Audrey here. I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but can never seem to find the right words. It's a long story and I don't want to bore you all, but I do feel that it's important to share a bit more of it.
If you follow the company, you already know our condensed "canned" version of the Tidal Salt origin. Colin wanted to make me a gift one weekend so he took a bucket into the ocean and boiled away the water. It's sweet, right?! You have no idea!!! Tidal Salt was actually built as the ultimate gift to me. The foundation of this company is based on one man stepping up for his family in a way that many could never even consider.
I'm American. Colin and I met just over 10 years ago while he was working in the states. It was so exotic at the time, introducing my Canadian boyfriend around my social circles! Within a couple weeks, we both knew that this was it. We had found each other and now it was time to deal with all of the paperwork involved with falling in love with someone from another country. (there's a lot)
Jump forward 7ish years, when we finally decided to move to Nova Scotia, I took a job with with a temporary work permit under NAFTA that enabled me to work for my employer and no one else as a Management Consultant. This visa was pretty quick and relatively easy to get and could be renewed every three years for as long as needed. The ease of this was great for us at the time, but I wasn't able to contribute to a lot of Canadian institutions like EI, CPP, etc. Time passes, life gets busy, the wheel isn't broke so why mess with it? Processing my Permanent Residency took a seat on the back burner.
Colin had been toying around with the salt for several months. He applied to and was accepted to the CEED program here in Nova Scotia. (They are seriously awesome! Check them out!) What a break!!! He was finally able to make a go of building something for himself! After years of working short contracts and dead end jobs, he finally had a shot of something more. We were both crazy excited and I was (and continue to be) so proud of him.
2 days after finding out Colin was accepted into the program, we found out Ellie was on the way!! YAY!! (que the joy and terror)
Even through our fog of excitement, we knew that we had put ourselves in a very difficult position. My paycheck was supporting us so that Colin could pursue Tidal Salt. Having not paid in to any of those fine Canadian institutions, there was now no sick or maternity leave coming my way. With a 9 month timeline to figure our shit out, we got to work.
We decided that Colin would build Tidal Salt and get the operations streamlined to a point where I could do most of it with a baby on my hip. When the time came, I would take over the day to day running of the business and he would go out and get a day job.
That's right. Colin built my mat. leave and gave me a full time job. What the hell do you give that guy for Christmas?!.... In all seriousness though everyday I am humbled by this gift and his sacrifice. Day jobs were never Colin's forte but he leaves this house every morning with Ellie pounding on the window yelling for that final wave before he rounds the corner.
The road for us is never easy: The story of how difficult my pregnancy was could fill a journal and I was answering emails from my hospital bed with a 4 hour old newborn at my side. Colin spent a night in the ER a week ago for stress related chest pain. We work for every dollar and each grain of salt harvested. I'd love to say that we do this for some bone deep passion for salt, and a lot of the time that’s true. I love our product, but neither of us ever thought we'd be salt farmers.
Like the waves we wrangle, its going to be a bumpy ride from here on out. But lets be honest, the bumpiest rides are usually the most fun.
Now back to the grind.