Product: The Cornish Sea Salt Company
People behind it:
Name: Tony Fraser
Tony Fraser found himself redundant after a 20-year career working in forestry. After settling in Cornwall, he considered a number of business options, including running garden tours and cheese-making: but a friend told him about an ancient Iron Age sea salt works near the village of Porthkerris, which had once served a thriving fishing community. He researched the process and after three years was able to launch the Cornish Sea Salt Company at the beginning of 2008.
The Cornish Sea Salt Company is a highly concentrated culinary sea salt, and fits neatly with current demands for high-quality products with local or regional provenance, and, if possible, made according to traditional, non-industrial, methods. While it is not the only sea salt produced in Britain (its two rivals are Essex’s Maldon and North Wales’ Halen Mon), it has successfully piggy-backed on the resurgence of the British seaside in general and Cornwall in particular.
Cornish Sea Salt is available through a range of premium outlets, including Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason (the company’s website has a useful store finder facility – the production methods may be Iron Age, but the marketing is very 21st Century). It has also gained endorsements from several celebrity chefs, including Cornwall’s adopted son, Rick Stein, Mark Hix of Caprice Holdings and Jamie Oliver. The brand has recently gained accreditation from the Soil Association..
How it fits
Cornish Sea Salt hits all the right buttons, with its appeal to heritage, its Cornish provenance, its purity and its backing from a range of foodie experts. Furthermore, a slick PR campaign for its launch gained it extensive coverage, including in The Guardian and The Times, on various BBC and ITV programmes and in many more media outlets. Listings in the right kind of stores and frequent appearances at food festivals should help cement its success.