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Hidden Gems: Meet Catherine O’Hare of Daybreak Seaweed

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine O’Hare.

Hi Catherine, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Southern California, next to the ocean, exploring the tide pools as a child. Always fascinated by the intersection of food and nature, I worked on organic farms after studying Biology in college. It was on these small vegetable farms that I fell in love with working outside in rhythm with nature and being part of a regenerative local food system that provides nutritious food. I first learned about seaweed farming over 10 years ago and love how seaweed can be grown super sustainably– improving the environment by absorbing carbon out of the water, while only requiring salt water and sunshine! Plus it’s delicious and nutrient-packed.

I started Daybreak Seaweed when I lived in the Bay Area – excited about providing local, west coast seaweed in easy-to-use products. After a few years growing in farmers’ markets and local grocery stores, I moved back to Southern California to be closer to my large extended family. I’m loving being closer to the ocean and a big, crazy family!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a small food business is a crazy ride! I can’t say it’s been smooth the whole time – we’ve had lots of challenges and have been pretty scrappy along the way. We still dry, mill, and package our seaweed ourselves as a small, two-person team — so we put in a long of hours! But, it’s been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done and it’s incredibly fun to be part of a community of seaweed fans!

We’ve been impressed with Daybreak Seaweed, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Daybreak Seaweed provides west coast sustainable seaweed products, like seaweed flakes and seasonings. We partner with regenerative ocean farmers producing the highest quality, sustainably-grown seaweed in the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean, and turn that seaweed into nutrient-dense, delicious, and nourishing kitchen staples. Seaweed is packed with minerals (iodine!) and vitamins (B6! B12!) Making it a super nourishing seasoning. It’s also delicious – packed with slightly salty, savory “umami”

Seaweed farming is *just* starting on the West Coast, and we’re proud to partner with small seaweed farms along the west coast and Alaska.

Our products are made with care, in small batches, from a crop that can be grown super sustainably and regeneratively. Our community inspires us everyday — we have a base of ocean-lovers, surfers, gardeners, fishermen, and amazing home cooks that we’re honored to provide seaweed to.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
We’ve had a lot of help along the way and been part of many supportive communities. Avery Resor is my business partner, so it’s the two of us running the show. In the bay, we were part of SlowFish, O2AA Artistans Aggregate, Real Food Real Stories. We’ve had a lot of help from other businesses or cooks sharing our story. Now, in San Diego, our unit is in the Miralani Maker’s District, so it’s been fun to connect to other local businesses.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Shaun Wolfe

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