A Day In The Life Of…

20 Aug 2014
3 min read
Andrew Mellon, Managing Partner at The Style Academy, introduces us to his artisan salts and salt blocks.

My day normally begins at 5am when I get to my desk and start work in our press office, which is always our busiest desk, a good cup of coffee and it is straight to emails. With the launch of Saltworks just weeks away and six press campaigns running there is a lot of balls to keep in the air. I am well known for sending 50 plus emails before 6am in the morning. A clear head and no distraction is the perfect time to work.

By 9am I have moved into my development/managing partner role and get busy with the running the day-to-day business. Currently I am working on the packaging of a brand new hexagonal Kilner jar which is being used for our artisan, smoked and fusion salts, over 60 in the collection. We have a lovely handmade wooden rosewood salt spoon being handmade and each 70ml Kilner jar will come with one attached, so it’s ready to go for casual dining.

Throughout the day I spend hours talking salt blocks and salt. It is going to be an educational process for the British to understand there is more to salt than just Saxo table salt. There’s a lot of controversy around the use of salt, a myth we are hoping to dispel by the visit to the UK of Mark Bitterman, American Salt Expert, who will spend a week in early September in London with the media, TV and teaching master classes on salt block cooking and interviews to help educate on the use of salt in our daily life.

Once our warehouse is set up, I will be working a stint to get products shipped. We are a “hands on” business and our “all in the detail” motto is carried through the entire business. I will be responsible for hand-writing gift cards in black fountain pen on beautiful blind embossed note cards for those products being sent as gifts. We always get an amazing reaction when people see our branding in person as no one really has beautiful stationary anymore and no one uses blind embossing too much, but this detail, although expensive to produce, does give the right image and we always get great comments.

I try to get a few hours to myself during the day as I normally work in the evening with suppliers on the West Coast of the USA, so maybe a trip to the gym or a power nap mid-afternoon helps me get through the day.

The salt blocks are made from pink salt deposits from mountains in the Himalayan range in Pakistan, having taken600 million years to form –they are stunning. The salt blocks have a wide range of uses and can be used for cooking (heat to 500 degrees) sear, curing, freezing and presenting. We have a collection of nine sizes. Each withits own certificate of authenticity and every slab comes with a copy of Salt block cookingby Mark Bitterman, the definite guide for using and cooking on the salt slabs.

Variety is the spice of life and that is what my job is all about. I love the fact that one day I am working with a photographer on a shoot, the next I am presenting products to a TV show, or staging a photo call in Trafalgar Square in London or unpacking pallets. We are just coming to the end of a crowdfunding campaign which has been very stressful as those you expect to support you in your ventures are not the people who do! As this is still a new concept to most people it takes a lot of effort to get people to pledge and we had some amazing rewards on offer giving products and services at a greatly discounted reduction in return for a pledge. We made our total in the last 24 hours and now have the extra cash flow to bring over additional stock to meet the expected demand.

I do end up working around 80 hours a week, but our working environment is fast paced and always to tight deadlines which creates a sense of urgency with everything we do. This also creates an amazing energy which does get passed on to people. Everyone becomes enthused about what we are trying to achieve with the business and want to get involved.