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Mike Taylor, Founder & CEO of The Smoke Bloke

In this series, we take a look at the amazing work being accomplished by members of our community. These are the game-changers, the inspirational leaders, and the passion-driven individuals who are changing our community, our health and our planet.

Q: Introduce yourself: tell us who you are and what you do?

A: My name is Mike Taylor and I am the Founder/CEO of The Smoke Bloke Inc. We produce the highest quality of smoked seafood with no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours. We source from minimum 4 star BAP certified sources and stress Canadian product whenever possible! We also never freeze our product and always hand slice to ensure the highest quality from beginning to end. No compromises is a great way to summarize our philosophy towards our products.

Q: Tell us a little bit about The Smoke Bloke & how the story began?

A: While attending Chef Training at George Brown College I was able to take on a part time position at a now defunct smoked salmon supplier here in Toronto and this is where I fell in love with smoked salmon. As I worked my way through and up the ranks in professional kitchens here in Toronto and in Australia I was able to constantly develop my own take on smoked salmon. At my final job in the kitchen I was the Head Chef and we were able to produce all smoked salmon as well as items like charcuterie, sausages, smoked cheese, bacon, etc. in house. This was when I was able to fully finish my development of the smoked salmon we produce today! When that restaurant went up for sale, I took my cue and jumped in to take the plunge and The Smoke Bloke was born!

Q: Impact has had the pleasure of partnering with The Smoke Bloke to fuel our customers every day. What is most important to you when it comes to building partnerships?

A: For me partnerships are very important. We like to team up with like minded businesses who aren't just looking to make a quick buck but actually care about the product they are making/serving as well as the health of their customers and the health of the planet. This isn't your usual mass produced cheap and frozen smoked salmon we are making. We take every effort we can to minimize our carbon footprint and to only support salmon operations that take the necessary steps to help make sure our planet is around for our grandkids grandkids! Restaurants/caterers/retailers are also an essential part of this effort and we love pairing up with you!

Q: Tell us more about the product you provide to Impact Kitchen.

A: The product we make for Impact Kitchen is our signature Cold Smoke Salmon, but with a twist. When discussing your specific needs and goals for smoked salmon we learned that Impact was moving away from any refined ingredients wherever possible which includes refined sugar. We were able to tweak our recipe and process to eliminate the standard sugar we use and instead replace it with Maple Syrup. The results have been fantastic, if I do say so myself!

Q: In your time with The Smoke Bloke, what are you most proud of to date?

A: I'm most proud of the fact that we have been able to stick to our morals through thick and thin. We are currently in a very strenuous period for salmon for a variety of reasons. We have been able to stick to doing what we do the way we do it and ride the waves of uncertainty that has affected us all for the last 3 years! I am very proud of our team who is also committed to upholding the highest of standards and shows up every day ready to make an impact and deliver excellence.

Q: Building on the continuous momentum The Smoke Bloke has seen, what are you looking forward to most?

A: The future! We are actively looking to upscale our production facility as well as open our own stand alone retail location (or 2, haha). Education that smoked salmon can be done right, at a fair price is essential and happily I feel like we are getting the message out there. Slowly but surely!

Q: Impacting the community is important to our team, what does ‘community’ mean to you?

A: To me, community is all about connection and shared purpose. I feel fortunate to be a part of a team that is dedicated to promoting healthy living and making a positive impact on the community.

For me, community means more than just a group of people who happen to live or work in the same area. It's about a shared commitment to health, wellness, and sustainability, and a belief that we can make a difference by working together towards these goals.

By doing so, I hope to inspire and empower our customers to make healthy choices and feel their best.

Q: Impacting the community is important to Impact & our partners, what does ‘community’ mean to you & the team at The Smoke Bloke?

A: Community can be many things. There is the local community that we are physically located in. The community of smoked salmon lovers and the larger food service community as a whole. We strive to make a difference and contribute wherever we can to maximize our impact. At the start of the pandemic we launched a home delivery system where we offered to waive any delivery fees in exchange for non perishables that we could drop off to food banks. This program is still running and to date we have been able to donate over 10,000 lbs of food to various food banks and outreach programs around the city and in our own community.  We are also a sponsor of a Women's cycling group that is working towards bringing together women from all walks of life in a supportive and inclusive environment and help them grow and break down the barriers in their lives and communities.

Q: How do you strive to make an Impact every day?

A: This is a shorter answer. We stick to our morals and principles and aim to always do right by others. Continue to find ways to minimize our impact on our environment and stick to our "No Compromises" philosophy and try to find other or better ways to support our community and city!

We look forward to introducing you to more members of our community who are making an Impact every day.


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