Home Back Issues September 2012 With a grain of salt

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 pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


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...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


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