THE ORYX DESERT SALT BRAND
When Samantha Skyring decided to walk 120km over 7 days through the Namib Desert to the Skeleton Coast in July 2000, she had no idea this experience would profoundly influence the creation of her business, Oryx Desert Salt.
During this walk she had several powerful and remarkable face-to-face encounters with Oryx Gazella (gemsbok). It was these experiences which immediately sprang to mind during the process of creating a new brand for desert salt from the Kalahari.Researching the Oryx, Sam was staggered to discover they can survive for up to 2 years without water, but cannot survive more than 2 months without licking salt for the sodium chloride, minerals and trace elements vital for survival in the harsh conditions of the Kalahari Desert. And so the Oryx, with its striking colouring and majestic presence, became the symbolic icon for Oryx Desert Salt.
Since starting Oryx Desert Salt, the brand has evolved and in early 2014, Grant Rushmere from Bos Iced Tea conceptualised and helped us create new branding for Oryx Desert Salt from which emerged our striking new look.
Sam has grown the business extensively and they now supply both independent and chain retailers such as Woolworths, Pick ‘n’ Pay and Checkers as well as numerous restaurants country-wide.
SUSTAINABILITY & SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT
No matter how big Oryx Desert Salt grows, CEO Samantha Skyring emphasises they will never lose sight of their core values.“Being local, sustainable and accessing a renewable resource has always been a key value for us,” she maintains.
“We want to work in harmony with nature,” continues Sam. “not in opposition to it.”The salt is harvested in the remote, pristine Kalahari desert from ancient rock formations 250 million years old through which underground streams flow. It is then naturally sun-dried at temperaturesreaching 47°C.
Our signature payoff line is ‘REFILL • REUSE • REAL VALUE’.We use recyclable glass bottles and long-lasting ceramic heads on our grinders which means they can be refilled many times over with our refill boxes, which of course is also good for our customer’s wallets.”
Oryx Desert Salt is packaged in a variety of ways to suit taste and requirements, from pure cotton drawstring bags and grinders to refill boxes and mini-shakers perfect for picnics and travel. We believe in supporting local business where ever possible, especially if those businesses are also working to empower communities.That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with packaging company Ukama who helps women from local communities create their own micro-enterprises, thereby gaining entrepreneurial and business skills.
Macassar Pottery which produces the Oryx Salt pots, is a self-sustaining social enterprise founded in 2010, offering a safe space for the community, youths in particular, to discover and follow their dreams.There, locals are upskilled to be entrepreneurs through their unique ceramic ware. The business is co-owned by its employees.