Street Food Profiles: Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke in San Francisco

It's time for another edition of Street Food Profiles. This week we scoot to Cap'n Mike's Holy Smokes for some smoked fish at the Ferry Plaza market.

Name: Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke
Vendors: Mike and Sally Hiebert
Location and hours: Thursday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Markets in San Francisco. You'll also find the fish at several other Bay Area markets and online.

How many years have you been street fooding? Since August of 2007 (but we've been in the smoked fish business since 1987).

You on Twitter or Facebook? So far we've just been piggy-backing on Ferry Plaza's Twitter and Facebook thing. We are getting ours together, and I know it will rock our business even more.


What's on the menu? Sandwiches, soups, salads and a very special tea from the Hopi Indians. We make our own cream cheese, use Acme organic sourdough, and almost all the produce comes from market farmers. We also have five winter-version lox sandwiches: San Francisco style red lox with roasted red peppers, shaved fennel and pickled onions; Sockeye salmon lox with Bears limes, capers and pickled onions; white salmon lox with shaved fennel, pickled onions and capers; albacore tuna "lox" with roasted golden beets, pickled onions and toasted walnuts; and cold smoked sliced sturgeon with meyer lemon, capers and pickled onions.

Why smoked fish? That's the business we've been in for 26 years. Mike was "called" by the salmon in 1986-87 and has been in the business ever since.

Why a mobile business? We have been a farmers' market business for 26 years. We love our market customers, and it was very natural to expand into a farmers' market takeaway food menu with our smoked fish.

Who are your typical customers? Foodies from all over. We have a huge loyal local farmers' market customer base in SF and our surrounding area markets.

Describe a typical day. Our staff gets to the market at 6:45 a.m., sets up the booth, makes the model sandwiches and warms up the soup. Customers usually start coming before we are set up and don't stop until half an hour after the market is officially closed.  We pack it all up, get an espresso milkshake, and hit the road back north to the shop.

What were you doing before this? Mike ("The Cap'n") was a Methodist minister and I was an actor in my first professional life, then a Gestalt therapist.