Pinch of Salt

Changing the way you think about salt.

LA TIMES- FOOD JUNE 2012

Daily Dish

THE INSIDE SCOOP ON FOOD IN LOS ANGELES

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Hepp’s Salt Barrel finds seasonings of

many flavors

July 10, 2012 |  9:00 am

Salt
Brian Hepp has a thing for salt. Not like most of us, who when we crave it, reach for a bag of chips. Instead, Hepp has a passion for the nuances of salt. So much so that he’s turned it into a business, called Hepp’s Salt Barrel, which sells at local farmers markets, at a couple dozen local retail stores, and starting in August, through Sur La Table stores nationwide.

Hepp’s got 24 salts in his Venice-based line right now. Some of them are single-origin finishing salts, such as the Portuguese Flor de Sal and Aussie Flake (the Portuguese has a dense flake and an explosive flavor, the Aussie is lighter and more delicate).

Most of what he sells are flavored salts that he has manufactured to his specifications, including his best-selling white truffle and black truffle salts.

It all started with a broke guy trying to figure out cheap presents. “I’d always played with different kinds of salts when I was cooking,” Hepp says. “I thought I’d put them together in a gift pack for my family because I didn’t have a lot of money.”

He found that people were fascinated by the seasonings. “I thought ‘Nobody else knows about all these different salts’,” he says. “What if I could just share this with people? I just had a dream, a vision. I just thought if I could share this with people, it might be successful. ”

He started selling five salts at a single farmers market a year and a half ago and within a couple of months had expanded his list to 20 salts and nine markets. Today,  you can find him at  the Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Larchmont, Studio City, Calabasas, La Canada, Yamashiro and Autry  farmers markets. He also has a stall at the newly opened Crafted collection in San Pedro.

Greater things are in store. He’s packaged his 10 best-selling salts — white and black truffle, black lava, roasted garlic, rosemary, ghost pepper, Thai ginger, Aussie flake, Himalayan pink and a smoked salt called applewood — and will be selling them through Sur La Table.

The salts come in 3-ounce portions and sell for $10 each, with the white and black truffle salts selling for $20.

Hepp has even earned the coveted CSA title — Certified Salt Advisor. In fact, he’s the only one in the world. “It’s kind of a spoof,” he says. “People were always asking me how I knew so much about salt. So I made up a list of 30 questions and guess what — I passed it!”

–Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Russ Parsons/Los Angeles Times

 

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: