Startup Canada Podcast Ep.135: Building a global brand with Smoke’s Poutinerie’s Ryan Smolkin


If you’re a Canadian who’s traveled abroad, you’ve likely had a conversation describing your favourite Canadian dish.

With three ingredients and the potential for hundreds more, Canadians often bond over gravy, curds, and PEI potatoes. Ryan Smolkin, the founder and CEO of Smoke’s Poutinerie, is no stranger to the poutine frenzy; in fact, he started a poutine empire spanning borders.

“I had the concept for years and years and it was just loading everything on top of that fries, cheese, curds, and gravy!” said Smolkin, who runs the world’s largest award-winning poutinerie.

Smolkin has topped his fries with everything and anything you can think of, and treats his business and brand the same way. A serial entrepreneur, Smolkin started his first venture in 1996 with Amoeba Corp, a branding agency that worked with brands such as Nike, Molson and YTV.

Smolkin’s original take on poutine along with his electric energy and vision has taken his poutine business from Toronto to the United States. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Smolkin about building businesses from scratch, balancing being a founder and a dad, and of course, his plans for global poutine domination.

The Startup Canada Podcast Show is a production of Startup Canada, a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together, celebrate, and give a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurship community. On the podcast, award-winning entrepreneur host Rivers Corbett speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work, investing, and why we need to think bigger to take our businesses global. Join Rivers Corbett for new episodes every Tuesday airing at 10 AM ET for lessons, trends, and opportunities in entrepreneurship from Vancouver to Fredericton; and Israel to Peru.

You can find every episode of The Startup Canada Podcast Show at


Startup Canada

Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada.

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