Hole in the Wall Greatness
I could wake up on any summer morning with the overwhelming desire to go hiking, canoeing or fishing on one of the high Uintas lakes. All I’d need is gas in the car and a cooler. The rest I could get at the Samak Smokehouse.
It’s amazing what owners Jen Hisey and Dave Witham have comfortably and aesthetically packed into this cabin-esque, space located 2.5 miles east of Kamas at the start of the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.
A consummate example of a local business supporting the local community, they sponsor civic events, buy ingredients from area farmers, and sell arts and foods made by enterprising individuals. “We want to create an inviting space with something for everyone,” and, something for everyone there is.
The general store functions as an outfitting operation, an outdoor information hub, coffee bar, bakery, deli, gift shop, grocery, drug store, local artist craft venue, souvenir stand, and travel toy store for the kids. Stocked goods reflect Jen and Dave’s healthy mountain living values. One Smokehouse regular boasts of the couple, “They’re a perfect example of people with common sense, education, and a willingness to work.”
As the name implies, the celebrated specialty products of Jen and Dave’s multifaceted operation are the meats and cheeses jerked and smoked on the premises using a traditional, 30-year old blueprint recipe. “We take a lot of pride in the jerky,” Dave notes. “Everything is USDA certified and produced using the strictest of standards. As a Ma and Pa shop we have 100% accountability which we take very seriously.” That seriousness is evident in the delicate meaty flavors of the beef, turkey, salmon and trout that sell out sometimes as quickly as they’re put on the shelves. Sold also on-line, at the Downtown SLC Farmers, and Park Silly Markets, their retail outreach is broad for such a small enterprise.
Open from 8-8, seven days a week, year round, life and work are one in the same for Jen and Dave, a dynamic that is palpable when you step from the casual porch into the welcome interior of the store. The store exudes a warm glow, both figuratively in the congenial atmosphere, and literally in the store’s naturally decorated interior. Jen says of their country store, “We just want to put our heart and soul into it and see what we can do.” §