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J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works

One could say salt-making runs in Nancy Bruns’ blood. The seventh generation in a family of salt-makers, siblings Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne share a common love of history, food, and family. Staying true to her salt roots, in 2013 she and her brother revived her family’s salt business in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia by founding J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works naturally sources their brine from an ancient, untouched sea called the Iapetus Ocean (predating the Atlantic) trapped below the Appalachians. Gleaned from the earth by an underground brine aquifer, the salt is then processed naturally using the power of the sun and gentle mountain breezes.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works sells their all-natural products through a web store powered by Shopify and at offline marketplaces (e.g, farmer’s markets). The company also sells wholesale (utilizing Mable for new customers). In the past nine years, the business rapidly expanded, and nowadays its products can be found in over 600 retailers and restaurants across the country. They also ship worldwide.

Through Salt-Works, Nancy also got to know many Appalachian artisans. In 2019, she launched J.Q. Dickinson Appalachian Mercantile, a business that curates high-quality Appalachian foods, home goods and crafts, that sells its goods via a subscription-based model directly to consumers either monthly or seasonally. These unique products are available to the wholesale accounts as well.

Nancy is a stellar entrepreneur who understands the untapped market for authentic brands from the Appalachian region. With this knowledge, Nancy’s mission is to share her love of the picturesque Appalachian region and its artisan excellence with the world.

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