A famous name is born: The Maldon Salt Company is incorporated. Although salt was produced at the original site well before this date, the company did not start trading under this name until 1882. We still have all the original deeds for the site safe in the archive, 131 years later.
Maldon Salt is beginning to make a name for itself. Orders arrive from Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, putting us on the shelves of London’s top food stores. The feedback is good: “We found the salt much better than ordinary salt for pickling beef, a much smaller quantity being required for brine. Also gives the beef a much better flavour.” Signed, Harrods.
On 15th April, the Osborne family sign the documents which give them ownership of the company. It is the start of 91 years in the hands of four generations of the same family, reflecting our pride in the product. Here’s to the next 91.
The world wakes up to Maldon. We ship our first export order to Sweden, though more by happenstance than design. A local girl gives her Swedish pen-friend a basket of locally produced products on an exchange visit. Her father happens to be the buyer for the Co-operative food halls throughout Sweden… and the rest is export history.
A proud day as Clive Osborne personally delivers a case of Maldon Salt to Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee - rendered an even more nerve-racking experience than it might be because he’s not sure which door to use.
Sainsbury’s places its first order: 15 cases of Maldon Salt for one of its west London stores. This is apparently at the behest of a Sainsbury’s director and Maldon fan who wants some in his local store. We deliver it by estate car, backing up to the depot’s lorry-sized loading bay and feeling very much the small supplier.
Exports now account for 50% of our business. We are now reaching all four corners of the globe, with plenty of orders going to Asia to meet demand from British ex-pats. Continuing the long tradition of local ambassadors (see 1955), a New Zealand chef working temporarily at the Ritz in London meets a girl from the Maldon area: It’s the start of our export trade with New Zealand.
Delia Smith recommends Maldon Salt in her latest cookery book and the ‘Delia effect’ wipes our stock off the shelves (along with baking tins and kitchen utensils). This is the start of Maldon Salt being repeatedly name-checked by famous foodies of all stripes; we have proudly arrived in the world of celebrity chefs.
Still operating from the same salt pans at our original site, the time has come to develop a new production facility. We choose to go back to some very old roots with a salt works on one of the original Essex salt making sites from Saxon times. The area is known for its ‘red hills’, small mounds of earth with broken terracotta pot pieces, relics of salt making from the middle ages.
This is a very special year for us. We are honoured with a visit by Her Majesty the Queen. It makes for a great day; a chance to explain the process and for everyone at Maldon to take pride in a product they know will be used by the Royal Household.
We are granted the Royal Warrant as we celebrate our 130th year. It’s a very special moment for a small family business, which has grown from single case orders to volume sales all over the world. We still give the same personal care and attention to this handmade product ensuring the very best quality is delivered every time.
We hope you paid attention to geography at school. If so, you’ll appreciate the whys and wherefores of a product born from time, place and tide. There are good reasons why Maldon Salt is in Maldon. Flat tide-washed marshes and low rainfall mean high salinity and the ideal place to start the Maldon Salt Company in 1882.
There was something special about this salt from the beginning: sold in Harrods and Fortnums within a few years, first exported (to Sweden, land of salt connoisseurs) in the middle of the last century, recommended by St Delia in 2000, and granted the Royal Warrant on its 130th birthday in 2012.
Where once there were three salt pans at Maldon Salt, now there are 19. The company has not only survived - unique among its local competitors - it thrives.