Sponsored by Energy Trust

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

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Political Clout

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


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