Monday, July 25, 2011

R.I.P. Secret Stash Sea Salts

We have sad news: we're closing our beloved salt company. Thank you, everyone, for your support, business, encouragement, and friendship. We truly have appreciated the opportunity to be your salt source and will miss ALL of you.

- Janna and Joseph

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

salt production halted

Due to unforeseen circumstances and the loss of our Seattle commercial kitchen, we regret that we are not able to currently fulfill retail and bulk wholesale orders.  We are still a small-scale partnership, with chef Joe making all of our salts to order, in small batches, by hand.  We anticipate a resolution by early August.  We appreciate your understanding during this difficult transition.  Thank you.

Janna, Joseph, and Renee 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

salt video

Why does Secret Stash Sea Salts exist?  How did it come about?  Hope you enjoy seeing how our partnership began.  The video is raw and unscripted. 

Yet what I love most is that it gives Joe a voice. Sometimes the chef is in the kitchen too often, left behind the scenes. Just don't knock him for using the word "foodie."

Thanks to Luuvu Hoang for his vision and videography. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

salt news

where our cooking inspiration starts:  the salt shelf

We're bad at blogging.  No secret there.  Though this doesn't excuse our absence, we've undergone significant changes in the past 3 months.  Half of Secret Stash Sea Salts moved to San Francisco.  Being that we're still a small-scale partnership (of two people), that was a gamble for our small batch company.  How would we make it work?  Who would we hire?  How would shipping and distribution change?  

We're also both getting married!  Planning the simplest of low-key weddings can still be enough to overwhelm.  Will chef Joe cater his own wedding and bake the cake?  These are the questions swirling around our heads, at the end of the day.  Luckily, Joe met a wonderful woman, Renee, who now handles Seattle accounts and distribution.   

We're also re-modeling our website.  For those who stuck with us through shopping cart malfunctions:  thank you for your patience and understanding.  We're not tech-savvy, though we wish we were.  

Bulk sales are growing, which means we are too!  We're excited to field more interest in wholesale salt for private label and restaurant food-service.  Last month, we shipped over 200 pounds of salt!

For those who don't know us, Joe and I work jobs outside of Secret Stash Sea Salts.  When Joe isn't making salt, he's running two Seattle restaurants:  Ventana and Twist.  I'm doing media relations, consulting for restaurants, and various freelance projects.  In the spirit of keeping the salts alive, we love what we do.

Oh!  We recently finished filming a salt video too! It's a look at how our partnership began, and who we are. 

We're in a good place.  Finding our way.  Thanks for joining us.          

Four Seasons margarita, lavender rosemary salt


Spring is blooming, with feelings of Happy Hour in the air.  Longer days and warmer nights beckon for a cocktail with friends.  We're getting ours on at Art Restaurant and bar at the Seattle Four Seasons Hotel.  Bellying up to the bar means a Lovely-Rita with bar star Renee.     

Fresh cucumber muddled in a margarita with Reposado tequila. Finished with Lavender Rosemary sea salt.  Wanna shake it up at home? 


2 oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
.75 oz Cointreau
3 cucumber wheels
1.5 oz sweet and sour
Lavender Rosemary sea salt
lime wedge


1. Rim tall glass with Lavender Rosemary sea salt.
2. Muddle 2 slices cucumber with a pinch of lavender rosemary salt in a mixing glass.  Add liquid ingredients and ice.
3. Shake and pour into prepared glass. Finish garnish with remaining cucumber wheel and the wedge of lime.

Bartender Renee will knock your socks off.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

vanilla salt

Due to numerous requests, we're bringing back the vanilla salt for a limited edition run!  The small batch packaged to 32 jars and 45 salt samplers. 

We love vanilla salt on white fish, such as pan-seared scallops or halibut poached in butter.  It works magic on summertime cherries, peaches, and fresh fruit with cottage cheese.  Cookies flecked with crunchy flakes of delicate vanilla make chocolate chips sweeter than life, and just right. 

 We expect this small run to go quickly.  Our first stop will be the Queen Anne farmers market this Thursday the 24th, from 3-7pm.

If you can't make the farmers market, we'll be at the Redmond sidewalk sale and art festival this weekend:  Friday.Saturday.Sunday.  10am-7pm.  

Swing by to sample vanilla salt sprinkled atop mascarpone! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

we appreciate you

It's Customer Appreciation day [until this Friday, May 21st]: buy any jar of salt and as a 'thank you,' receive a free 1 oz. salt sampler of your choice!

This year, our most popular salt samplers have been:  almond cardamom, bloody mary, lavender rosemary, and chorizo.  To take advantage of the offer:  just write which salt sampler you'd like in the 'message to the sender' box when you check-out through PayPal, and we'll include it with your order.

Our almond cardamom salt also just won an award from the NASFT [National Association for the Specialty Food Trade].  We're over the moon to snag a Silver medal for Best Flavor Enhancer!  The next round of judging is in June, where we'll be going for the Gold!  *fingers crossed*

Competition was tough, with 1,570 entries across 31 categories.  The judging feedback was based upon the following criteria: 1 denoting 'poor,' while 5 is 'excellent.'
Our almond cardamom salt scored:

Quality:  5
Innovation:  4
Packaging:  4
Ingredient profile:  5
Pricing:  5

Judge comments:  wow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

'spring garden' spirit

*photo taken by Matthew (@suomynona on Twitter)
Been to Art Restaurant at the Seattle Four Seasons yet?  We never need an excuse to go, but if you haven't, their counter uncorked events and all-you-can-eat $12 cheese nights are as generous as restaurants come. 

Already been, and just want to imbibe?  Their newest cocktail, the 'Spring Garden' is rimmed with our best-selling salt, lavender rosemary.  Rumor around town is that their cucumber margarita is just as delicious.    

Spring Garden

1 oz Dry Fly gin
1.5 oz sauvignon blanc
.25 oz Pernod
.25 oz green Chartreuse
.25 oz tyku
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz lavender simple syrup
5 large mint leaves (cut into chiffonade)
purple pansies ("johnny jump ups")
lavender rosemary sea salt

1.  Rim highball glass with salt.
2.  Combine all liquid ingredients and mint strips over ice in mixing glass.  Shake gently. 3.  Garnish with salt sprinkled flowers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

homemade sourdough bread

I am lucky. A sourdough starter landed in my hands. Passed along by a good friend, the starter was born from the hand of baker. And her seckle farmers market pear.  I don't remember the last time I made bread. But I know it was with my mom, and that a clunky, awkward counter top bread-maker played a role.

This was different. The 'biga,' short for Italian sourdough starter, is sweeter and nuttier than traditional starters. And so the journey began, and grew. I fed my biga daily. As instructed, I added a 1.5:1 ratio of bread flour to water, and 'beat the hell out of it' every day. I coddled my biga for more than a week.

I won't lie. My hands got tired; my wrists hurt. I thought about bright red artisan mixers sitting atop counters, and assumed that others must have had them to help. I wanted that bread, and thought about it every day I beat the hell out of it. "Tonight, we will have bread with dinner," I said, before reading instructions that said 'let it rest, bubble, and refrigerate over-night.' The biga seemed far way. Truth be told, I don't like to follow recipes.

Recipes inspire me. But I thrive on improvising upon an idea, a biga, or a recipe that catches my eye. Yet, and like baking, it's a science. Measuring ingredients by weight, and with a scale makes a difference. I'm glad I waited for my biga to grow up.

I made 3 loaves from it. Each made me appreciate, and re-acknowledge, the process that goes into homemade goods. The toil, the craftsmanship, the love.  I can't wait to make another.

* For the recipe, cooklocal has the scoop.  I followed it to the T.  As instructed, I added cumin.  I winged it by tossing in a heaping tablespoon of apple 5-spice salt.  Almond cardamom salt was my second choice. 
** Thank you for your generosity, Jenifer.  And for inspiring me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

bacon bloody mary

          Art restaurant's Olympic cocktail menu debuts today at the Four Seasons in Seattle. The silver medal is rimmed with one of our favorite cocktail salts, smoked chipotle. If you can't belly up to the bar at Art restaurant to try the gold medal, take solace in the fact that you can re-create the silver in the comfort of your home.  Or you can swing by Ventana restaurant for a sip of the real thing.

The Silver
1.5  oz bacon infused vodka
.5  oz house spice mix
3  oz tomato juice
celery stalk
strip of applewood smoked bacon
smoked chipotle sea salt
1.  Add vodka, spice mix, and tomato juice to a mixing glass with ice.  
2.  Roll gently and pour into a highball glass rimmed with the smoked chipotle salt.  
3.  Garnish with celery and bacon. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

salt special

Twitter offer today:  buy any 3.5 ounce salt, and get a free equal size jar of cherry pistachio salt. Woot!

Scaling down the line

We made our last batches of pineapple cumin, cherry pistachio, apple 5-spice, and soy salt.  I'm sorry to see them go despite having a blast trying to blow through each.  We imbibed in margaritas rimmed with pineapple cumin salt last night (arbol chilies lent the heat).  

This week?  Salted sugar cookies with cherry pistachio and apple 5-spice.

The salt fairy in me adores the umami of soy.  It's the indecisive part that can't decide where to sprinkle the dust next. Duck, chicken, pork, brussel sprouts, potatoes, black cod, sole? 

Pork belly or chop, it'll be.     

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco

Twice a year, the Fancy Food Show comes to town. It's a hub for North America's largest specialty food and beverage marketplace. San Francisco hosts the show in January, while New York trails in June. We're excited about having a booth at the San Francisco show this year.
It'll be a first for our flavored salts.
We're hoping to make new friends, share salt, and mingle with attendees. If you plan to be in town too, we'd love to meet you! We'll be at booth #2515 in the south hall.
Moscone Center
747 Howard Street
San Francisco
January 17-19th, 2010

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stashes to Stashes

I loved the title "Stashes to stashes" that I borrowed it directly from "Windy City Times," a newspaper penned by a bright group of Chicagoans. But what I really wanted to say is thank you for featuring our salts in your gift guides this holiday season. Our New Year's resolution is to raise a glass to you.

If you missed the stash in gift guide print, below are some highlights. Or if you're still shopping for last-minute gifts, you may be able to steal an idea, or two from the legwork of someone else. I bookmarked a few of these sites for after the New Year, too.

Stashes to stashes
"Your favorite Martha Stewart wannabe will not doubt appreciate Secret Stash Sea Salts—which provide different ways to wake up the flavors of various items. For example, the Pineapple Cumin Salt is...." read on ....

CakeSpy's Gift Guide: For the Sweet Tooth
"As Dorie Greenspan says, "salt is pastry's unsung hero... a pinch is enough to balance the sugar in tart crust, underscore the flavor in any chocolate dessert, give caramel that certain je ne sais quoi. And oh, .... " read more....

Seattle Palate
"Flavored sea salts can really add a wonderful touch to everyday dishes. Secret Stash Salt is the go-to sea salt source in Seattle. With flavors like truffle, lavender rosemary, soy, and apple 5 spice, it's easy to infuse exotic flavors into your dishes. At only $5, these salts are a fun way to try new flavors." Check-out Seattle Palate...

The Soiree Cafe
".... try rimming your dirty martini with the nicoise olive salt!"
I'm flattered our salts share space in an article with Skillet's bacon jam.
She Knows Food and Recipes
"For the serious gourmet cook,...." read more....
For wickedly delicious-looking recipes that incorporate stash salt, like duck egg and brussel sprout hash, visit Cooklocal for ideas to spring board off. Their recipes spark creativity. This holiday, they're posting a recipe a day to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas gift pack

For friends and loved-ones who are mad for salt, the holiday gift 4-pack is a unique collection of our favorites: Lavender Rosemary, Nicoise Olive, Bloody Mary, and Cherry Pistachio. Best perk? Packs come ready-to-rock, tied pretty with splashy ribbons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urban Craft Uprising & holiday salt

Urban Craft Rising is just about, if not, one of the coolest, most imaginative craft fairs I've been to. Joe and I stumbled upon them last summer. It's a sea of hand-made art and creativity, from jewelry to clothing to glassware to cupcake art, and more.

We're thrilled(!) to have a salt stand with them this December. If you haven't mapped out your holiday shopping, consider this a start. It's a great way to support local, small-scale vendors while crossing gifts off the list under one umbrella location.

December 5th and 6th
11am-5pm, both days
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
Like farmers markets past, we'll have 1 ounce salt samplers with artisan corks. To purchase salt samplers online, please visit our website