the freshwater lochs are bounded by peaty moorland while the western and north western areas are dominated by a shell sand landscape known as the machair.
North Uist is an internationally important site for birdlife, flora and Neolithic and Iron Age archaeology. People have lived on these islands for many thousands of years and have left behind them many relics of their lives here including burial cairns and dwellings both above and below ground. Much of what is understood of these ancient times has come from investigating these sites and there is a great deal that is still to be fully explained.
Hebridean Smokehouse began life as a small business here on North Uist in 1983 under the trading name of Mermaid Fish Supplies, owned and run by George and Rosemary Jackson. Mermaid mainly supplied local islanders with fresh white fish landed on Uist and latterly, with the aquisition of a small smoking kiln, the Jacksons started peat smoking the cod and haddock. Salmon farming was starting up in the island about this time and the Jacksons were some of the first to make use of this resource for smoking.
Initially the smoked salmon was only sold to visitors buying directly from the smokehouse who then took it home with them. But an opportunity was seen and developed by the Jacksons to offer their product to a wider audience that made use of the excellent mail links from North Uist to the mainland. Today there is still a daily collection of parcels that are flown out from the airport on the Isle of Benbecula.
With the retirement of Mr and Mrs Jackson in 2000 the business was taken forward by Fergus and Anne Granville and the name Hebridean Smokehouse introduced. Since they took over, the smokehouse has grown in size with a new building and a larger kiln that now smokes all the salmon, seatrout and shellfish in the Hebridean range - although sadly none of the whitefish once landed so regularly here in the Outer Hebrides.
Today Hebridean Smokehouse employs around 10 local people all year round with many more joining the team at Christmas. The quality of our products and the reputation enjoyed by the smokehouse is down to the expertise of our production staff, who take such care in producing the very best possible from the very best raw materials.