The Men Behind the Smoke

Kyle Payne & Max Blackman

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 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 Max his idea: Hickory smoked olive oil. It started years previous when Kyle was smoking sea salt to give as presents to friends and family during lean times in the holiday season. He noticed a bottle of 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. I know food, and as it turns out, Max knows machines.” 

The night after the Smoky Duo's fateful conversation, Max created 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," says Max, "so it retains all of it's chemical and nutritional properties while being naturally smoked."

The resulting product, Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil, is a food-lover's dream. A rich, buttery extra virgin olive oil with a pepper finish that has a savory smoke that ties it all together. Their slogan is “It’s like liquid bacon that’s good for you!” and for good reason.  Extra virgin olive oil has long been known to have a myriad of beneficial properties like lowering LDL-cholesterol and is a natural anti-inflammatory, but with the addition of hickory smoke, it can be used in many dishes to create a “meaty” flavor without any animal products. Some examples are smoked hummus, smoked tomato caprese, or a smoky pesto. It can also be used to finish soups, salads, pizza, sandwiches, or roast veggies like brussel sprouts or mushrooms. It’s not just a vegetarian's delight. It’s wonderful over pan seared fish, steak, or chicken to add that bacon-y smoky nuance.

“We want to make simple food that’s nutritious and delicious.” Kyle says. “We take 2 simple ingredients, olive oil and smoke, and create a complex flavor that everyone can enjoy.

Bacon, butter, olive oil lovers, vegans and vegetarians alike can rejoice in Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil.


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.