as a kid, during crabbing season jeff (future van smokey himself) and his dad would wake up crazy early, go down to the water and start dropping cages to try and catch dinner. jeff’s dad, being the smart man he was, knew that if he didn’t keep this kid well fed, he would have a hangry little monster on his hands. allowed one snack to choose from jeff went with the jerky every time and has ever since.
years later when jeff’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, jeff moved back to delaware to help out and to build a smokehouse so they could make their own jerky to enjoy together just like in the old crabbing days. before they were even able to fire up the smokehouse the first time, his dad passed. after this loss, jeff moved to the catskills and built a smokehouse there in his backyard, starting van smokey as a way to connect with his dad and the new community he calls home.
from that first smoker in delaware, to experimenting in his brooklyn apt on a little portable electric number, jeff has smoked a lot of meats. after years of experimenting, he set up shop in the town and community that helped nurture his ideas and gave the product its first shot. located in livingston manor, in the heart of the catskill mountains, van smokey is dedicated to developing new products that are exciting to try and fun to create. afterall, if you aren’t having fun, what’s the point?
at the heart of every van smokey product is smoke and the unmistakable flavor it adds. at the van smokey headquarters we are constantly exploring new ways to use smoke in our products. from our bloody hot bloody mary mix using smoked tomatoes and peppers to our mellow go maniac, smoked lemon syrup you can taste the time and effort put into all our products. kicking everything up a tick or two and always keeping things interesting, we constantly look to bring you new creations to keep up the smokey conversation. stop by the store to try our newest experiments in smoke and while you’re here pick up products from our favorite local farms and everything you need to experiment with smoke on your own at home.
We take jalapeño peppers and smoke them with applewood all day long. Then we take those peppers and ferment them for weeks. Then we add some fancy french apple cider vinegar and blend it all together. And just like with van smokey himself, it will get better with age. Enjoy on all the things.