Jethro Tennant is a salt harvester from Dorset, who founded the award-winning company Dorset Sea Salt. Crowned ‘The Seed Fund’ winner in 2018, Jethro has gone from boiling seawater over his stove at home to supplying his Dorset sea salt across the whole of the British Isles. Jethro tells us how it all came about.
“It was around the time I had just graduated from university when I was beginning to research jobs and a new career to start. However, I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do, so instead of applying for jobs, I decided to distract myself by reading local articles on food and drink. I soon stumbled upon an article about salt production on the Isle of Portland – where I live – that really interested me. I learnt that the Saxons, and in fact the Romans centuries before, were producing sea salt right here on the Dorset coastline. It was soon after reading the article that I visited the local relics of the old saltpans on the Jurassic coast, which further inspired me to think – why and how this once thriving industry had vanished?
Soon after I went back home and made my own sea salt for friends and family to see how easy it could be. The results were fascinating. It was both incredibly satisfying and easy to produce. As soon as I did my first small-batch of sea salt, I was onto the next, and the next. It quickly led to me think that I could start selling it to local shops!
At first I didn’t know where to start, yet after some thorough research into how food and drink companies can get started, I discovered the help of The Prince's Trust. The Trust is a great charity, helping young people like me have access to opportunities that can turn an idea into reality. I worked with them on their enterprise programme and after a year of business planning with my mentor, the Dorset sea salt company was born.
Forward wind a couple of years and we are proud to be selling our sea salt across the UK to many restaurants, retailers and manufacturers. To produce our lovely white unrefined sea salt, we journey down to the Jurassic Coast to extract the seawater from the mineral rich Chesil beach and evaporate it into the finest sea salt in the land!”
More information on the The Prince's Trust head to princes-trust.org.uk