If you come here and work hard, you can achieve anything. Our family is a great example of what America is all about,” says Hernan Hurtado Jr., sales manager at Mt. Kisco Smokehouse. The Hurtado family owns Mt. Kisco Smokehouse in Mount Kisco, as well as a successful second shop in Greenwich, doing a brisk retail businss and selling their smoked fish wholesale to top restaurants and stores throughout the region.
Now smoking up to 20,000 pounds of fish a month, the Hurtados started small. In fact, three Hurtado brothers (William, Harold, and Hernan Sr.) immigrated to New York from Colombia some 36 years ago and happened to find jobs at a different smokehouse in Mount Kisco. By 1999, they were expert smokers and able to buy their current Lexington Avenue location.
Developing a secret recipe for curing has kept the business growing into the successful operation it is today, Hernan Jr. says. While sturgeon, sable, whitefish, and tuna are on the menu, it’s the smoked salmon that steals the show. The Hurtados start with the finest fish, flown in from the pristine waters off the Faroe Islands, near Iceland. “People say our salmon is the best they’ve ever had,” Hernan Jr. boasts.
Plans are in the works to open another shop, in lower Westchester, and to set up an online store “so we can ship nationally,” adds Hernan Jr., whose pride in his family’s accomplishment is apparent. “My dad and uncles came here not knowing any English, and they made this business,” he says. “This just shows what America is made out of — it’s made out of immigrants.”