Salt. The one seasoning you simply cannot do without. The seasoning that brings out the flavour of every dish, every ingredient. A seasoning I believe you can never have too many variations of. Much like Oryx Desert Salts, who produce a range of salts from simple to wine infused, smoked and seasoned. Oryx Desert Salt, now in its 11thyear of business, is pure naturally organic salt from the remote Kalahari Desert. It is harvested from a pristine unpolluted, renewable and sustainable underground salt lake. This Desert Salt is unprocessed and unrefined and still contains vital minerals and trace elements essential for optimal health.
Name: Samantha Skyring
Location: Muizenberg, Cape Town
Business: Oryx Desert Salt
How old is the business? 11 years
What inspired you to start Oryx Desert Salts?
A colleague was selling the salt overseas but didn’t want to sell it in South Africa, he felt the market was too small. My NGO of 7 years had come to an end due to the financial recession in 2007 and it was a struggle to source funding. I was a new mum and the relationship with my son’s dad ended so I needed to create an income for myself.
What makes the Oryx Desert Salt different to other salts?
It is desert salt not sea salt, sourced from the uninhabitable and remote Kalahari Desert, from an underground salt lake. The source is absolutely pristine, untouched and unpolluted, still mineral rich, from a renewable source and sustainably harvested.
What has been your favorite part of the business?
Witnessing myself grow personally and how the business has grown.
What has been the most challenging part?
Getting traction and growth in the international markets.
What’s your favourite Oryx Desert salt products?
The natural Desert Salt, it really does taste differently to other salts, has such a full flavour and I really love salt! The Braai salt has also become a huge favourite! Roasted with olive oil and seeds for salads and sprinkled over butternut and sweet potato then grilled.
What’s the one thing people should be salting but aren’t?
A sprinkle of salt in oats porridge, and have you tried a pinch in coffee. Also a pinch of salt in your bottle of water is important too!
What was the process of getting your product line into Wholefoods?
I was very fortunate through networking to get the email address of the salt/spices category buyer at Whole Foods. I followed up in 2019 with no response and then followed up again several times in May 2020 and fortunately received a response with a request to present product in September when the category range is re-assessed for the following year. We received our listing end January 2021.
What has been the most challenging part of international expansion?
The fast learning curve, the shipping, 3rd party warehouse, distributor listing. fortunately a colleague offered some advice and contacts which have been super useful.
Can you share the environmental ethos of Oryx Desert salt and why companies need to be eco-conscious?
It is essential at this time to have minimal impact on the planet. We are proud that our source is renewable & sustainable and that we package the salt in refillable, reusable long-lasting grinders with a ceramic mechanism. Last year 186,000 bottles and heads were saved from recycling and landfill by consumers refilling their bottles.
The best piece of advice you’ve gotten is…
Become clear with your dreams, intentions and goals.
Your beauty obsession at the moment is…
I LOVE serums and oils with essential oils! Rose particularly at the moment.
Your food obsession at the moment is…
a good homemade chilli on salad and just about everything!
Your favourite go to easy meal is…
Basmati rice, olive oil and avocado – with Oryx Desert Salt of course.
What do you never leave home without…
My little Oryx travel shaker of salt!
The best thing to do after a hard day is…
Have a cold swim in the ocean
The product that changed your life is…
Oryx Braai salt – I didn’t use it for the first couple years it was on shelf and then discovered it! I use it for everything!
Your favourite way to move your body is…
I love dancing!
Your best budget tip is…
Buying in bulk and with friends to get discounts.
Your favourite book is…
Robin Sharma – 5am club and Elif Shafak – The 40 Rules of Love
Your favourite Healthy eating spot in your city is…
Eat Surf Yoga, Glencairn
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.