“So, what made you decide to make sea salt?” This is a question we are often asked.
It all began, surprisingly, at a grocery shop in Southwest England in 2011. Rebecca Wilson was studying abroad when she first discovered the wide array of sea salts available there to home cooks. Over the next few years, several family holidays to the UK followed, and each time we brought English sea salts home in our suitcase to be used and enjoyed in our family kitchen. Feeling inspired, in 2018 Rebecca trekked to the beach near our home on the Atlantic Ocean to collect a large jar of seawater. She poured that seawater through a coffee filter, simmered it on the back of the kitchen range, and was delighted to discover salt crystals forming. After a few months of experimenting and refining the process, South Shore Sea Salt was born.
That first summer, Rebecca’s salts sold out weekly at a local Farmers’ Market. She invited her mother Marsha to join her in the business, and the following year sales continued to climb. The pair continued to refine their salt-making process, working from a small outbuilding on the family property during the warm weather months. They added flavored salts and eco-friendly packaging to the product line-up. Near the end of 2019, once again all inventory had sold out.
When the global pandemic hit in 2020, in-person markets stopped so we opened our online store to keep up with customer demand. This gave us time to work on infrastructure, refurbishing a larger outbuilding for Marsha, who had taken over the salt-making process. Despite making more salt than ever, it was a struggle to keep up with the demand for our products prior to our annual winter shut-down.
In early 2021, Rebecca stepped away from the business, and her brother Andrew jumped in. His mechanical engineering background was just what we needed to tackle our salt production challenges. Profits were reinvested to acquire custom equipment and set up new processes designed by Andrew. This was a big turning point for us, as our salt production shifted from seasonal to a year-round business.
Today mother and son duo, Marsha and Andrew, are co-owners and work full-time at the business, with occasional help from husband/dad Craig as well as Rebecca during the busy market season. It’s truly a family affair! There is plenty of work to go around — from sea water collection, the multi-step processing of salt, property and equipment to maintain, bottling and packaging, order fulfillment, market vending, wholesaling, marketing, and administration. Luckily for us, it continues to be a labour of love.
South Shore Sea Salt is located on the Wilson family homestead in Hubbards, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada.