First up in our new "Inside the Studio" series, we present Jacobsen Salt Co. and their sister company, Bee Local Honey. As two of our very first vendors, we have excitedly watched them grow exponentially, develop new products and maintain the ideals and level of quality they were founded on.
We stepped inside their SE Portland warehouse to see where the magic happens and had a chat with Damien Magista - owner of Bee Local and head of marketing for both companies.
What would you name as one of the biggest perks of being a Portland based company?
That's easy, being able to work collaboratively with so many amazing people.
We are always amazed at the ways you're able to collaborate with other Portland based companies and creatives. Tell us what's most fun or interesting about the collaborative process.
Portland has always been a very collaborative DIY town. It's in our DNA. The most fun part about the process is working with other amazing people who are creating fantastic products.
What are some of your sources of inspiration as you develop new products and flavor combinations?
Our inspiration comes from the pure joy of thinking up new combinations that we are excited about and want to share with our customers. It’s very organic. Sometimes we come up with completely ridiculous ideas that are absolutely unworkable for various reasons. Sometimes we some up with ridiculous ideas that we can pull off. This makes our product development a fun process.
What excites you most about the future of Bee Local?
Seeing were it all goes. It’s already been taken further than I ever expected. I started with one hive in my backyard several years ago with no intention of turning my hobby into a business. There are so many exciting aspects to what we do but I think developing and bringing to market great new products is the most fun.
You have to be fearless and follow your heart. There will be people giving you tons of advice but only you know what the correct path is.
Now to get personal!
What’s your Favorite Portland Restaurant?
This is a tough question. There are so many great places out there, it’s difficult to pick just one. I think right now it’s Smokehouse Tavern. BJ’s Smoked Brisket Eggs Benedict is really next level. If you haven’t had them run, don’t walk to Smokehouse Tavern and be prepared to be blown away.
Favorite summertime activity?
Spending time with my family in the backyard relaxing. The simple things.
Current Favorite Recipe?
Sliced watermelon with fresh squeezed lime juice and sprinkled with Jacobsen’s Habanero salt. Very simple and refreshing. The perfect summer snack.
Jacobsen Salt Co is the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since Lewis & Clark and the leader in the emerging vanguard of American Saltmakers. Harvested from the cold, pristine waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast, Jacobsen Salt Co.’s flake and kosher sea salts have gained much critical acclaim for their beautiful and pure taste, texture, and appearance, and are used by chefs and home cooks around the world.
Founded in 2011 by Ben Jacobsen, their mission is grounded in craftsmanship and community, and their vision is to provide every American with the very best elemental cooking ingredients and pantry staples items - from hand-harvested sea salt, to single-origin honey, and all the derivative products in between.
Bee Local's goal is to become the most trusted, transparent and tasty honey company in America – both producing and sourcing only the most sustainable, healthy and uniquely delicious honeys in the country. Founded in 2011 by Damian Magista after discovering honey from hives in various urban neighborhoods he placed around Portland had completely different flavor profiles, colors, and textures. Bee Local has since become a national brand, changing the face of honey production and sourcing.
photos by Xochitl Adriana Jaime