Serving Savory Solutions - Label Stories Cochran Salt Works | Labels Blog |

Serving Savory Solutions - Label Stories Cochran Salt Works

Posted on 2/29/16

To kick off our series of posts where we tell your stories through the stories of your labels, we took the time to talk with a long-time client we’ve had the pleasure to watch grow, Kevin Cochran of Cochran Salt Works. Come along with us as we take a look at how one man’s struggle to find meaningful gifts for his friends and family led to the fulfillment of a lifelong goal and an opportunity to be the mentor he found missing.

To hear Kevin tell it, the story of Cochran Salt Works’ label began as many labels do, out of a need that was the result of some surprise growth; that growth came with a full serving of frustrating web searches. Luckily, those searches led him to some solutions that have enabled his efforts to grow in ways he hadn’t imagined possible.



In the Hawaiian language, “aloha” is a term of affection and it was from this feeling for his friends and family that arose a desire for Kevin to say “mahalo,” or thank you, in a special way one holiday season. A scot-irish transplant to the Hawaiian islands, his time there has infused in him a respect for the incredible role that culture plays in creating community and identity and an appreciation for the way that food can cross any cultural boundaries to tie people together from all over. 

“I had fallen in love again with my outdoor smoker, smoking anything and everything I could think of, and so it was through a mixture of passion, ingenuity, and luck that Cochran’s Irish Whiskey Smoked Hawaiian Sea Salt was specifically created to offer as Christmas presents.”


So popular was the result that Kevin found himself being encouraged to fulfill a lifelong ambition to open his own business and make his finishing salts available to anyone. Having begun his efforts using hand-written labels, however, he knew that he would have to find some other solution if his product was to be taken seriously.

“I decided it was time to step through any fear I had about starting this adventure and plunge in.”


cochranSWoriginThat plunge was not as easy and quick as he had hoped and there were challenges he didn’t expect such as finding a way to create artwork to represent his product and getting that artwork onto some labels. When it came time to create the labels for his products, he ended up designing his own label on his home computer and set out to do some online research to find a supplier.  

What he found was that there are a lot of label makers out there, but that most of them wanted to do long print runs, in the 1,000s. Despite his desire to “step through his fear” he knew he would have to start off on a smaller scale and needed somebody to support that. Even among those who seemed to be ok starting small, he experienced some difficulty getting the actual prices. Once he was able to go through the quote process for Your Labels Now, he knew he had found a good partner to help him meet his goals.

“I needed a bit of support designing and printing my labels. Devin and his staff were patient and helpful every step of the way with the result being that I ended up with exact label I wanted. Outstanding quality. On top of that Devin understood the challenges of shipping to Hawaii and was able to accommodate alternative shipping to keep costs down.”

But that’s not where Kevin’s story ends, nor the story of the label for Cochran Salt Works.

Kevin did start small, but, after success in placing his salts in some local Hawaiian retail shops, it was time to grow again. One label design became two. One variety became three. According to Kevin, the joy that he experiences each time someone enthusiastically shares how they’ve used his salts is truly a wonderful gift and he wanted to give back.




As with most entrepreneurs, Kevin also tends to wear many hats: father, partner, mental health therapist, mentor; and he is passionate about all of it. For Kevin, family, community and bringing people together are all prized above profit. He maintains that...

“...for a person to be truly prosperous they must be rich in relationships and health, as well as have enough resources to provide for themselves as well as pursue their life mission whatever that may be.”  

Although Cochran Salt Works was started as a financial endeavor, Kevin has found over time that his relationships with the communities and individuals he encounters are far more valuable than anything else. So Kevin began giving a portion of his profits to an organization in his community that he felt strongly about. This also fulfilled a long-term goal of his to provide a pathway to mentorship for young men who have no positive male role models in their lives.

As an entrepreneur who is constantly working hard to give back, he and the organization he helps support are now there to listen to kids in his community, to accept them, and to model the type of behavior that can set them up for success.

“Our primary goal as mentors is to have them start looking at the men they want to be and see what’s in the way of that. 90% of men I talk to about mentoring think they don’t have the skills and underestimate their value as a mentor. All it really takes is to show up.”

When asked what advice he would have for other entrepreneurs who are starting out where he did, Kevin stressed the importance of finding a partner early in the process that can grow with the business as it grows.

We hope you are as inspired as we are by these label stories. Please join us monthly for a new journey and let us know if you have any questions about how we might do for you what we’ve done for Cochran Salt Works.

Not sure enough of what you need to go through our quote process? Let us hand pick some of our previous work to send to you for free as samples! Just tell us where to send it.

 Want to know more? You can find out about Kevin's hand crafted gourmet smoked Hawaiian sea salts and Cochran Salt Works, buy their products through their e-store, and find out more about their support of Boys to Men Mentoringas well.