The Salt Horse helps connect the community to the land with seasonal produce, specialty goods, workshops and more.
By Sharon Stello
Imagine a farmers market inside a store, showcasing the produce of local growers—including Bluebird Canyon Farms—and also offering a curated selection of small-batch goods made with only natural ingredients. That, in a nutshell, is The Salt Horse, a shop opened in early 2022 by Samantha Savage Breit, who previously served as the organic gardening teacher at Anneliese Schools in Laguna Beach.
Savage Breit also co-created and managed the schools’ store for more than six years, which “watered the seed for my appreciation and love for a back-to-the-land lifestyle and nurtured my passion for the food industry,” she says.
“My dream has always been to create a specialty grocery store to bring … community connection to our local farmers and artisan food makers and to inspire people to gather around the table with their family and friends creating food memories. It was how I was raised.”
Located at 1360 S. Coast Highway—inside Business & Pleasure Co.’s flagship store—The Salt Horse carries everything from organic apples and oranges to heirloom eggs from Windrose Farm and gourmet items like Potters Table hand-rolled, organic flatbreads; Jonboy fleur de sel caramels; Malibu Farm hot sauce and Jilly’s Jerky.
The shop also offers charcuterie boards, custom gift baskets and subscription-based farm boxes, and doubles as an educational space, hosting collaborative workshops, cooking classes, clubs and speakers. Here, Savage Breit offers some insight into the shop’s offerings.
Laguna Beach Magazine: Why did you want to open The Salt Horse?
Samantha Savage Breit: The Salt Horse for many important reasons: To provide our community with a local grocery store where the food is grown locally from trusted California family-owned farms, where specialty foods have been carefully researched and chosen for the integrity of their healthy ingredients—all small-batch [and] made with true intention, as well as to create a space where people feel inspired to gather around the table, telling stories and sharing recipes, with appreciation and knowledge of where their food comes from. The world is quickly changing and it is going to continue to become more and more absolutely necessary to source your foods from trusted and sustainable sources. The Salt Horse is an innovative grocery store creating a sustainable food delivery system for our local communities.
LBM: Why is it important to you to carry seasonal produce?
SSB: Seasonal produce … is the most important piece for people to learn [about] so we can all be making the best food choices for our health and the health of our planet. A big change everyone can make is to only eat seasonally. It is how we are all designed to eat, anyhow. We are so lucky to live in California, where we have … [an abundance of] locally grown food all year round. We should all eat locally, support our local farmers, support small specialty grocery stores and all local shops. It truly makes a big difference.
LBM: Can you tell us about some of your favorite specialty foods that the shop carries?
SSB: A question I get asked a lot is how I find and how I choose the specialty foods and artisanal goods that I carry at The Salt Horse. First, I go down a lot of “rabbit holes.” I love a treasure hunt. I also look for … the story behind it and the story behind the person [or people] … who created it. What’s in it? [I look for] clean ingredients only. And then a few more boxes to be checked. So, because of the integrity and mindfulness of this process, every product is my favorite.
LBM: How do your farm subscription boxes work?
SSB: The Farm Box is a weekly curation of what is seasonally growing the best that week. Filled with the best of the week’s farmers market produce and paired with simple recipes of what to make using all the fruits, vegetables and herbs inside, The Farm Box is truly the best-kept secret. The membership includes four boxes, but … is totally flexible and [we] understand … travel and busy schedules. If you are not able to receive a farm box one week, you will not be penalized. The Farm Box, as well as everything at The Salt Horse, is available to purchase online—thesalthorse.com—for local delivery as well as shipping nationwide.
LBM: What kinds of special events do you present at the shop?
SSB: Every month, I offer special events and workshops at The Salt Horse. From cooking classes taught by local chefs, flower and art workshops taught by local artists, to Meet the Maker events, The Salt Horse is a collaborative gathering space designed to nourish, connect, educate and inspire. Visit The Salt Horse website for the events calendar and to sign up for our monthly newsletter.