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Maker feature: Jacobsen Salt Co.

Maker feature: Jacobsen Salt Co.

While kayaking off of Oregon’s coast, Ben Jacobsen started collecting buckets of briny water. Those buckets have transformed into Jacobsen Salt Co. – the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since Lewis & Clark.

Where does Jacobsen Salt Co.’s story start?

I tried good salt for the first time in Denmark. Ever since, I didn’t go anywhere without it. When I moved back to the Pacific Northwest, the region’s culinary culture had evolved to value locally grown and made good – but people were still buying salt elsewhere. I wanted to change that.

What did it take to perfect your salt?

Almost three years, lugging around a lot of seawater, and custom making our harvesting equipment.

How is your salt made?

Seawater is collected from Netarts Bay. It’s then dumped into large boil tanks where excess minerals are removed. Once reduced to a brine, it’s heated and sea salt flakes are formed. The flakes are then scooped from the pans to drying racks. After drying, every flake inspected and sorted by hand.

Why do you collect water from Netarts Bay to make salt?

We tested water from over 25 different locations before settling on the oyster beds in Netarts Bay. The oysters filter the seawater – creating water that’s high in salinity and low in turbidity.

How do you define good salt?

It has to have a clean and briny taste, light and flaky texture, and white and shiny appearance.