Q+A with Samantha Savage Breit of The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach

We love collaborating with people who love their craft! Soon we’ll be soaking up the last days of summer enjoying food, wine & the rediscovered art of conversation at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach. The good news is that everyone can come along through our images and stories!

Enjoy this fun little Q+A with Samantha Savage Breit, founder of this amazing local + sustainable grocer in Laguna Beach:

Samatha Savage Breit captured on a super fun (& delicious) lark at The Salt Horse in Laguna Beach on-the-fly by the talented photographer Missy Coyle.

Q. Where did you grow up? ‚Äč

A. Virginia Beach, Virginia¬†‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč

Q. We know you are close with farms + markets, what is your most memorable Famers Market experience?¬†‚Äč

A. One day I was in the parking garage on my way to my car when I noticed that the OG of the food buyers world was parked next to me. She is a powerhouse and highly respected at the Market by farmers and chefs, alike. As I approached my car she said Hi to me and from there we had a wonderful little chat. At the end of our chat, she offered me her favorite fresh juice from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch. The next week I went to JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch and asked if I could order their juices for The Salt Horse. Laura replied, “So you are the girl from Laguna Beach that everyone is talking about!” I was blown away by the acknowledgment and with the feeling that I was being welcomed into the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market family, so to say, and I am incredibly grateful for the Market community! And the woman, Karen, who I met in the parking garage, is now a valuable mentor to me.¬†

Q. Are you a chef?

A. ‚ÄčI pretend I am. 

Q. Why the name The Salt Horse? 

‚ÄčA. The Salt Horse is a farm-to-table grocery store concept and brand. ‘Salt’ is the most important ingredient in the kitchen. It is the essential seasoning that can make or break a dish. I also love salt to the earth people, of whom I have the pleasure of working with. The ‘Horse’ represents the farm, the original way food was delivered and hardworking people, which you have to be to be in this industry. Coincidentally when I was looking up ‘Salt Horse’ online to be sure that it wasn’t already being used somewhere, I found out that ‘salt horse’ is an Irish nautical slang for corned beef. When I read this, I had chills up and down, for I was named after my Grandfather, Samual¬†Savage, a deep-sea diver from Ireland. He passed away a month before I was born. It was a confirmation from the Universe.¬†¬†

Q. What made you take “the leap” in pursuing your passions full time?¬†‚Äč

A. When a door opens, even at the most unexpected time and even when you don’t feel prepared or ready – you go through the door. 

Q. What is it that catches your eye (or heart) about a product?¬†‚Äč

A. The Why! Someone once told me: “People don’t buy what you do but why you do it!” I look for the ‘Why’ stories.

Q. What is your most memorable meal (one you made or one you’ve had)?¬†‚Äč

A. Super cool fact about me: my great aunt is Mimi Sheraton, the most renown and influential food and restaurant critic (first woman to hold that position at the New York Times), James Beard award winning cookbook author, brilliant storyteller, true visionary and living icon. I shared many of meals with her in the comfort of our family home but going out to a restaurant with her was an experience I will never forget. My most memorable meal with Mimi was at Daniel Boulud’s restaurant at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Mimi invited me to dinner with her, her husband and a few of their friends. Chef Boulud ‘rolled out the red carpet’ and it was at that dinner that I fully understood who my aunt was. However, what made it the most memorable was after everyone ordered their dinner, Mimi made her opinion known to the table – I ordered the best and she was very impressed! I ordered my steak ‘Pittsburg style,’ which I always do, charred on the outside and (almost) rare in the middle. I remember every single detail of that meal we shared together.
Q. If no one was looking, what is your most prized ingredient?¬†‚Äč

A. Butter

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?¬†‚Äč

A. Newspapers as tablecloths, Blue Crabs in a bushel ready to be steamed, children jumping off the dock, surrounded by my family and friends, sand in my toes and a chilled drink in my hand. 

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?¬†‚Äč

A. A 5 lb lobster at The Station House in Lantana, Florida. But just the other day¬†‚ÄčI made my first extravagant purchase – a Nissan Passenger Van. It is huge! I see it representing the growth of my business that I am manifesting and working hard towards every day.¬†

Q. What do you find yourself saying when people ask what it’s like have your own business?¬†‚Äč

A. I was born with a competitive, hardworking nature. Give me a challenge or high pressure – That’s how diamonds are made. (And dreams do come true.)

Q. What is your current state of mind? 

‚ÄčA. Grateful for the incredible people and opportunities showing up in my life at the moment! Ready for what’s next!¬†

Q. If you could change one thing about how people enjoy food, what would it be?¬†‚Äč

A. Where people source their food. Mainstream grocery stores aren’t anywhere close to what they use to be and the food/food system isn’t either. People need to know where their food comes from, how it was grown, and how it got there. And for people to only eat seasonally!¬†

Q. What chef inspires you?¬†‚Äč

A. My brother Barrett. 

Q. What words or phrases do you overuse? 

‚ÄčA. I read this as what words or phrases are overused – Curated. Curate is a work that is used too often with little understanding of its true meaning. The key to curation is knowledge and meaning – knowledge of the industry and a keen understanding and appreciation for all aspects of it. Is it curated? Does the person have knowledge? Have they taken the time to collect, research, and present only the best of something in a meaningful, intentional and purposeful way?¬†

Q. What do you most value about food culture?¬†‚Äč

A. Connection to community, family, friends, history and culture through food memories and storytelling.¬†‚Äč

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in life?¬†‚Äč

A. To make an impactful difference and transform the grocery business through mindful and valuable innovation. And most importantly to have a home where my two boys, family and friends always come to visit, creating memories, and to share that with the love of my life, whom ever that may be. Door is open. 

Q. Who/What inspires you?¬†‚Äč

A. I am easily inspired. Most especially in a garden Рwhere fruit grows out of a flower and bees communicate by dancing. 

Q. What is your motto? 

A. I see you and I love you. I tell myself that every day. 

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If you ever have a chance to speak with Samantha in person, we highly recommend it. She is radiating positive energy and we know that, at this moment, she is right where she needs to be. We can’t wait to join her at the communal table.

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Come on a lark with us!

The Salt Horse
1816 S. Coast Hwy,
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(x-streets PCH x Pearl)

Saturday, September 3, 2022, 6:00-9:00pm
$178. per person all inclusive 4-course chef curated meal + wine pairing 
by the talented Chef Reta + Cocktails by Coco‚Äôs Cocktail Caravan 

Purchase Tickets:  Let‚Äôs Go On A Lark!
non-refundable/absolutely transferable