Well my goodness if it hasn't been 10 years now of being a salt farmer! 2012 was supposed to be the last year of the world according to a pop culture myth associated with the Mayan calendar--I didn't believe it for a second, but figured it was a good excuse to live a little! So in that year I started dating my now wife Leah, went skydiving, went on an impromptu trip to Europe with friends, started beekeeping, planted an apple orchard and most relevant to this moment, tricked some friends into helping me build a greenhouse on my parent's farm so I could try growing sea salt!
I remember so clearly going to our first University District Farmers Market with Leah in Seattle in December of 2012 with our janky set-up (see above pic) after staying up late labeling our first jars with my brothers and parents. What a thrill it is to try to make something and then have someone actually buy it!
From the beginning what hooked me was seeing the salt crystals first appear in our brines when just a few hours earlier there was nothing. And to this day, 10 years, and maybe 50,000 lbs of salt later it still feels magical!
Through the years we've added more team members, more products, more salt houses and more customers. And we are so thankful for our customers! We now have seven full-time employees working hard to make salts and seasonings for y'all! In the future, we hope to find our way into more stores (especially bigger grocery stores), get our own retail location in Friday Harbor and just continue to offer more and more deliciousness to the world.
Personally I still am working on becoming what I know I can become as a leader and business owner and becoming more confident moving out of my comfort zone. I honestly couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve y'all while doing something I love so much.
Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of this last decade of San Juan Island Sea Salt!
Check out these photos from throughout the years...
This is my best friend Elliot collecting seawater on a stormy December day which we then took to our parents' stoves to boil into salt for Christmas gifts a few years before the business began. Thankfully we no longer have to boil our salt and let the sun do the work!
This is our first evaporation house being built, by some super awesome friends of Leah and I.
Our first ever harvest! Don't worry we never harvested with bare feet after this first one, but boy was it exciting to harvest 300 lbs of salt after really having no idea whether it would work.
Our first ever farmers market in December of 2012 at the U District Farmers Market. Had no idea whether folks would be interested but we sold $700 of salt and have never looked back!
My family celebrating one of our first wholesale accounts and displays at the San Juan Island Food Coop.
Leah being conscripted into seawater harvesting.
Building 3 more salt houses in 2013 with another awesome crew of friends.
My brother Tyler, our first employee, posing proudly by a pile of Madrona wood which he uses to make our smoked salt, smoked pepper and smoked sugar.