For me, the best part about having a blog is the artists I get to meet and the opportunity I have to learn more about what they do, what they create. Suzi Sheffield of Beautiful Briny Sea is a force of nature and a gal after my own heart. She is passionate about creating, pushing boundaries, succeeding- and none of that happens without having a ton of fun along the way. If she's not enjoying the process, something is seriously wrong.
Suzi owned a taqueria and catering restaurant for 12 years in Columbia, South Carolina. Craving a new direction, she left that business but brought her food instincts and savviness with her to create salts and eventually, sugars. And quality is paramount. Every item packed inside each Beautiful Briny Sea tin is hand harvested...the salt, the sugars, the herbs. Each product is then labeled and packed by hand in her Grant Park warehouse just east of downtown Atlanta.
If Suzi doesn't love her job every day, she is failing at some level. So she comes up with fantastic creations that keep her imagination and enthusiasm level on high. As her possibilities for crafting dry goods are unlimited, the results are a mix of quirky and awesome. Like Mr. Gigglepants, a hibiscus sugar that's perfect for french toast, cupcakes or fancy schmancy cocktails. She wanted the label to reflect the spirit of this sugar, so it's an elephant in pink hot pants, holding a champagne glass and dancing while baring his three chest hairs.
Creative people love to collaborate- they know that's the good stuff. And I think my favorite product of Suzi's is one she did along with Amy Sedaris and Fishs Eddy called I Like You Sprinkles. It's a mix of colorful sprinkles, sanding sugar, pastel sugar wafers, nonpareils and the best part- chocolates with the phrase 'I like you' on them. It's a perfect product for Amy and she found the perfect partner to make them with. I mean, I just can't take the cuteness. Such a great gift idea.
Another recent collaboration of Suzi's was with Chef and Restaurateur, Kevin Gillespie. Owner of the popular Atlanta restaurant, Gunshow, Kevin and his Executive Chef, Joey Ward, came up with a finishing salt aptly named Gunpowder.
Suzi explained to me that her front door is always open as she wants chefs and other professionals to come in and mix and match her ingredients to see what they can come up with. It's a playground upon entry, so one must play
Inside the warehouse, Suzi has a small team that work together to fill, label, package and manage all the tins and employees enjoy the constant perks- like the Soap Box Derby they were all racing in that weekend, dressed as magic unicorns, of course.
If you're in the Grant Park area, stop in and see Suzi- she loves to show off her space and share a bit of her passion. And honestly, the best no fail gift to give this year is one of her sugars or salts. There are so many to choose from, including Santa Salt made with rosemary and pink peppercorns or the Dream Team salt set featuring Hot Steve, French Picnic, Campfire and Friends Forever. I mean, c'mon. So good...
Images: Beautiful Briny Sea; Sweet Peach Content: Sweet Peach