PRODUCER: Halen Môn, Anglesey
PRODUCT: Pure Sea Salt PDO
CATEGORY: From the Sea (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
In 1997 Halen Môn founders Alison and David Lea-Wilson left a saucepan of Anglesey seawater on their kitchens Aga. The couple knew they had struck culinary gold when it produced brilliant white gem-like salt flakes, and within two years the duo were stocking their product in a local butcher shop.
Alison and David still use the simplest processes to produce their pure sea salt from the Isle of Anglesey’s Menai Strait’s seawater, and this exceptional provenance saw them awarded Protected Destination of Origin for Anglesey Sea Salt/Halen Môn in 2014.
Made without strengthened or adulterated brine and without anti-caking agents, Halen Môn’s flakes are produced from charcoal filtered seawater, gently heated to produce pure brine and then left in shallow crystallisation tanks. This process is certified organic by the Soil Association. The salt is harvested by hand and every pouch of salt labelled with the initials of the team member who packed it.
The company opened their bespoke saltcote, Tÿ Halen, to the public in 2015, to provide visitors with an insight into how this ancient product is made today. Recently, this was the setting for a talk and question and answer session that was broadcast to schools across the country as part of the ‘Eat Happy’ project, which encourages young people to think about where their food comes from.
The Isle of Anglesey has been the inspiration and provided the raw materials for Alison and David’s business, and they and their team are passionate about conserving the environment and operating sustainably. The company’s distilled water is sold on for cleaning telescope lenses, solar panels have been installed, and the majority of materials are recycled or reused – even Lea-Wilson’s pet goldfish is housed in old salt tanks. Halen Môn aim to reduce their carbon footprint every year in an effort to protect this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The panel loved this “pure product made in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, and commented that they were “singing the hymn of Anglesey” after assessing this entry. The company’s business ethics regarding sustainability and recycling was considered an inspiration.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: halenmon.com