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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Whether I'm eating out or sitting down to eat dinner with my family, I always here the same question over and over — "Could someone please pass the salt?" Let's face it, sometimes food just isn't food without this important mineral. Well, I recently discovered a great tasting salt with an eye-catching container and label that I found in a local restaurant. It's called RealSalt, and Redmond Minerals in Redmond, Utah makes it.

The Bosshardt family started this company more than 40 years ago. They were area farmers who experienced a bad-farming year, so they started mining large deposits of bentonite and salt found on their property. These deposits came from a big lake that was there many millions of years ago.

Initially, the company was called Redmond Clay and Salt, and it primarily sold salt licks to area ranchers from a building in downtown Redmond. Today, Redmond Minerals does underground mining, with excavations as deep as 300 to 400 feet. More than 75 employees work to provide an expanded variety of products. Redmond Minerals also produces and sells cat litter, road salts and clay products for hole-plugging and other sodium-bentonite uses.

The road salt is particularly popular because it melts ice three times faster and is three times less corrosive than regular salt.

The Bosshardt families eventually sold the company to Rhett Roberts. Rhett tells me Redmond Minerals mines about 1,800 tons of product each day and has more than 260 million tons in reserve from the 5,000-foot deposit. This year's sales are projected to be approximately $15 million.

It's a fascinating story, and one I learned about simply by reading a label on a local restaurant's saltshaker.

This is Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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