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November 19, 2019
If there is one thing Canadians love more than hockey, it is probably Poutine - Canada’s signature dish comprising of french fries and cheese curds covered in gravy, first appearing in the 1950’s. Today, there is one clear leader in the field of contemporary Canadian poutine: 44-year old CEO of Smoke’s Poutinerie, Ryan Smolkin.
Smolkin attended Wilfred Laurier University where he pursued a Bachelor’s of Business Administration. As a student, Smolkin established several successful business ventures including a portfolio of rental property investments, and after graduation, graphic design and branding company AmoebaCorp. After a year of hiatus from work to spend time with his newborn twins, Smolkin decided to try his hand at the restaurant business by opening his first poutinerie in Toronto.
With Smolkin at the helm, Smoke’s Poutinerie grew exponentially, with Smolkin now overseeing a poutine empire comprising of roughly 150 stores in Canada, as well as five U.S. outlets, including a Smoke's on Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles. He has hosted guests from Seth Rogen, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his various Toronto locations, and Ryan Gosling (spotted) at the L.A. outlet.
Smoke’s Poutinerie has been recognized within the industry by receiving a number of prestigious awards and honors, such as the Pinnacle Award for Company of the Year from Food Service & Hospitality Magazine, the Hospitality Award for Fastest Growing Company in Canada and the CFA Franchisees’ Choice Designation and Award of Excellence.
Ryan Smolkin’s primary goal has always been to “bring Canada’s Iconic dish to the rest of the World in an original and unique way and to ultimately achieve global domination!” He has done just that.