The Men Behind the Smoke

We don't take ourselves too seriously. We named ourselves the Executive Dishwasher (Kyle) and Operations Operator (Max) on our business cards. One thing we do take serious, though, is our craftsmanship and the quality and care we put into each and every single bottle of Holy Smoke. 


Kyle and I (Max) met while working together at a restaurant on Folly Beach, SC and became fast friends. One night over a drink after a long shift, Kyle confided in me his idea: Hickory smoked olive oil. It started years previous when Kyle and his wife were smoking sea salt to give as presents to friends and family during lean times in the holiday season. He noticed a bottle of extra virgin olive oil out of the corner of his eye in the kitchen and thought, “Why not?” It was a resounding hit with his loved ones! His friends and family clamoring for more prompted him to bottle it for the masses. He faced one gigantic problem though. “Heat destroys the integrity of extra virgin olive oil,” Kyle explains, “so I had to find a way to smoke it while keeping the oil cold."

The night after the our fateful conversation, I set out to create a machine that cold-smokes the extra virgin olive oil at 37° Fahrenheit. The near-freezing temperature ensures the olive oil stays raw and extra virgin that way it retains all of it's chemical and nutritional properties while being naturally smoked. After a few trials and even more errors, we finally perfected our process.

We started our journey into the business world by joining the Charleston Farmer's Market, where we still have a booth every Saturday. Our local community loved Holy Smoke, so we hit the pavement and started selling to local gourmet shops. After a couple of years of success, we created Holy Smoke Hickory Smoked Wildflower Honey, which is another animal all in itself, and that's another story. Our creativity couldn't be stopped, and we eventually released a Hickory Smoked Black Pepper, Hickory Smoked Sea Salt, and finally, Holy Smoke Smoked Bloody Mary Mix. We're all over the place, but we have one unifying theme: Natural, healthful, delicious and unique smoked foods that can be enjoyed by everyone!

Now, we're on the shelves of Whole Foods Market, Harris Teeter, and Central Market across the country! And even though we've grown organically over the years, we're still just the two knuckleheads that have fun and make food. And we're still the only 2 employees of Holy Smoke. Go figure. We've learned many lessons through hardship and hard work and we are going to continue to work hard to bring your our Smoky Goodness for years to come.



Well, there are a couple of reasons. Very very clever reasons.

Holy - Charleston, SC is known as The Holy City due to the prevalence of steeples in it's skyline. Especially when viewed from the harbor.  You can see a few examples below. 

Smoke - Because our olive oil is smoked!

Holy Smoke! - A popular old-timey expletive 

Mother Emanuel AME Church St. Philips Church   

You don't have to be religious to enjoy the beautiful architecture of the historic Charleston churches.