Maine Sea Salt Company
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Name:          Stephen and Sharon Cook

                     Maine Sea Salt Company


Location:    11 Church Lane

                     Marshfield, Maine  04654





Phone:             207-255-3310

Hours:        call to see when a visit or tour

                    can be arranged  

Products and Services:

-natural sea salt

-seasoned sea salt

-smoked sea salt

-salt cellars, salt mills, salt pigs

-mortars and pestles, salt rimmers

-free tours of processing facility

-gift shop

-online ordering

-bulk/wholesale sales

Why is Maine Sea Salt Unique?

Marshfield, Maine, is home to the Maine Sea Salt Company.  In 1998, Stephen and Sharon Cook established a farm that produces natural sea salt from the salt water of the nearby Atlantic Ocean.  It is a salt that has not been refined and that still contains some of the trace minerals (iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, iodine, and magnesium) that are removed from regular table salt.

If an individual had the inclination to conduct a little research into the history of salt throughout civilization, they would discover that it has proven to be an extremely valuable commodity in many cultures throughout  history.  There are references to salt thousands of years ago.  It has played a role in international trade, food preservation, wars, and colonization.

As early as the 15th century, European explorers were using salt to preserve their fish on board their sailing vessels. In the seventeenth century, the Onondaga Indians boiled brine from salt springs to make salt. 

Solar salt was produced in the early 1800’s by building movable sheds over the evaporating pans.  In the 1830’s there were 442 salt works in Cape Cod alone. Salt works were established all over the coast of Maine (at that time part of Massachsuetts) since the times of the Revolutionary War.

As time went by, there was a shift from the small-scale salt works to the mechanization of salt production.  The small local salt works were closed and consumers switched to buying manufactured iodized salt in the local markets. The minerals found in the common commercial table salt that was being sold in grocery stores had been removed and anti-caking chemicals had been added such as sodium ferrocyanide.

The Maine Sea Salt Company does not remove any of the minerals that are found in their salt, nor do they use any anti-caking agents. They discovered long ago that using natural salt provided the best flavor to foods.  Stephen’s family has been in the lobstering business for years and his family’s restaurant and lobster pound on Bailey Island helped him to realize the value of cooking with natural salt.

Many visitors to the Cook’s Restaurant and Lobster Pound sung the praises of the lobsters that were cooked in sea water.  Stephen created one-ounce packages of salt that could be used for cooking lobster.  When the sale of these packages took off, Stephen and Sharon began an expansion of salt offerings.

Today Maine Sea Salt produces and carries

an impressive line of salt products.  Their natural sea salts are created in solar salt houses that are filled with natural sea water.

The natural sea water is pumped at high tide through a filtered hose into a truck at Bucks Harbor on the Gulf of Maine. Seven thousand gallons of sea water are collected every three weeks from mid-March through October when the sun is strong enough to provide sufficient evaporation.  The natural sea water collected at Bucks Harbor is transported on an eleven-mile ride back to Marshfield to be used by the Cooks at their


At the Cooks’ farm in Marshfield, the sea water is pumped into the salt houses.  They are flooded with a few inches of sea water on large black tarps. Sometimes in the height of summer, the temperature inside the salt houses can reach 170 degrees.  Due to the sun and the wind that blows through the open salt houses, natural evaporation takes place and the sea salt remains.  Any left-over water is then pumped from the settling houses to the finishing houses where any remaining impurities are filtered out.

Chris, the son of Sharon and Stephen, and other employees, shovel the remaining sea salt into piles.  It is then sifted and ground in a Cuisinart in their processing facility that has been set up in a former garage building.

Eight ounce or one pound bags of Natural Sea Salt are sold in three different forms -fine grain, coarse grain, or large crystals.  Natural Sea Salt Crystals are available in grinders and fine grain natural sea salt is available in decorative jars.

There is quite an impressive array of sea salts that incorporate all-natural seasonings.  Various choices include natural sea salts with thyme, marjoram, sage, fennel, and lavender. Stephen and Sharon also offer natural sea salts with garlic, peppercorns, and dulse


An assortment of barbecue grills are situated outside the Maine Sea Salt Company.  Apple wood is used in some of the grills to smoke the natural sea salt.  It provides a a mild sweet flavor that is considered to be a great choice with pork and for garnishing salads. A medium-smoked flavor is found in the hickory-smoked salts that are created.

In addition to gourmet salts, the Maine Sea Salt Company offers various sea salt collections.  Their large Variety Sea Salt Collection includes four six-ounce decorative glass jars of Maine Sea Salt (natural, garlic, apple-smoked, and hickory-smoked) in gift boxes.  Another option for a Variety Sea Salt Collection is a gift box with three four-ounce grinders of Maine Sea Salt including herbal sea salt, garlic sea salt, and natural sea salt.

Salt-related products are also offered by the

Maine Sea Salt Company.  They sell salt cellars which are handcrafted solid wood containers with a lid that slides to reveal the

salt.  Their salt mills and pepper mills are handcrafted by Maine artisan Kim Dailey.

The salt mill is created from Maine ash and the pepper mill is made of walnut.

Are you familiar with a Salt Pig?  It is a ceramic creation with a large hole.  The salt in the interior is kept free from clumping in

humid conditions or steamy kitchens.  A cook can easily reach inside a Salt Pig for

a pinch of salt.  The Salt Pigs that the Maine Sea Salt Company sells are handmade by

Maine potter, Joanne Kenyon. The ceramic mortar and wooden pestle sets that are sold are handcrafted by Maine potter, Elizabeth Rosquete.  Margarita Salt Rimmer Boards

with a Margarita Salt Tin are also available.

In addition to being able to purchase the Maine Sea Salt Company’s products at

their farm store, or online, you also can

connect with the Cooks at various fairs

and trade shows.  During the past year, they participated in the Fryeburg Fair, the Common Ground Fair, and the Bangor Harvest Festival.

Stephen and Sharon Cook’s Maine Sea Salt

products have really taken off.  They are distributed by several companies throughout Maine and New England.  Their operation seems fully aligned with the concept of Yankee ingenuity.  They are harvesting the natural salt from local sea water in an energy-efficient way. 

The Cooks believe in supporting the local Maine economy. They purchase the ceramic products and wooden salt and pepper mills in which to store salt from local Maine artisans. They look for Maine sources for the herbs that are added to their sea salts. They have created employment for area residents at their processing facility.   For history enthusiasts they have provided a return to a variation of the local salt works operations that took place in Maine over two hundred years ago.  And most importantly to many, their natural sea salts are filling a niche for consumers who appreciate salt that has not been processed and altered with chemicals and that simply tastes real good!


Steffan Ganske helped to design and assemble the solar houses.

The Salt Pigs and Mortar and Pestle sets are made by Maine artisans.