WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - A Wrightsville Beach woman has fulfilled a life-long dream of living at the beach, and has started a business venture that uses the Atlantic Ocean in the process.
Just a few years ago, Amanda Jacobs was an educator, before she and her husband moved from upstate New York to Wrightsville Beach.
She is an admitted foodie and has collected different salts in their travels for use in their kitchen. But in her search for local sea salt, a friend suggested she produces some herself, with help from the Atlantic Ocean.
"I had intended to continuing to teach when we moved here, I really did not imagine having this business, so it was really more of an experiment of whether we could make salt from our front yard," said Jacobs.
Jacobs found a process that worked, which led to the formation of the Sea Love Sea Salt Company.
Each week, Jacobs fills several five gallon buckets with sea water, that has been tested for its purity, and takes it to her newly purchased facility in Pender County. There, it is strained to remove sand and sediment and left in covered pans in her solar greenhouse.
She says Mother Nature does most of the work, because, depending on the weather, in less than a week, the sun has evaporated the water out of the containers, and what is left is all natural sea salt.
"The quicker sea salt takes to evaporate, the smaller the crystals, so actually in summer, we have smaller crystals than we do in winter," Jacobs explained.
After scrapping the pans, the salt is bottled.
The majority of the products she sells is pure sea salt. But for variety, after the salt crystals are completely dry, she adds herbs and other locally grown ingredients, to flavor it, including rosemary and garlic. She also has a citrus salt that contains lemon, lime and orange zest in it, as well as a cracked peppercorn flavor and a truffle salt.
Jacobs says research has shown all natural sea salt is much better for you than regular table salt.
"Its level of salinity is so natural, you don't have to use a ton of it," Jacobs explained. "So you are actually using less salt than if you were sprinkling table salt on your food."
Her company is in the beginning stages, and you can now find Sea Love Sea Salt at almost a dozen stores, farmer's markets and in some high quality, farm to market restaurants.
She believes the creation of the Sea Love Sea Salt Company has resulted in a perfect combination of her love for the ocean and Mother Nature, and allows her to continue her teaching profession, educating people about the use of an all natural product that is beneficial for your help, and comes straight from the Atlantic Ocean.