He sells sea salt on the sea shore
Cornish Sea Salt epitomises why I set up this blog. It isn’t just a great product, it is the idea and ethos behind the whole operation.
Set up a few years back by Tony Frazer in probably the most inaccessible (but beautiful) part of Cornwall, it was an instant success. partly, because it was a good product and partly because it was well marketed.
I interviewed Tony before the operation started and it seemed clear he had a good business head. He started the business almost by accident. Moving to Cornwall to escape the rat race and start a family (Cornish Nationalists might want to look away now) he built a (very nice) house on the Lizard where he and his wife could raise their two kids. But being interested in that sort of thing he found that thousands of years ago, Iron Age man had used the local foreshore as salt drying flats. And he thought, why not do the same now?
So in those heady pre-recession days he got financial backing to the tune of several million to set up and go and built a production plant on the shore next to the Falmouth Roads.
Because the waters around Cornwall are so much cleaner now than in previous years, Cornish Sea Salt simply pumps the water into its plant and heats it until salt crystals form. Then it scoops it out and packages it up.
The best part is tha the salt occupies the niche in the market I like best, the “affordable luxury”. It is a product lauded by the best foodies and the top chefs (Stein etc) but it is priced so that everyday folk are not priced out of the market. You aren’t going to sprinkle it on your chips unless you are a lavish wastrel, but you might keep it as a posh condiment, ready to wheel out at dinner parties.
It is also a clever one to get into places Like Harvey Nicks and Harrods, because while people can’t generally afford that £1,500 Prada handbag they can afford a box of Cornish Sea Salt, which is nice in itself but will also allow them to come away with what they really really want – a Harrods carrier bag.
But that, of course, does the first a dis-service, it is a fine Westcountry product that as a business is bubbling away nicely and which is a destination marque in its own right.
Now if they only made crisps…
Edit – forgot to mention the gongs: Observer Food Monthly Best Newcomer 2009.