Master of Cottage Industry: Pacific Flake Sea Salt

Sea Salt Flakes
Evergreen Pulp Mill Samoa Peninsula Humboldt Bay
The old Evergreen Pulp Mill (formerly the LP Pulp Mill) on the Samoa Peninsula, Humboldt Bay, California

Pacific Flake Sea Salt is a salt harvestry located in a tiny corner of what was once a huge Louisiana Pacific pulp mill out on the Samoa Peninsula, just across Humboldt Bay from my hometown of Eureka, California.

I met the owner, Bryon Duty, back in 2017 when I was first developing an interest in the idea of cottage industry. I was very impressed by someone who was not afraid to go back to the basics, and it just doesn’t get much more basic than salt.

Although salt is something that most of us take for granted, Bryon takes his profession and his craft very seriously. He is self-taught, and I can understand why: salt makers are a rare breed these days, and I can imagine it would be extremely difficult to find someone to teach you how to do it.

Pacific Flake Sea Salt
Photo courtesy of Pacific Flake Sea Salt

Bryon gave me a tour and explanation of his small facility, and his pride and knowledge are obvious and well-earned. His is the kind of passion that inspires in the listener a desire to find something similar–a trade, a craft, something you can do and put your hands on and be proud of sharing.

Although I live in Salt Lake City now (home a facility of Morton, the industrial salt harvester), I still get the salt that I use as a flavor enhancer in my home-made hot cocoa mix from Pacific Flake. To me, it adds just that little extra bit of pure love that comes from a high quality product, made with skill and dedication.

Bryon Duty of Pacific Flake Sea Salt
Bryon Duty, owner and operator of Pacific Flake Sea Salt. (Photo courtesy of Pacific Flake Sea Salt)

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