Halen Môn Sea Salt are a family company, founded by Alison & David in 1997. Just like with Cole & Co it was started at the kitchen table:
“We came up with 47 ideas - one of which was sea salt."
They left a saucepan of sea water to boil on the Aga in their family home, and low and behold salt crystals started to form. Little did they know that it would become one of the most renowned British ingredients - chefs all over the world use it including the likes of Heston Blumenthal, companies strive to use it in their products from chocolate to gin, and they even have a sustainability award from the Queen. We feel so incredibly lucky to use it in our products, and have been for the past 8 years, but what's mad is that I'd never visited their saltcote - so it was about time for a visit and to find out more.
Pumped straight from the Menai Strait - which is literally on their doorstep - the water is put through their filtration system of active charcoal and coarse sand to take out any of the impurities. This is then made into a brine solution which they have two HUGE tanks outside full of. This has the much higher salt content perfect for extracting sea salt. This goes through to the heated crystallising tables - which started as four and now they have sixteen tables - where the salt flakes form on the surface. They have a dedicated team that then spend the day gently stirring the tables to make sure that they get the most yield out of the brine and once this is complete they shovel out the salt. They're the only company in the UK that then actively rinse their salt to remove the chalk which would leave a bitter taste, and then it is finished off in a drier. It was absolutely incredible to see the delicate way that the salt is handled.
Rob Jardine greeted us for our tour with a massive grin and he truly was a fountain of knowledge. He is their retail manager now but when he was a teenager he was actually one of their first team members. Following a career in catering he came back to the firm, and is filled with passion for the product that they create.
The site is absolutely stunning. The building itself is super sympathetic to its surroundings - clad in Welsh larch, with an amazing rounded shape so it just disappears in it's environment. The latest addition is this gorgeous trailer that serves the most incredible assortment of light lunches, coffees and cakes. It really is the finishing touch, that means you can come here and have the full experience. From the tour, to the site shop, to Tide and the saltcote itself - it's a true celebration of the product that they take so much pride in.
Their sea salt is crisp in the mouth, and sparkles in the sunshine. It can be bought pure, or in brilliant mixes such as garlic and chilli, and their latest addition to the blend in smoked sea salt - I can vouch that it is INCREDIBLE! They also do an epic salted caramel - that is a must in any dessert cupboard. But for us the pure sea salt is everything we need and more. Used in four of our soaps, along with all of our hand washes, its a staple ingredient in our collection ! It was an absolute no brainer for us to look for other products that we can use it in! So look out over the next year - this locally made, worldwide renowned sea salt is going to be making many an appearance within our range. We love it and so do you.
Thank you so much to the whole team at Halen Môn for letting us visit - and we can't wait to continue this collaboration for years to come.
Make sure to head over to the Halen Môn website here to find out more about this incredible company, and have a sneaky peak in their gift section for the latest range that we have done for them - they're gorgeous. And if you're ever up on Anglesey - make sure to go and visit! It's well worth it, a real experience.