By Michelle McChristie

Melanie Steele is on a mission. She wants to provide gourmet flavored sea salt to people around Lake Superior and beyond. “Because people around the world’s largest freshwater lake need pure, delicious sea salt, too,” she says. Steele, who is a resident of Grand Marais, started Superior Salt after cutting out processed foods and consequently eliminating most salt from her diet. She quickly learned that we actually need salt, but we need the right kind. “What we don’t need,” Steele says, “is the processed, refined salt that most of us have on our table and that comes in most food we buy.” She says unrefined sea salt “has trace minerals and doesn’t have chemical additives.”

Steele started incorporating unrefined sea salt into her cooking and was amazed by the difference in taste and quality. She created recipes that blend the salt, which comes from the Atlantic Ocean, with local ingredients—blueberry, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato, grilled onion, rosemary, and lavender. “Superior Salt flavours are based on ingredients that grow here and are popular here. I want to keep it local, simple, and delicious,” she says.

Steele started selling her handcrafted gourmet salt at the farmer’s market in Grand Marais this past summer, and says the response has been overwhelming. Each pack comes with some ideas for use, such as replacing salad dressing with Superior Salt and some extra virgin olive oil or replacing BBQ sauce with grilled onion Superior Salt on steaks and burgers.

Superior Salt is available in Grand Marais at The Lake Superior Trading Post and Dockside Fish Market or online at