Prior to living in British Columbia, Adam and I had never really tasted good smoked salmon. In Ontario, we had smoked salmon in a can. The difference is indescribable. When we first moved to the west coast, friends of ours – Kim and Cam at Chocolate Tofino – told us we must go and try the smoked salmon at Dockside Smoked Fish Store. It’s a First Nations owned smoked salmon store along with a Native Art Gallery and a lodge on the upper level.
We had no idea what we had been missing out on. Smoked salmon is known as Canada’s first fast food. It’s nutritious, a great snack, and a lovely addition to a West Coast charcuterie board. After our first tasting, we knew we had to add Dockside Smoked Fish Store to our food tour.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve developed a great relationship with Colin Miller, the Operations Manager for the House of Himwitsa Native Art Gallery, the Dockside Smoked Fish Store, and the Himwitsa Lodge. He is the nephew of the owners Cathy and Lewis George. We sat down and talked to Colin about the small store that impresses visitors from all over the world.
Before we talk about your delicious smoked salmon, House of Himwitsa is a wonderful place for tourists and foodies to visit. When did House of Himwitsa open and what does Himwitsa mean?
House of Himwitsa broken down refers to the meaning “House of Stories.” It is the passing of knowledge from the older generation to the young. Cathy and Lewis George opened House of Himwitsa in 1994.
Tell us about the smoked salmon you offer at Dockside Smoked Fish Store?
We take pride in offering the best smoked salmon in Tofino. We have flavours that tantalize the taste buds and range from the sweet and robust with our maple glazed chunks and candy strips to our peppery natural chunk and pure and simple natural smoked chunk. People that try our salmon usually just want to have more! We also offer a soft, cold smoked Sockeye lox for those with a culinary vision. Other favourites include honey garlic, chilli, and natural salmon jerkies.
What made Cathy and Lewis decide to open a smoked fish store in Tofino?
With Tofino being a seaside town there was a strong need for a high quality and unquestionably delicious source of smoked fish for visitors to our beautiful town. We felt we could provide this service to our local residents and visitors alike. Being family run and with a strong passion for fishing and the culinary delights of seafood, it was a natural decision to open the store.
Where do you source your salmon from?
Our salmon is sourced from high quality, low impact sustainable fishing practices around Vancouver Island. We provide only the best and freshest cuts of Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, Chum, and Pink Salmon. Our smokehouse partner is in the Parksville area. It’s there where they expertly cut the salmon and smoke it in various methods with the best natural ingredients to give us what we see in the store. We want our guests to know that the salmon we provide is not only the best in quality and taste but that it comes from a sustainable fishery with the utmost care given to its processing and production.
What is the best-selling salmon that you have?
Our most popular smoked salmon is a huge debate as all the product is good! However, by far, our bestselling salmon is the candy strip. Whether its adults or children – everybody loves our candy strip salmon.
Taste smoked salmon from Dockside Smoked Fish Store – book your food tour now!
Dockside Smoked Fish Store | 300 Main St, Tofino, BC