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During crabbing season as a kid, Jeff (future Van Smokey himself) and his dad would wake up crazy early, go down to the water and start dropping cages in to try and catch dinner. Jeff's dad, smart man that he was, knew that if he didn't keep his kid well-fed, he would have a hangry little monster on his hands. Allowed to choose one snack, Jeff went with jerky every time—and has ever since. Years later, when Jeff's dad was diagnosed with cancer, Jeff moved back to Delaware to help him out. There, Jeff built a smokehouse for them to make their own jerky to enjoy together, just like in the old crabbing days. But before they were able to fire up the smokehouse for the first time, his dad passed. After this loss, Jeff moved to the Catskills and built a smokehouse in his backyard. He started Van Smokey as a way to connect with his dad and with the community he now calls home.
From that first smoker in Delaware, to experimenting in his Brooklyn apartment on a small portable one, Jeff has smoked a lot of meats. After years of experimenting, he set up shop in Livingston Manor, the town and community that helped nurture his idea and gave his products their first shot. Located in the heart of the Catskill mountains, Van Smokey is dedicated to developing products that are exciting to try and fun to create. After all, if you aren't having fun, what's the point?
Smoke, and its unmistakable flavor, is at the heart of Van Smokey. We are always exploring new ways to use smoke, from the smoked tomatoes and peppers in our Bloody Hot Bloody Mary mix, to our Mellow Go Maniac Smoked Lemon Syrup. Stop by the store to try our newest concoctions, and while you're here, grab a few products from our favorite local farms.