Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Michigan Brothers Seek to Shake Up the Economy with the Launch of Gourmet Salt Company

Undeterred by negative economic news, Christopher and Tyler McVety, two brothers originally from southeastern Michigan, recently launched an innovative gourmet food company, Beyond the Shaker LLC.

The McVety’s, along with dozens of other Midwest business partners in graphic design, print media, packaging and photography, worked for over two years developing the Beyond the Shaker concept. The company’s unique aim is to introduce home cooks to an extensive array of natural sea salts from around the world. In addition to educating consumers with blog articles and recipe ideas centered on the use of salt, Beyond the Shaker’s website offers an original line of chef-crafted gourmet blends that pair unrefined sea salts with premium organic, sustainable and locally-produced ingredients.

Chris, a self-proclaimed “foodie,” became interested in unrefined salts when he observed their debut in the dishes of several top restaurants in Chicago and Traverse City, Michigan. The McVety’s share a family vacation home in the Traverse City region, and so they frequent the area throughout the year. After graduating from the University of Michigan law school in 2000, Chris moved to Chicago where he is a partner in the corporate group of the law firm, Reed Smith LLP. Inspired by the gourmet salt movement he observed, along with a trend toward the use of organic ingredients, Chris began to develop the Beyond the Shaker business model with Tyler, who is a Senior Producer for E-Prize, an Internet promotions company located in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan.

As part of their strategy to differentiate themselves from competitors, the brothers formulated their premium line of salt blends in consultation with Executive Chef Eric Nittolo of the highly acclaimed Boathouse Restaurant in Traverse City. Chef Nittolo is well known for his use of local and organic ingredients in the seasonal menus he prepares for his restaurant.

Each Beyond the Shaker blend is hand made by Chef Nittolo from premium ingredients. Nittolo remarks, “I approach the Beyond the Shaker salt blends like any other five-star dish I would proudly serve at my restaurant. No other gourmet salt company that I know of is approaching blended salt in the same way, and the quality and flavor distinction is striking.”

Beyond the Shaker’s Internet site, which went public in July, serves not only as a portal for purchasing unrefined salts and blends, but is also a comprehensive guide to the world of gourmet salt. Visitors will find detailed descriptions of different types of salt including cooking suggestions and recipes, as well as a lively blog entitled “The SaltScribe,” which is devoted to salt-related topics. Since its launch, Beyond the Shaker products have been purchased by several retail locations in the Midwest, and the company plans to continue expansion into niche gourmet food markets across the country.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Beyond the Shaker LLC is a gourmet food company specializing in unrefined sea salts and salt blends that use premium organic and sustainable ingredients. The Beyond the Shaker retail website makes available for purchase over twenty different varieties of salt, including eleven original salt blends that were created in collaboration with a chef from Traverse City, Michigan. These highly versatile blends include Citrus Basil, which is a tangy seasoning that combines fluffy Murray River salt with exotic lemon myrtle, organic basil, orange and lemon peel. The Citrus Basil blend goes well with crab cakes, on the rim of a margarita or sprinkled on fresh fruit (try watermelon). The Beyond the Shaker website also includes recipes, application ideas and other information about salt for its visitors.

For more information or to purchase any of the aforementioned products, please go to the Beyond the Shaker website,

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