Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt is produced by husband and wife team of Heidi Feldman and Curtis Friedman, a tech consultant-turned-entrepreneurial farmer and carpenter who share a commitment to local, sustainable food production and a deep love of Martha’s Vineyard.
Recipe for Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt
- The take-your-breath away beauty of one little Island
- One tech consultant-turned-entrepreneurial farmer
- One carpenter with raised on a farm and with a vision
- A whole lot of devotion to local, fresh food produced sustainably
- Access to an unlimited resource: sea salt (we are on an Island after all)!
- And a fateful day with a bag of Cape Cod ® Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato chips
- Mix and blend, shake rattle and roll.
Produced with kindness, served with love to diners near and far.
Meet your Farmers
Heidi and Curtis first discovered Martha’s Vineyard, a 87.4 square-mile island off the coast of Cape Cod, while vacationing in Oak Bluffs with eight friends in the summer of 1990. It was love at first sight. For the next 10 years, Heidi and Curt returned to the Island with those same eight friends each summer, spending lazy vacation days beaching, clamming, and seeking out what nature had to offer. Curtis had a motorcycle back then, so they ventured out to the Island’s every nook and cranny. When they got married in 1993, Heidi and Curtis celebrated with a January honeymoon on the Vineyard. They found the Island off-season even more beautiful. The following year, they came back to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They just could not get enough of this place.
In 2001, Heidi and Curtis threw caution to the wind and moved to the Vineyard. They bought 9.63 acres in the middle of what used to be an oak forest in Vineyard Haven and, two years later, established Down Island Farm. They had dreams of growing produce, but the soil was pretty much all clay. So they got creative, producing edible flowers and later Shiitake mushrooms using the plentiful oak trees.
Farming is tough work, though, and edible flowers can only pay so many bills. Curtis took a carpentry position with the South Mountain Company and Heidi went to work for Island technology store Educomp. Along the way, Heidi interned with North Tabor Farm in Chilmark. The call of the outdoors proved irresistible and, after three years, Heidi left Educomp to turn to farming professionally as a perennial gardener (while supporting herself as an independent tech consultant).
Together, Curt and Heidi dreamed and schemed about ways that they could farm full-time – grow hops for local beer? Sugar beets or potatoes for local vodka? One day, in between clients, Heidi sat in her parked car hoovering (her own words) a bag of Cape Cod Sea ® Salt & Vinegar potato chips for lunch. And off went a light bulb. She turned the bag over and looked at the ingredient list. Rather than local sea salt, all that was listed on there was simple, plain old sea salt. She ran into Alley’s General Store and checked for other local sea salt on the shelf but found none. Heidi smiled.
Three years later, MV Sea Salt became a reality.
It takes a lot of sweat and salt water, sunshine and elbow grease to produce Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt, but that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
~ Heidi and Curt
Co-Owner and Chief Salty Strategist
Part computer services geek, part farmer, and 100% able to “make meaningful conversation with wallpaper,” Heidi is co-owner with Curtis of Down Island Farm. Heidi is passionate about living local and reviving the tradition of making sea salt on Martha’s Vineyard. She draws inspiration from her entrepreneurial sisters (Sharon Rowe of ECOBAGS™ Products, Inc. and Ellen Ornato of The Next Peace™), and from Curtis, the love of her life for 30 years. She likes her MV Sea Salt with grilled vegetables, chocolate ice cream or brownies or both.
Co-Owner and Under-the-Radar Mastermind
Farming is in Curtis’s blood. Raised in the river valley of Connecticut, his family farmed over 20 acres for their own use. Lucky for MV Sea Salt, he is also a master carpenter. When not working for the South Mountain Company, Curtis builds things for the house and farm – like a hoop house for edibles, renovating a cabin to serve as a barn, pens for the animals, and a wood shed. He most recently designed and built the solar evaporator Heidi and Curtis use to turn seawater into salt crystals. With Heidi as taster, Curtis also develops MV Sea Salt’s flavor varieties like Tiasquin Apple Wood Smoked, using apple tree cuttings from West Tisbury’s Tiasquin Orchard. He likes to use his MV Sea Salt on grilled fish, meats, and veggies or as a seasoning in soups and stews.