Last week I had the pleasure of talking to Morgan from Wyld Smoke BBQ about his life and his business.
Morgan grew up on a dairy and beef farm in Brisbane Valley, his family had 70 – 80 acres of farm land at Toogoolawah in regional QLD. He grew up with a paddock to plate mentality taught to him by his parents. His Dad wanted to ensure that his animals were comfortable and happy and always killed them the most humane way possible to avoid unnecessary pain to the animal.
Their dining table was also the carving table, and Morgan learnt from a young age about carving meat. Morgan’s Dad still has that table, but it has now been cut down and is a coffee table.
Morgan left the farm life and started working for law firms and was taking exams for the bar, he met his wife during this time and they were married in 2002. They then decide to move to the UK where Morgan moved in working as a corporate accountant. Morgan and his wife lived in the UK for 7 years, before moving back to Australia.
Once back in Australia Morgan work another 4 years as an accountant and in 2012 his daughter was born. It was then that he decided it was time for change and he moved to a finance company where he worked for 5 years.
Growing up Morgan’s Mum would smoke bacon and she used a wet cure for the bacon, it was this knowledge that Morgan used to develop his Makin Bacon dry rub.
Initially Morgan would make dry rubs at Christmas as gifts for friends and family and his wife suggested selling them.
Wyld Smoke BBQ officially started in 2015 and they have 5 standard rubs and 2 reserve rubs.
Wyld Smokes rubs use ethically sourced spices.
In the past 2 years Morgan has collaborated on some interesting projects. The one that stood out to me was a collaboration with Bugsy Bros on baked cricket (yes, the insect) beer snacks. For this collaboration Morgan developed a specific rub for the crickets.
In 2016 Meat at Billy’s started stocking Wyld Smoke rubs and this was a turning point for Morgan, as he realised that this could really work. Wyld smoke rubs are now stocked in over 30 retailers across Australia.
Morgan started out hand mixing all of his rubs but now that his rubs are stocked by a wide range of retailers he mixes his standard rubs in up to 600kg batches, but his reserve rubs are still hand blended.
Even though Morgan now mixes such large batches he still hand mixes some spices before taking them to add to the batch, this protects the specific recipe for his rubs and allows him to ensure the quality doesn’t change.
I discovered that Morgan is very passionate about using quality ingredients, even when he has to make them himself. When he was developing his new reserve blend Bull Dust rub he couldn’t find a citrus powder that had the flavour he wanted, so he went out and brought a heap of citrus fruit, removed the peel, dehydrated it and ground it down to make his own citrus powder.
That kind of passion and dedication to the products he is creating is exactly why I get so excited about local businesses and producers. Because they operate on a smaller scale it’s easier for them to control the quality. And the people behind the business are the heart and soul of the business and that couldn’t be more true for Wyld Smoke.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Morgan and learn about his story and I hope that I have inspired you to try his products. I will have some recipes coming up soon using Morgan’s rubs.