A North Cumbrian smokery is to be featured on a business reality TV show next month.

Stonehouse Smokery, based near Carlisle, produces fine-smoked charcuterie and is a common site in farmers' markets.

It will feature on Aldi’s Next Big Thing, a business-pitching show on Channel 4 that will begin broadcasting from April 2 at 8pm.

Lee Scrimgeour, the owner, started the business nine years ago with his wife Rochelle after working as a chef.

Mr Scrimgeour, who grew up in Keswick, said the business started off catering weddings with charcuterie being a burgeoning side project, but with Covid, it brought it into the forefront, and trade took off.

“There’s more demand than I can supply,” he said.

In Cumbria: The smokery business run by Lee Scrimgeour is set to feature on the new showThe smokery business run by Lee Scrimgeour is set to feature on the new show (Image: Channel 4)

Pigs, cows, and sheep used to produce the products are free range, with beef and mutton/lamb coming from Lakeland Dexter and Seatoller Farm in Borrodale respectively.

During a farmers’ market appearance in Hexham, he said a casting director for the show was there on holiday and approached him, asking him to apply.

After filling out forms and doing a video interview, he was sent to Aldi’s headquarters to pitch their products, namely their pasta bombs – charcuterie trimmings to be added to dishes at cooks’ discretion.

Pasta bombs sell for £2.50 and can be bought from their website, and are a way to make the most of their stock and avoid waste, part of the business’ overall ethos of being environmentally friendly.

In Cumbria: Mr Scrimgeour during filming for the showMr Scrimgeour during filming for the show (Image: Channel 4)

“It’s going to be amazing exposure for us and our brand, it’s very exciting.

“The only problem (with Stonehouse Smokery) is we don’t keep our own pigs anymore, so I’m trying to find anyone locally who can supply free range pigs with the standard we’re after – we’re on the lookout for that,” Mr Scrimgeour added.

With business booming, he’s planning to expand to do more wholesale.

“Now I haven’t got my own animals, I would like to go to retail businesses, delis, restaurants, and supply them,” he said, adding that he has successfully supplied several restaurants in the Lakes.