This story first appeared in the September issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Every night the corporate office of Smokes Poutinerie in Toronto receives a fax from the boss, an enigmatic hermit known simply as Smoke. The 80s-obsessed culinary genius sends his instructions from the wilderness near the border of Quebec and Ontario, where he dreams up new and unusual flavor combinations while playing Atari and arranging his vast collection of Cabbage Patch Kids and He-Man action figures.
Thats the legend that Ryan Smolkin, the branding veteran who founded Smokes, likes to tell about his 100-unit poutine franchise. But the real secret behind the