Meet Brendan from Baker & Baker Salts
Baker & Baker Salts- An interview with founder Brendan Shalders
Salt is one of the 5 essential ingredients the human body needs to survive and is essential for the body to function.
Baker & Baker Salts is a company that specialises entirely in salt. The company started trading in December and has received growing attention in its products to date.
Company founder Brendan Shalders explains “salt is essential for the body so there is a clear disconnect in the media… it’s the type of salt you are using, its how you are using it, and its about teaching people salt is actually essential for the human body so don’t cut it out. It is essential to function. The white table salt we all know has been refined and stripped of all its essential minerals and then has added anti-caking agents to make it flow, there is very little nutritional value in this salt. Even switching to a basic pink Himalayan salt, for example, helps manage blood sugar levels and sleep cycles. It has all the essential 84 minerals the body needs. Pound for pound there is less sodium in Himalayan salt because its chock full of those essential minerals we need. Think of it in terms of cholesterol, there is the good kind, and there is the bad kind. Your body needs salt so make it the good kind”.
The decision to specialise entirely in salt came from recognising that this essential staple needed to be presented better to the public, that people are demanding better from companies to look after their health these days, and importantly to create an experience that consumers were looking for. There are far more salts than table white and Himalayan out there, and we’re not even counting the seaweed salt blends. Just like breads have advanced, milk has advanced to meet the people’s needs, even soft drinks are slowly changing to include natural Stevia sugars. At less than 1c per application, salt is extremely cheap so demand better.
“We have over 30 types and flavours of salts banked making us the largest salt business in Australia by variety. All our salts are natural, our wine salts use real bottled wine, the smoked salts use real wood, our low sodium herb and seaweed salts use these natural ingredients as mandatory. We do not believe in using synthetic aromas and flavourings as they lack the depth, aromas and flavours you can only get using real inputs. It’s about the level of depth and flavour that a synthetic essence cannot replicate”.
Whether you want a low sodium salt, aromatic salt, mineral rich salt, entertaining salt, curing & pickling salt or many of the other types of salt this business provides, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. “Many people are surprised to learn that table salt simply adds saltiness to food as an enhancer, but if you want to take your food to new levels using texture and sharpness then try for example a snowflake salt over your food next time instead. Snowflakes are thin and have a wide surface area (formed on the edge of the salt crystal). This spikes the taste of food well in excess of a saltiness flavour creating a sharper and significantly more pleasurable experience.”
Interviewer: So Brendan how did you launch your business and how did you get it off the ground?
Brendan: The business officially launched at the Caribbean market in December just before Christmas, by purchasing a stand. That meant waking up at 4:30am to reserve a spot as its first come first served. It’s one of the cheapest and best ways to market a brand and get people to see it. A broad cross-section of people shop here, which is essential to research.
Interviewer: What’s the best piece of advice a customer gave you?
Brendan: Labelling. Believe it or not I launched my products with just the logo on the front of the package and no other product description. One person said “oh cool bath salts… wait, what are they?” Photo: First day of launch
Interviewer: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start his or her own business?
Brendan: Just persevere. It’s a cliché but is true. You can spend years reading and talking about it, or you can do it. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice along the way, as they say, the show must go on. I met a wonderful lady who runs a successful business and she has shared her own experiences with me. When someone who has been there tells you about their experiences you listen and you learn.
Interviewer: Your range of products are unique, what is your most unique offering?
Brendan: We’ve taken salt to a new level. We have a section on our website dedicated to Home Entertaining. Many fine restaurants use high calibre salts as part of their appetizers, like the snowflakes, and we provide this set-up to those who love to entertain at home. But the most unique product has to be the Eat Gold series, which we provide pure 24Kt gold and silver edible leaves, along with oak wood smoked snowflakes, double smoked black peppercorns & salt and oil bowls. It’s something different, to create an experience. It’s more about the experience. Food engages all 5 of our senses, so it’s about bringing them together.