New Har­bour man launches sea salt busi­ness

The Compass - - COMPASS - BY DANIEL MACEACH­ERN TRANSCON­TI­NEN­TAL ME­DIA

A New Har­bour man hopes New­found­land sea salt will soon be sprin­kled over New­found­lan­ders’ food.

Ward Ge­orge launched Pure Sea Salt on July 10, un­veil­ing the salt he makes at his farm with wa­ter from Trin­ity Bay af­ter get­ting the idea two years ago.

“I have a green­house nurs­ery in New Har­bour, and I had a struc­ture that was be­ing un­der­uti­lized,” Ge­orge, 54, told the Tele­gram af­ter the of­fi­cial launch at Rocket Bak­ery in St. John’s July 10.

“Be­ing an avid home cook, I’ve al­ways been us­ing sea salt for many years, it was truly a eureka mo­ment when I got in front of the stove one evening and went up to the cup­board to bring down some salt, and it clicked: Why not try mak­ing sea salt uti­liz­ing the green­house? That’s how it started two years ago, the idea.”

Ge­orge is us­ing a rub­ber liner - 25 feet by 50 feet - to col­lect the salt, left be­hind as the wa­ter is evap­o­rated by the sun and wind, dif­fer­ent from the nor­mal process of boil­ing off the wa­ter.

It’s his new method that Ge­orge says caused “govern­ment bu­reau­cracy” to take 14 months be­fore he was cleared for sale to the pub­lic.

His first batch took about a month to pro­duce, mak­ing about 400 pounds - he didn’t want to make more be­fore he knew if he was go­ing to be able to sell it.

He’s tweaked the sys­tem this year, he said, by clos­ing the doors to the green­house in­stead of leav­ing them open, and turn­ing up the tem­per­a­ture in­side to speed up the process. The rule of thumb, he says, is that ev­ery gal­lon of sea wa­ter pro­duces four ounces of salt.

Right now he’s tar­get­ing the lo­cal high-end restau­rant mar­ket, as well as sell­ing his prod­ucts on­line, at Rocket Bak­ery and at the St. John’s Farmer’s Mar­ket.

He also hopes to sell to tourists and - if he does well enough to grow - he wants to get into gro­cery stores.

“That all de­pends on pro­duc­tion,” he said. “Ob­vi­ously right now I’m try­ing to get the most bang for my buck and to ex­pand the busi­ness, and that needs money. But sure thing, if the end of the day pro­duc­tion is up to meet the de­mand of gro­cery stores, that’s where I want to be as well.” dmaceach­ern@thetele­gram.com

Twit­ter: @Tele­gramDaniel

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