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Springfield Smoked Fish

StriperGuy Mar 11, 2009 10:31 AM

Just heard about this place. Next time I am in western Mass. I am definitely going to check it out.


Springfield Smoked Fish Company
150 Switzer Avenue
Springfield, MA 01109

Walk-Ins Welcome 8:00am - 4:30pm Mon-Fri
Voice 413-737-8693 or 800-327-3412 or Fax 413-747-7360
Email: Axlers@SpringfieldSmokedFish.com

  1. w
    willg Mar 12, 2009 11:20 AM

    I believe that the same lox sold at Katz' Bagels in Chelsea. (Katz says that he gets it from Springfield . . .) I like the lox a lot. The website seems pretty unpretentious and not overpriced.

    11 Replies
    1. re: willg
      fatheryod Mar 10, 2011 11:56 AM

      after reading this thread, i decided to try the place out. i don't eat salmon, but my wife and son love it, as do some family members we were going to be hosting. got some of their king salmon and everyone who's into fish was over the moon about it. we had it as an appetizer one night, then with bagels the next morning. and like i said, it's not my bag, but people loved it.
      the "drop in" operation is a little odd. it's not like they have a reception area or anything. once you find the place -- it's out by indian orchard -- you enter straight into the warehouse. i had checked out their website first, so i knew exactly what i wanted and they brought it right out. if you do go, i suggest doing the same.

      1. re: fatheryod
        StriperGuy Mar 10, 2011 12:23 PM

        Cool, thanks for the info.

        1. re: fatheryod
          willg Mar 10, 2011 12:37 PM

          I was in Springfield just before New Years and dropped by Axler's to buy some whitefish for our traditional New Years Day spread. (I had already bought smoked salmon at Costco). It is indeed an interesting place: when I opened the door, I was right in the factory. I asked for whitefish and whitefish salad. I was asked if I wanted a five pound tub or some of the 8 ounce tubs. I got one whitefish. It was about 20 inches long and weighed over two pounds and came in a brown paper bag with the tail sticking out. How was it? Fabulous. The whitefish was the hit of the brunch and we got to snack on it for the next several days as well. Highly recommended.

          1. re: fatheryod
            cowgirlinthesand Mar 10, 2011 09:49 PM

            Yay! I thought this place was defunct. I will stop there next month. Sure beats buying the portioned cryo'd Acme Smoked whitefish in Stop & shop!

            1. re: cowgirlinthesand
              typhoonfish Jul 13, 2011 06:34 AM

              FYI Springfield smoked fish went out of business yesterday

              1. re: typhoonfish
                willg Jul 13, 2011 07:29 AM

                Sad news. I loved their fish. I hate seeing the passing of old family businesses like Axlers. I wish them all well.

                1. re: typhoonfish
                  magiesmom Jul 13, 2011 05:47 PM

                  that is very sad.

                  1. re: magiesmom
                    axlers Jul 14, 2011 06:04 AM

                    Springfield Smoked Fish did not go out of business and we are not closing, thank you very much. We are merging with another company.

                    1. re: axlers
                      magiesmom Jul 14, 2011 07:11 PM

                      great! At your same location?

                      1. re: magiesmom
                        axlers Jul 15, 2011 05:48 AM


                        1. re: axlers
                          magiesmom Jul 15, 2011 06:03 AM

                          good> thank you!

          2. Infomaniac Mar 11, 2009 08:20 PM

            Not sure what you heard or where you heard about Spingfield Smoked Fish, but they have been getting a lot of press lately. Family businesses like this are a dying breed and they are investing in thier business to revive it and keep it afloat. They put out a quality product, and would appreciate business now to anyone in the market. A visit isn't going to get you anything you can't get online, other than maybe a taste. While I like the smoked salmon from Smith's Log Smokehouse in Maine more, Springfield Smoke Fish is what my not kosher parents always served on the holidays.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Infomaniac
              William P Marseglia Apr 3, 2010 09:48 PM

              Springfield Fish = YUCK

              Fine, I will poison myself with their fine spoiled deliveries just to make the little family happy.

              1. re: William P Marseglia
                ipsofatso Apr 4, 2010 07:47 AM

                Billy, they have a no-questions-asked refund policy. So you got a bad piece of fish...it happens.

                I buy their product from Katz's and it rivals anything you can get in NYC. Many NYC purveyors sell this very product.

                1. re: William P Marseglia
                  William P Marseglia Jul 13, 2011 01:51 PM

                  Tho, I must say, the Gravalx was beyond excellent. Wish I could get regular deliveries of that.

              2. s
                smtucker Mar 11, 2009 11:12 AM

                Oh this does sound interesting. Will definitely stop in the next time I am in the area.

                Love the specials area where you can purchase "Just Add Bagles Sampler." Since I play in that symphony, I just keep reading it as "Just add Bugles."

                1. v
                  VivreManger Mar 11, 2009 11:11 AM

                  I live out in western Mass and i have never tried it. I am doubtful that it is any good. I have never purchased any smoked fish in western Massachusetts that in any way compares to Zabar's, Murray's, Russ & Daughters, or any of those classic NYC delis.

                  However I will give it a try next time I get down to Springfield.

                  29 Replies
                  1. re: VivreManger
                    PorkTerrine Mar 11, 2009 11:21 AM

                    Most of the fish they are smoking/curing are not from here, with the exception of the mackerel, bluefish and herring. The rest come from Argentina, Alaska, Great Lakes and Idaho. While I haven't tried this Springfield place, I think a better bet might be Nantucket Wild Gourmet & Smokehouse:


                    <edit: Well, I just looked at their site. They used to carry local fish, but it seems that they're only doing Alaskan salmon now. Maybe that will change later in the season. I'm not sure. So scrap my suggestion of it being locally-oriented.>

                    1. re: PorkTerrine
                      StriperGuy Mar 11, 2009 11:31 AM

                      I wouldn't bank against the family company that has been at it since 1934 and go with the newfangled folks myself.

                      Nantucket Wild Gourmet has absolutely NO local fish listed on their web site at present, they use Alaskan salmon... And if you consider that they charge $84 a pound, not including shipping, not exactly an every Sunday on your bagel option.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        galleygirl Mar 11, 2009 04:22 PM

                        They were selling at the Brookline farmers' market last summer, and I just couldn't take them seriously...The guy was unutterably pretentious...It's lox, dude.....

                        1. re: galleygirl
                          StriperGuy Mar 12, 2009 02:21 AM

                          Now that you mention it, I saw them this summer too and they had the worst "aren't we precious" vibe. I also found their 1/4 lb itsy bitsy packaging silly. Of course at $50 or so a lb...

                          1. re: galleygirl
                            Science Chick Apr 4, 2010 07:01 AM

                            Huh, that's weird. I've been to their main store in Chatham several times over the past couple of years and talked to Peter, the owner, at length. He is very down-to-earth and it committed to a very high quality product. In fact, Oprah wanted to put them on her Xmas recommendations list, and they declined b/c they were worried they wouldn't be able to keep the quality high enough if they were flooded with orders from that type of exposure. I DO agree that they are very, very pricey.........but for a treat once in a while its worth it. On another note, their shop features alot of high quality products. He is a firm believer in getting people to eat real foods, minimally processed. I'd say he is part of the solution....I'm sure the person you encountered is working for them, and I'd be willing to bet Peter would be very upset if he learned of your experience!

                            1. re: Science Chick
                              StriperGuy Apr 4, 2010 07:10 AM

                              Yah, no, when charging $30+ a pound for anything, your not part of any solution.

                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                Science Chick Apr 4, 2010 09:20 AM

                                I'm not sure what your reference point is, but Zabar's charges upwards of $48/lb for their smoked salmon. Smoked fish IS expensive! Hatch's in Wellfleet isn't much better IIRC.


                                My point on "the solution" is their support of slow food. They don't use farm raised fish, which undoubtedly adds to their costs. That being said, smoked fish is not part of a budget-conscious diet......but I still admire their practices. Anyone trying to promote minimally processed foods IS doing good, IMHO.

                                1. re: Science Chick
                                  StriperGuy Apr 4, 2010 12:55 PM

                                  Uhhhh, not really.

                                  What you are largely paying for when you get hand cut smoked salmon is the cutting itself. There are VERY few people left who can hand cut smoked fish. If I remember correctly some of the lox cutters at Zabars make close to sox figures. Just watch them some time, it is a dying art.

                                  You can still get whole sides of smoked salmon from Zabar's pre-wrapped and sliced, an excellent product, for much less. It's is not the finest hand cut wild caught etc. but it ain't all crazy prices like the boys from Nantucket:


                                  I just checked the Nantucket web site and they are charging $84 a pound for wild caught smoked salmon, and I assure you they don't have anyone who can cut it the way the Zabars guys do at $48 a pound.

                                  Just to further beat a dead horse, here is essentially the same product that the Nantucket guys are charging $84 for $36 a pound:



                                  Precious, insanely overpriced smoked fish, there's a reason Nantucket is part of their name...

                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                    Science Chick Apr 4, 2010 03:46 PM

                                    Good points...........I like the Nantucket bit at the end! :)

                                    1. re: Science Chick
                                      StriperGuy Apr 4, 2010 05:01 PM

                                      I'm more of a Wellfleet / Martha's Vineyard guy myself... ;-)

                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                        Science Chick Apr 4, 2010 05:08 PM

                                        I'm witcha with the Wellfleet vibe! When does Hatch's open?

                                        1. re: Science Chick
                                          StriperGuy Apr 5, 2010 06:56 AM

                                          Don't know, soon? I'm a big PJ's fan too.

                                    2. re: StriperGuy
                                      NantucketWildGuy Apr 7, 2010 11:29 AM

                                      StriperGuy, I'm the new owner of Nantucket Wild and I'd like to point out that our smoked salmon is smoked KING salmon, not sockeye which is what you reference in your post.

                                      KING Salmon is a dramatically different and a far superior product than Sockeye. We actively choose to only use the best. I'd welcome you to come to my store when you're in the area and I'd be happy to let you try some.

                                      I am a commercial fisherman who purchased this business in January 2010. Previous management is continuing to be involved in our ongoing processes as new management transitions. The company has always smoked 6 different locally wild (not netted - caught by rod/reel only) cod, haddock, bluefish, tuna, striper and mackerel.

                                      Thanks for supporting your local businesses. If anyone has questions regarding our approach or what we're doing please feel free to drop me a message at aeposea@aol.com.

                                      1. re: NantucketWildGuy
                                        StriperGuy Apr 7, 2010 12:13 PM

                                        I'm a recreational fisherman myself. I fish the rocks from Race Point to Newburyport and have probably fished just about everywhere in between for almost 20 years.

                                        I cure my own mackeral both a short gravlax cure and a longer hard salt cure.

                                        I still stand by my statement that $84 a pound is WAY overpriced. Here is cold smoked Wild King salmon for $37 a pound:


                                        These guys (currently sold out) sell three pounds for the price you charge for one: http://shop.trapperscreek.com/shared/...

                                        I appreciate artisan made products and I am sure yours are tasty, but I have seen your products at local farmers markets for north of $20 1/4 pound and quite frankly that is just unreasonable.

                                        If the market will bear it, then good luck to you. You are obviously selling product that only the VERY wealthy can afford.

                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                          sakeandgin Apr 7, 2010 02:34 PM

                                          ..I believe certain Costco's sell some of the Trappers Creek smoked salmon products

                            2. re: StriperGuy
                              almansa Mar 12, 2009 04:00 AM

                              What do y'all mean by "local fish?" Gross salmon from "Maine?" First of all, @ VivreManger, do you think Zabar's smokes their own? Of course they don't. And in western MA, there used to be a smokehouse called Merrimack that was as good as it gets. They were in Great Barrington and might still be. I requested a sample from Springfield. and I'll report back.

                              1. re: almansa
                                Momof6Boys Apr 30, 2010 09:58 PM

                                "Merrimac Smoked Fish" was the best around in Great Barrington...but it hasn't been there in over 10 years - I used to live next door to the place and was sad to see it shut down. I haven't been to a place like it since.

                                1. re: Momof6Boys
                                  cowgirlinthesand May 1, 2010 10:55 PM

                                  I loved John and Merrimac smoked fish. He had the BEST product around. He also was the first I know of who foraged for ramps, morels and other Berkshire goodies way back before it was popular.
                                  Miss him

                                  1. re: cowgirlinthesand
                                    mjoyous May 4, 2010 05:01 AM

                                    Myself! always stopped there when I was in GB. Oh well.
                                    Now I can't find any smoked fish I really like in the Berkshires (or even Hadley!). Wild Oats in Williamstown dropped Stonington (it was bought out by a conglomerate), and haven't tried their new purveyor yet, as it's quite pricey.
                                    Don't even like what Whole Foods carries, and TJ's supply was really limited last time I was there. Boo hoo.

                                    1. re: mjoyous
                                      magiesmom Jul 13, 2011 05:46 PM

                                      I love the home smoked fish made by Mike at North Shore Seafood in Northampton.
                                      For a real treat stop by to get some on a Friday and have some oysters and chips while you're at it.

                                      1. re: magiesmom
                                        BerkshireTsarina Jul 13, 2011 08:09 PM

                                        This is the second reference I've heard in a week to Mike at North Shore Seafood --
                                        I believe the saying, What you hear two times is true. So I've gotta get there!

                                        1. re: BerkshireTsarina
                                          magiesmom Jul 14, 2011 05:28 AM

                                          mike knows what he is doing, for sure. BTW, no credit or cards accepted there but there is an ATM across the street at the bank.

                                          1. re: magiesmom
                                            BerkshireTsarina Jul 14, 2011 06:27 AM

                                            And thanks much for that REALLY useful tip!

                                            1. re: magiesmom
                                              mjoyous Jul 14, 2011 05:01 PM

                                              I always drive by North Shore on my way in/out of Noho. Think I'd better stop one day (well, when the WSB is closed for the season, maybe.)

                                              1. re: mjoyous
                                                magiesmom Jul 14, 2011 07:12 PM

                                                the smoked fish is worth a stop now.

                                                1. re: magiesmom
                                                  mjoyous Jul 16, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                  Then next trip in, for sure!

                                2. re: StriperGuy
                                  William P Marseglia Apr 3, 2010 09:44 PM

                                  I got some foul salmon and fish and had a hard time getting refund. ........... What others throw away-they package and mail it out.

                                3. re: PorkTerrine
                                  typhoonfish May 14, 2009 05:30 AM

                                  "Local fish" is like "jumbo shrimp". It ain't happening anymore.

                                4. re: VivreManger
                                  babyboomer1 May 14, 2009 03:08 AM

                                  Have been buying from Springfield Smoked Fish since 1994 for my store. Their product is first rate. The smoked salmon is mild and melts in your mouth. Never tough. I have had rave reviews from anyone that has ordered this fish.

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