Business Name: Whiskey Oak Seasonings
City: San Jose
Small batch crafted Smoked Seasonings – Smoked Salt, Smoked Sugar, Smoked Steak Seasoning and Smoked Pork & Poultry Seasoning!
This little business started with the idea of creating a smoker specifically for seasonings that would allow me to slow smoke salts, sugars, and blends. In early 2014 I had this crazy idea and spent my evenings and weekends in the garage building this smoker off the top of my head and crazy imagination. I didn’t even share with anyone what I was building so somehow that statement of “well Kirk is just in the garage working on his contraption” began being a common saying. Using random parts from the hardware store, sheets of wood from around the garage and crazy imagination I persisted in putting my “contraption” together. When something didn’t work correctly or I ran into a roadblock I would just put it away, clean up the garage, and walk away. Inevitably, in the middle of the night or early morning within the next few days I would end up with an “ah ha” idea of how to solve the problem or a different way of looking at things.
Near the end of 2014 “contraption 1.0” was working and producing some pretty nice smoked salt, sugar, and seasoning blends I had been dreaming up. I shared with some close friends my smoked seasonings and got quite a few enthusiastic responses of “turn this into a business…I want to buy some!” So I did. The name in itself is a whole other story..but the business and branding began.
I officially launched Whiskey Oak Seasonings in January of 2015 with and Etsy store and Facebook page. Work from a close friend had already started on an official website and I also decided that I needed to share my product at local farmers’ markets. I actually visited every farmers’ market within a reasonable distance from my residence and made a huge spreadsheet of notes on each. I also realized that if I was to sell my “Small Batch Crafted” Smoked Seasonings at a Farmers’ Market I would need to increase production…contraption 1.0 would only smoke about 3lbs of seasonings at a time and still had some kinks to work out….so production on Contraption 2.0 began. In the meantime I was accepted to sell my product at a local farmers’ market and started ramping up not only my seasonings but also my market setup. My first farmers market debut was in April of 2015 at Santa Clara Farmers’ Market.
I am now selling my product at many farmers markets in the SF Bay Area, whiskeyoak.com, etsy.com/shop/WhiskeyOak, have been included in several gift box offerings and am now working on “Contraption 3.0” which will enable me to sell wholesale. Oh…and I left hi-tech (Sun/Oracle) towards the end of last year, 2015.
Follow your dreams…life is too short. Maybe that crazy idea will work out and maybe it won’t but you will never know if you don’t try.
Owner – Whiskey Oak Seasonings