It is 20 years since David and Allison Lea-Wilson left a saucepan of sea water boiling on the Aga … as the sea salt started to crystallise, so too did a business idea. The clear water around the beautiful North Wales island of Anglesey was a natural larder packed full of an ingredient now recognised through Protected Designation of Origin status as one of a kind.
Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt is renowned for its purity and quality. The extraction process combines the natural filters the estuary offers, gentle heating using contemporary technology and hand harvesting. Most of the sea salt remains pure but blends are produced for discerning cooks and chefs; oak smoked, exotic vanilla, (perfect with white fish) and chilli and garlic to name but a few.
Salt has been valued throughout history
The Halen Môn Saltcote – a beautiful bespoke development that provides the perfect showcase for the brand – includes a historic timeline, which explores the time when Roman soldiers would be paid a ‘salarium‘. This payment in salt (or an allowance to buy salt) was the origin of the modern day word ‘salary’. History recalls that an exorbitant salt tax sparked the French Revolution whilst Indian Independence can be traced to Mahatma Gandhi’s march against the Raj salt monopoly.
These days, salt remains valued, though there’s a little less revolutionary reaction to it! Halen Môn is particularly valued by those who respect and seek out provenance, ethos and heart in a business but who also demand excellence. David and Alison are showing that you can achieve both.
Their business, which emerged because of the emotional tug of laying off seasonal worker at the Sea Zoo they originally established in Anglesey, is a family undertaking. Every member of staff is part of that family … and the products which emerge are tagged back to individual workers. The loyalty that comes from trust is evident as soon as you step across the threshold at the Saltcote. A warm welcome combines with a deep knowledge and understanding of both the heritage and the modern day story that swirls around Halen Môn. On the day Mr and Mrs Deli visited, David popped out to say hi, with a self-deprecating “I’m not normally allowed out of the office“.
We were made to feel part of what is a great Welsh food story and we are very proud to reinforce our commitment to quality and great taste by stocking the range.