Meet the Team
This is master Salter Gregorie, he loves, and lives by, his refractometer which tells us the salinity of the water. On some days we can see a reading of 3% seawater at the top of the tower and then by the time we have walked down to the bottom the reading can be as much as 7%- so exciting for us low energy evaporation enthusiast salt geeks!! (On other dreich days it might only have changed by 0.4%) Random tools of the trade. Salt is part of our Master Salter and founder, Gregorie's soul. With his family rooted in salt since the 1800s, it truly is what makes him tick. It was his drive and unwavering determination to discover a salt that paid heed to our heritage but would be worth tomorrow's world that led to his investigation of the old ways of salt making. His curiosity was rewarded when he journeyed across Europe to visit graduation towers and witness just how mind-blowing, effective, yet sustainable they are. But would they work with seawater instead of rock brine? Inspired and sleepless, it was another 12 years before he was satisfied and started to build of our very own Blackthorn Tower here on the West Coast. The first of its kind in the UK, and the first to use seawater… in the world… ever. Gregorie's expertise and vision in all things salt is unparalleled, and Blackthorn Salt is the triumph of his fascinating odyssey.
Meet Whirly, co-founder of blackthorn salt, taking in the sights and heights of the Tower. She is tasked here with the daily routine of adjusting the tower's taps to monitor the flow of the 'Mother liquor' as it makes its rounds. We do this around 4 times every day as the wind swings around from onshore to offshore and the sun moves on from one side to the other.
An integral part of the Blackthorn team since day one, Malky is meticulous in his care of each of the essential stages of the Blackthorn method. His day varies from carpentry and tower tending, tinkering with the taps, cleaning the steps, to scientist and alchemist extraordinaire... carefully monitoring the 'mother liquor' and adjusting things in the Pan House coax it into relinquishing the mineral-rich crystals that we are so proud of. On other days he is off to collect seawater and there is a fair amount of needing to sit at the PC too (yes, we do have to do some desk work, it isn't all fresh air!).
If you pick up the phone and call Blackthorn or want to talk to someone about opening a trade account with us, the chances are that you will speak to the brilliantly calm and organised Hayley. Hayley has been with us since we launched in lockdown, starting off with Blackthorn just 2 days into that fiasco. A wonderful West Coast girl from up near Torridon, Hayley rose to the challenge, managing to help launch our wee salt despite all the restrictions and impossible lockdown conditions, working alone from her flat up in Glasgow and only having met us and visited Blackthorn just once beforehand. Since then, she has brought Blackthorn to life for those beyond Ayrshire, attending shows and making visits to restaurants, bakers, butchers, delis and stores the length and breadth of the UK. Hayley has been an absolute stalwart and champion of all that is Blackthorn, and we are so proud to have her as part of our wee team.
An integral part of our team, despite being not the hardest worker, lying down on the job, sometimes stealing food and, worst of all, not always being the most welcome, is our Salty Dog, Lottie, the Gordon Setter. The self-appointed Taster and Tower Guard Dog is often with us for Tours and keeps us company here on the quieter days. Despite not being allowed into the Pan House - lab coats, hair nets and hand washing not being her thing, she loves being able to join us and just adds that little touch of the unpredictable to our days!