A recent Shark Tank sound bite offered Kevin O’leary aka Mr. Wonderful’s business perspective that ‘a business that isn’t profitable by it’s third year is just a hobby.’ Recent news of Google’s purchase of Nest Labs shows that you can make a sizeable profit in just three short years, but don’t expect news of go lb. salt being sold for $3.2 billion anytime soon.
That having been said, we did have a remarkable year and it was all thanks to your continued support of several new products and ventures. We share with you the above picture of one of our regulars – yes we start ‘em young! (Thanks Zach, Lynn, Lyza & Arden) So, what happened in salt land this year? Let us give you a quick recap.
Our YouTube channel just keeps plugging along. We saw total views for all videos as wells as our most popular DIY Dry Aged Beef video increase by more than 200%! Our dry aging video now boasts about 295,000 views – that’s almost 120,000 more views than the second most popular video on dry aging.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Our Best Homemade Bacon video continues to pick up steam with almost 40,000 views in the last year.
Last, but not least, we closed out the year by adding our Best Corned Beef (or Pastrami) video on December 30. We have several more videos on the board so look for additions to the channel in the coming year!
We had a total of three new product releases this year. You might remember that in June we released our “Killer” Corned Beef Kit and our fifth Pore Essential’s skin scrub product – Balance & Beautify. In July we added our Fajita Seasoning. We continue testing and sampling new blends and combinations, so don’t be surprised if you see another blend or two in the coming year.
However, the real news this year wasn’t really related to our product offerings, it was all about getting the word out! In mid-February we finally embraced Instagram and began sharing our culinary experiences one image at a time. Two weeks later, after an epic battle for social media votes between us and the ever popular Restaurant Live AZ’s own Joanie Simon, we managed to secure a spot for ourselves on the judges panel for the well-known, always sold out Grilled Cheese Throwdown.
That coup set into motion a series of events that ended with local PR & Marketing maven Susie Timm of Girl Meet’s Fork (as well as founder and co-promoter of the aforementioned Grill Cheese Throwdown) convincing us that what we really needed was a PR & Marketing firm to help us spread the love of salt, and that she was the ‘girl’ to do just that. Fast forward nine months later and we couldn’t agree more – here’s why!
As a result of Susie’s hard work we made our first ever TV appearance on April 1, courtesy of Sonoran Living Live. That was the first of three Sonoran Living appearances and the first of seven total TV appearances including Cory’s Corner and The List.
Thanks to making the acquaintance of Joanie Simon during our not so bitter social media battle, we also had the privilege of being a guest on her newly founded podcast not just once, but, on three separate occasions during the course of the year.
On November 17, Joanie and I were finally able to sit at the Judge’s Table together for the 3rd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown. For anyone who questions the value of social media for a start-up business, we encourage you to cast your fears aside and jump right in. When it comes to the free reach of social media, as a way to constantly connect with others who share what you and your company are passionate about, there really isn’t anything to lose as long as you don’t behave like an ASU Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity member.
Spring of 2013 also saw us unveil our Chitchen Kemistry™ series of classes designed to share our love of salt, demonstrated in a variety of uses and showcased in five unique instructional classes. We held intimate classes in Gilbert and in Scottsdale that included Sea Salt Tasting & Pairings, Cooking on Saltware, Makin’ Bacon and Dry Aging Beef. For the time being the classes have run their course, but we are exploring the ability to make these classes available as video instructionals.
On October 24 in cooperation with Chef Steven Eldridge and the crew at Gertrude’s at the Desert Botanical Garden we hosted Salt Smitten™ the first ever salt-centric dinner event. Thirty-seven brave souls joined us for beautiful weather on the patio. We were pleased to present five courses crafted by Chef Eldridge and our own Aaron Eckburg that required 90 days of preparations for some of the individually cured components. Those, plus a double dessert course created by Chef Marissa Lown and Chef Rachel Miller showed patrons and participants alike that the proper and judicious use of salt can create some truly phenomenal flavors – even in desserts! It was an incredible experience, and if the right circumstances present themselves in 2014 we’ll continue the Salt Smitten™ series!
In June we were approached with the opportunity to take over ownership and management of the Fountain Hills Farmers Market. In October we began preparations to offer a line of retail bacon crafted using our unique Rub Yer Belly cures. Look for those to be available at select local farmers markets in the first quarter of 2014 with grocery store shelves soon to follow!
All in all it was a busy and successful year! Look for us to continue growing brand recognition while offering the same great products and services. In the meantime, we’ll keep cooking, sharing and learning from our experiences as we reinforce our belief that “happiness IS just a lick away!”