With a grain of salt

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012

BY LINDA BAKER

0912 Launch JacobsenSalt
Ben Jacobsen, CEO of Jacobsen Sea Salt
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Ben Jacobsen learned to appreciate good salt while living in Scandinavia, first as an MBA student in Denmark and then as a marketing professional in Norway. So when he moved to Portland a few years ago, he was surprised to discover sea salt was not available as a locally sourced ingredient. “I thought something was missing,” Jacobsen says. To fill the gap, Jacobsen started harvesting the mineral from Netarts Bay, something that hadn’t been done since the days of Lewis and Clark. A 40-hour process from start to finish, Jacobsen’s salt-making technique involves boiling the sea water to reduce the volume and “pare back” calcium and magnesium, which can lead to a bitter aftertaste. “Clean and briny” is the goal, Jacobsen says. Then he lets the water evaporate slowly, followed by a “final drain and dry.” Jacobsen spent three years perfecting his technique, then made his first sale last September, when New Seasons ordered 12 cases, 3 pounds each, one for each store. A year later, Jacobsen and two employees make about 100 pounds of the finishing salt a week, and his product is available in 56 stores in the Northwest and 30 restaurants in Portland, including Ned Ludd and Lincoln. Dovetail, a restaurant in New York, is also a client. “Anybody can make really bad salt,” says Jacobsen. “But it’s really difficult to make great salt.”

COMPANY: Jacobsen Sea Salt

PRODUCT: Hand-harvested sea salt

CEO: Ben Jacobsen

HEADQUARTERS: Portland

LAUNCHED: 2011

AT A GLANCE: Financed through savings and “a large credit card.” Raised $30,000 through Kickstarter. Preparing first investment round — less than $1 million — to build a processing facility on the Oregon Coast. “We currently make the salt in Portland, which is a bit silly because we have to drive water over the pass.”

SALES PITCH: “We just want to make the best product possible and really let that speak for itself. Our chefs love it, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

 

More Articles

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president, plus an abridged Powerlist for the best commercial real estate firms.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF

An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.


Read more...

Political theater

News
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
0107-orbizplansum14-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS