5 things coming to you from the desk of the Mail Order Director this week. I’ve had an amazing year in 2017 at the Smokehaus. From learning the ropes from my dear colleagues Flo and Mary (and the whole staff really), to being given the autonomy to research and implement new systems and processes to grow this department, to learning that you can have a job that is actually fun, challenging and creative but not all consuming. What a find, I think. I made it through the busy month of December, and now there’s time to breath and dream and scheme (as they say around here) on all the fun things we can do for our amazing customers this year.
For starters – here’s 5 recent additions to our Mail Order website (in case you missed them):
#1 Country Pate (we know it’s not for everyone, but once you try it, you may get hooked) is now offered in 3 sizes: 1/3 pound, 1/2 pound, whole loaf. The 1/3 pound is obviously the cutest, coming in the small container we affectionately call “the casket.”
#2 We’re working on amping up the grocery items available to ship. Many have asked for them, and more to come. So far, you can purchase our Hausmade Kimchi, Kraut and Crayo. Take your home sandwich-making up 10 notches with these badass items.
#3 Cheese and crackers. It’s as simple as that. You can now add Cheese + Crackers to your order for $10. Just need the crackers? You can do that too. And you know you want to add them, because it’s the easiest way to enjoy so many of our products, and the fastest way to get a party started.
#4 We have a new section on our website for “Seasonal” items/gift boxes! With our plans to offer new pairings, seasonal offerings, and promotional discounts, you can find all those good things now in the Seasonal section. In case you missed it, right now, we have super awesome Super Bowl snack packs, and a Valentine’s Day box for sweethearts everywhere.
#5 And we’ll be working on a great many more things this year! Be on the lookout for Ham Steaks (in case you don’t want the whole 7 pounder), Portioned Porkettas (dinner for 2?), and Atlantic Salmon Boxes including 4 pieces of a single flavor (i.e. we know those purists love the Traditional Style!).
Please keep eating our food, and staying in touch with us 🙂 We love to hear from you, and we love to feed you.
#1. Smokehaus Party takes place. Smokehausers do like a party. Food and drinks are in abundance, and people laugh and sing and frolic into the wee hours. It’s good for camaraderie, it’s a good release this time of year, and the we count the clock until next time.
#2. We started to release recipe cards in our mail order boxes! These little beauties feature our products and we’ll be making more and more as the months carry on. Look for one in your next shipment from us!
#3. Our website gets a few tweaks. In preparation for brand new photography, we’ve altered the look of our mail order section to showcase our new photos. Release date is very soon, so keep your eyes peeled. These new shots will knock your socks off!
#4. We slice 59 # of Smoked Berkshire Bacon, and add it to our growing stash for the holiday season. Take a look at some fun facts compiled by Mental Floss last year.
#5. We gear up for none-other-than, Cyber Monday! It’s our first go at the cyber-space madness online shopping day. We think we’ve got a cute little offer, and we hope our amazing customers will take advantage. Cyber space immediately equated to Pigs in Space for us. And so our cute little campaign was born.
HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN!
We hope you’re also listening to Werewolf Bar Mitzvah over and over again. If not… maybe you should start??
5 Things: Here We Go
1- It’s test time!
We sent out several of our Delivery, Catering and Mail Order and Deli manager(s) to get their Serve Safe Certification on Monday, October 23rd. Here are some highlights from Dungeon-Master and Iron Man, Harry-boi.
Food Safety Class Hour One:
Things I’ve Learned:
-Jeff, our instructor, could shoot a wing off a jet in an A-10 Warthog.
-Allergies are more common now because we’re “…not eating enough boogers”.
-Scrapbooking is for “gals”.
Hmmm… We do not suggest boogers as a source of protein. But to each their own? (read: ew).
Mamma Kath is teaching Deli Manager TK how to be the master of inventory. Every week we receive orders from many local and regional vendors. It takes a great finesse and extraordinary organizational skills to keep all departments orders on track. Orders come in, they are put away, laughs are shared with our great delivery drivers and snacks are had.
Shout out to Jodi from Classic Provisions for being the kindest delivery driver ever.
3- Mail Order Meat Madness
Once the Holidays season begins it’s pretty hard to stay ahead of the game without feeling a little frantic. So we start getting ready earlier in the year in order to be able to send out our 2,000 boxes around Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This week we sliced 63 lb of Turkey, 49 lb of Andouille, 46 lb of Pancetta and 74 lb of Pork Loin!!!!
4- NEW STICKERS!!!
After probably 10+ years of having our oval stickers we upgraded to these sharp circle cuties! Thanks, Stephen!
5- LOOK MORTY
While our oval stickers where in absence, we used a lot of different stickers to keep your fish, meats, salumi and sandwiches from escaping the butcher paper. It was a busy and confusing summer. Cajun Finns were getting marked “German Brats”, “Italian Style” and/or “Whitefish Sausage” and many other items were also (for a bit) mislabeled. So after dealing with weeks and weeks of back and forth emailing with our sticker vendor, we ordered some “just in case” green circles from Uline.
Oh the fun that has been had with these simple and amazing vessels for creativity. Let’s just say someone around the Smokehaus has been drawing Ricks (from the Adult Swim Show Rick & Morty) all over the place. We hope some of you enjoy the “LOOK MORTY I TURNED MYSELF INTO A DOOR”.
5 Things – Volume 9
Here’s some stuff that occurred this past week at The Smokehaus. In chronological order this time:
#1. Sunday night Staff Meeting! We crammed ourselves into the common area of our small office. We ran down the agenda, we chatted and laughed. No shortage of laughter in this place. Then the newbies got their height marked on the wall. It’s tradition. And it’s a mirror into the past of all the beautiful humans that have made their mark (hehe) on the Smokehaus in years past.
#2. Order Up! So…. There’s been some confusion. When sandwiches are shouted out to shop patrons they are set under a sign that once read “Pickup.” This was, however, not where one would pick up an order they called in to our Pickup department. Pickup patrons can conveniently skip the line and our Pickup staff will bring your order right out to you in the alley way on the North side of the building. That all makes sense, right?! ☺ So, we think our new signage might help alleviate some of the confusion… what do you think? More custom lettering by the one and only Flo.
#3. The titan among sandwiches is released on the nation. It’s been a long time coming, but as we dipped our toes into the trending world of Sandwich Kits it was only natural that our best-selling sandwich be one of the competitors. You can read more about how this sandwich came into being in this post. If you ever find yourself staring longingly in the direction of the Smokehaus, you know how to bring it home now. Get ‘yer Cajun Finns sent to your doorstep.
#4. PIXIES! A favorite band for at least 2 Smokehausers (Mary and Nick C), the Pixies were in St Paul this week and Steve-man, Mary, Greg, and Jeremy all went down to see them. They were awesome! They played everything from Caribou to Motorway to Roswell. After the show, we headed to a bar around the corner and were utterly amazed to see Black Francis and Joey Santiago in the next booth over. Magic!
#5. Birthdays and a tweet. A few fine folks celebrated birthdays this week including Eric, Jeremy, Jacob, and Ned. If you’re a local you probably know and love them. Plus extra love from the fine peeps behind the Homegrown twitter handle. Well that was nice! Thanks @dhgmf
5 Things: Volume 8
Hi people of the internet. Here’s 5 things that happened at the Smokehaus and our beloved Restaurant this week.
We perfected the new Wednesday special up on Woodland Ave (Northern Waters Restaurant). Our new fried chicken sammy is to die for! Things that may or may not be featured on this special: buttermilk brined, hays-tenderized chicken breast, Franks hot sauce, cracker breading, local brioche buns from Lake Superior Bakehouse, Smokehaus bacon, avocado, top secret spice blend and/or a rotating mix of toppings for new and delicious creations every week. Every Wednesday!
#2. Fall Decor
Our shop is pretty cute, but there’s always room for more cuteness! Hannah brought in a few gourds to decorate the shop and help us feel ok about summer being over. Hopefully she brings in a snowman when winter hits… (did you know the record low for December in Duluth is -27 degrees?)
#3. Is anyone missing a pair of hockey skates?
A random box showed up the other day. Its labeling was pretty unclear, it was addressed to us, but it had multiple labels and we were a little hesitant to open it. But our curiosity always gets the better of us. Turns out it was hockey skates, belonging to someone who has really small feet and no connection to the Smokehaus. Weeeeiiiird. Needless to say, we had to discuss this event and all its infinite possibilities for several minutes that day….
#4. Holiday Season looms over us like a wall of boxes (literally).
October means we’re gearing up for Mail Order’s peak Holiday Season which happens every December. For three glorious and also insane weeks our Mail Order elves work nearly round the clock to make food, package food, and ship food to thousands of customers around the country. Fun fact: after Minnesota, California is where we sent the most boxes to last year. Hello West Coast! So… this week a new seasonal employee started in our Mail Order dept – welcome Zac! He’s the first of many elves who will be joining the team to pack, pack, pack their little hearts out. During peak time, it’s one person’s job just to make boxes – not kidding.
#5. The perks of being an employee of the Smokehaus.
When there’s leftover food, employee’s enjoy. This week folks in the shop spread layers and layers of Mary’s dreamy gooseberry jam on our Hausmade rye. Mary’s recipe uses five-spice. You know how she does.
Post was co-created by Stephen Pestalozzi.
The backpack kids are back in town. School is back in session and with a new season comes its ups and downs.
- Our co-workers have less time for us! Some of our really hilarious and youthful souls are back in the world of academia. Study hard: Cedar, Asher, Keira, Jake, Cy, Cal, Ian, Kjell, Lucy and Thomas. On a very, very exciting note- Penti (our summer spunky basement daredevil) is studying abroad in India and we wish him all the luck and encouragement on his grand adventure overseas.
Pictured above is the Mr. Deli Manager TK — not going back to school — who’s been keeping his nose in books while researching more and more about fermentation but that’s for another 5 things.
2. We have been joined by a local jean-vest-wearing-rockstar Jacob. When he’s not slaying sandwiches, Jacob’s a multi-media working artist in Duluth. He makes short films, shoots video and plays in several bands in town. Welcome to the island of food weirdos!
Ok… So if you add the look, the knife and the t-shirt… You might get the wrong impression of him. He’s actually an incredible sweetheart. We just wanted him to be fierce for the internet.
3. Earlier this summer our assistant manager JT (read: Coach) took a leap of faith and moved across the country to Montana. We were heartbroken to lose him as he brought in a stellar sense of humor to the workplace, but we knew that he had a different scenery calling his name. So since we’re in the middle of testing our new sandwich kit, we sent JT the first four person Cajun Finn Kit! Reports say it arrived safely and made for a sentimental meal with a piece of home. We miss you, JT!!!
This could be you. Stay tuned as we will announce the Cajun Finn Kit this fall!!
Barn dinner. Barn dinner. Barn dinner. Those two words have been on everyone’s mind for the last month here at the Smokehaus! So we are happy that tomorrow is finally the day that we will be sharing and making a wonderful experience with 50 guests and co-workers. Eric Goerdt sure knows how to throw a damn party!
4. Stephen and Mary made Mozzarella from scratch for our antipasto platters that we are serving at “Boot in the Barn” this Saturday at Hemlock Preserve. To make Mozzarella you have to bring up your curd mixture to 105 F. There was talk about double gloves, hot hands and other phrases that confirms that love and labor went into the making of the Mozzarella.
5. Three large Porchettas will be smoked, roasted and fire licked as the main event for our “Boot in the Barn” dinner. This week Eric and TK rolled Berkshire pork loin and bellies together. Each Porchetta was massaged and slathered with white wine, lemon, rosemary, sage, garlic and olive oil and will be cooked until tender-perfection. Each Porchetta weighs about 20 lbs!!!! That’s a lot of mouth-watering Berkshire pork.
Excuse our raw image, processing isn’t always glamorous but the outcomes are worth the mess.
Let’s face it, not everyone is good at giving gifts. Remember that Seinfeld episode? The one where Jerry gives Elaine 182 dollars to her snarky response, but then weeps when given a beautiful wooden bench she asked for, complete with a Yeats-quoted card (from Kramer, of all people). Now, there’s the art of gift giving.
“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such a friend.” – Yeats
At the Smokehaus, we appreciate fine and thoughtful things, and pairing certain items together for special gift boxes throughout the year brings us great joy. We know many of our mail order customers have been to the Canal Park deli on a special trip to Duluth. They have fond memories of being in our small shop, of traipsing around the Northland for summer fun and whimsy, all coupled with the mouth-watering goodness that filled their bellies and their memories. And perhaps, you’ve thought about how to bring the feelings of the Smokehaus into your own dining room.
We do understand giving the gift of specialty food mailed right to your door is a luxury, and that’s why we send the freshest product, handle and package each item with care and respect, and are sure to email or call you with any questions about your order or desired delivery time. (We even accept custom gift box orders.) We hope you feel giddy when you receive these special boxes of smoked delicacies. And we hope you will send a gift box to a friend someday, or a mother, for a special occasion, or to share together over beers on the deck, recounting all the hilarity and inside jokes from that last trip up the shore.
Gift Boxes Courtesy of the Smokehaus
Order Mother’s Day Gift Boxes by Wednesday, May 10th to ensure delivery before Mother’s Day.
Order Father’s Day Gift Boxes by Wednesday, June 14th, to ensure delivery before Father’s Day.
Order Northern Bagel Sandwich Kits anytime for that special someone, or special people. The Northern Bagel has been featured on our menu since 2001.
How many times have you been to the Canal Park deli? Who did you come with? Leave comments above.
Cheers, friends! And Happy Gift Giving!