Mark Bitterman, founder of The Meadow and eponymous Bitterman Salt Co., is at the forefront of the artisanal food movement. His blending of premium craft goods and masterful storytelling create not just exquisite products but meaningful experiences and relationships within his devoted customer base. Mark's childhood practice of letter writing nurtured a way with words, which, along with a naturally acute sense for the tactile, informed an ability to help others see the beauty in the details. As a kid, he was such a loner that he raised a large community of rats in his backyard chicken coop in Santa Barbara and routinely brought home live rattlesnakes to Mom. Mark's charisma found him loner-come-student body president in high school and later a writer-come-handyman in France - not to mention launched his salt empire and won him a James Beard Award.