The Feeder: Jacobsen Salt Co
What They Feed: Pure, hand-harvested sea salt from Netarts Bay, Oregon – the first to harvest salt from the Oregon coast since Lewis & Clark. Used by chefs and home cooks across the country.
Seeders & Feeders They Support: Jacobsen Salt has done many different collaborations with Oregon Olive Mill, QUIN Candy, Stumptown Coffee, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Xocolatl de David, Bee Local Honey, Deschutes Brewery, Spielman’s Bagels, Grochau Cellars, Burgerville and more
Where you Can Find Them:
Jacobsen Salt Co HQ: SE Portland
Retail: Williams Sonoma, New Seasons, The Meadow, Old Salt Marketplace, Zupan’s Market, Red Hills Market, and more
Restaurants: Ava Gene’s, Bar Avignon, Ned Ludd, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Lincoln Restaurant, and many more across the country!
Their Story: In 2011, Ben Jacobsen set out to on a journey to make good salt. His first exposure to good salt was in Norway and Denmark and it had an impact on him, to say the least. Why wasn’t there a high quality salt from the United States? Ben wanted to change that. He left his corporate marketing job to start testing the waters along the Pacific Coast. He took water from 25 different spots from Neah Bay, Washington to Gold Beach, Oregon, stretching over 600 miles of coast line. He found that the water from Netarts Bay made the best salt: there was little fresh water input and therefore very high salinity and practically no run-off from roads and nearby farm; the many oysters in the bay each filter 20 gallons of water per day, resulting in pure, clean ocean water.
After finding the perfect water source, the next step was to figure out production. From hauling hundreds of gallons of water into Portland in the back of a UHaul and processing it in the truck, to renting out kitchen space at Kitchen Cru, to working out of an oyster hatchery on the coast and finally landing a production facility in Netarts Bay, it has definitely been a journey. Production and scaling production has been a challenge for Ben, but all the while he has never compromised quality and his vision to produce the best salt in the world. Home cooks and some of the best chefs in the country are catching on and Jacobsen Salt is now available in retail stores like New Seasons, Williams Sonoma, Whole Foods. It’s hard to go into any of the best restaurants in the country and not see one of the cooks wearing the iconic Jacobsen Salt hat, something that was originally an incentive in their Kickstarter campaign.
It hardly stops at making salt: Jacobsen has been collaborating with various other Seeders and Feeders around Oregon and beyond, putting out products like flavored salts, beer, candy and soap. The company also recently acquired Portland’s Bee Local honey and has plans to expand their “neighborhood honey” concept to other cities across the country. In late 2013, Jacobsen opened a tasting room and event space in SE Portland. It’s amazing how quickly they’ve grown; a great testament to how people are putting more emphasis on finding high quality ingredients that they can trust and believe in.
Advice to New Feeders:
“Never compromise quality”
“Find something you love and do it”
“We’re a simple ingredient and we want it to approachable”
“Collaborations are a priority because they’re fun”
“Local doesn’t matter if it’s not good”
“We wouldn’t be here if we made shitty salt”
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