Inc.

In the Field

Ben Jacobsen failed as a tech founder. Then he fell in love with sea salt and turned it into a thriving business.

While attending business school in Copenhagen in 2004, Ben Jacobsen fell in love with Maldon sea salt, the flaky finishing salt prized by chefs. Returning to the United States—landing in Portland, Oregon—he was shocked to find that no one here was harvesting anything like that high-end sea salt.

After his mobile-app-discovery startup went belly-up, Jacobsen began lugging 275-gallon wine totes of seawater from Netarts Bay back to

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