Kiwi Seas Supporting Soaring Solar Evaporated Salt Business

Kiwi Seas Supporting Soaring Solar Evaporated Salt Business

Opito Bay Salt is an innovative, award-winning Kiwi business that produces 100% natural, handcrafted, solar-evaporated sea salt straight from New Zealand's shores. 

Founder and co-owner Perry Cornish shares his unexpected journey from city life to salt farming, sparked by a casual conversation and the desire for a change in lifestyle. 

"We love the beach, we love Opito Bay in the Coromandel and we were trying to figure out a way to kind of eventually get to the batch … Erin brought me some artisan sea salt and I thought, wow, that's possible … so we did some crazy math on the back of an envelope and started a journey towards getting out of Auckland and becoming salt farmers."

The conversation uncovers the meticulous process behind creating 100% natural, solar-evaporated sea salt, harvested from the clean waters of Coromandel. Cornish explains the care taken in production. 

"We harvest water off the beach...we micro filter it into the greenhouses...then what we really do is we just let the sunshine do the rest really." 

The resulting product boasts unique seasonal flavours, with the summer yielding a lighter, crisper salt and the winter providing larger crystals with a more intense flavour. Cornish's recent trip to Christchurch marked a pivotal moment for Opito Bay Salt Company, as it led to new opportunities, including an order from the esteemed Amisfield Restaurant

Cornish's passion for authenticity is evident as he discusses his latest creations, such as the barbecue rub inspired by his travels in the southern United States and a Mexican seasoning that captures the true essence of Central American cuisine. 

"We put together a barbecue rub, you know, really trying to create those same sorts of back row barbecue flavours, not overly sweet but, you know, intense," he shares, illustrating his dedication to crafting genuine flavours. 

The conversation touches on Perry's innovative spirit, as he experiments with exotic salt infusions like black garlic and gin, and collaborates with local producers to incorporate New Zealand black truffles into his salts. These efforts have earned the company accolades at prestigious food awards, signalling the exceptional quality of their artisanal sea salt. 

The conversation with Perry Cornish offers a deep dive into the art of solar-evaporated sea salt production, the importance of innovation and tradition in the craft, and the impact of pursuing one's passion, all while emphasising the significance of local resources and flavours in creating a truly artisanal product.

Listen to the full chat between Perry Cornish and Dominic George above.

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