We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine O’Hare and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, what matters most to you?
The values that seems to drive my work and personal life are care and wellbeing. A big part of why we started Daybreak Seaweed is care for the planet and care for people’s health. Seaweed is a food that can be grown sustainably on the West Coast and Alaska, and actually restores aquatic environments by absorbing carbon from the environment. Seaweed farming is a low-impact, low-resource way to provide super healthy food in a sustainable way. We’re driven by the climate-benefits of seaweed farming and think many of our society’s systems and industries can be made more sustainable and in-tune with nature.
Well-being is a guiding value for my personal life and reminds me of the importance of keeping every aspect of life balanced. It’s why health, rest, joy, connection, and time outside are all pillars of my life. It also reminds me that running Daybreak Seaweed should increase well-being in the lives of our customers, vendors, partners, and seaweed farmers. We hope to run this business in a way that adds more well-being into the lives of everyone it touches – not just maximize profit at the expense of others. We view ourselves as one piece in an ecosystem and hope to increase the wellbeing of the entire ecosystem. We partner directly with seaweed farmers and work with them to find ways to support them. We give back to Native Conservancy, an Indigenous-led non-profit in Alaska that is leading an Indigenous-led kelp farming industry up there. We hope our products offer well-being through taste, nutrition, and joy.
What should our readers know about your business?
Daybreak Seaweed provides west coast sustainable seaweed products, like seaweed flakes, salts, 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.” Our products are made with care, in small batches, from a crop that can be grown super sustainably and regeneratively.
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.
We’re one of the few businesses offering sustainably-farmed, West Coast seaweed products. We’ve had a wild ride and truly, it’s just scrappy optimism that has enabled us to overcome some challenges of starting a small food business with a brand new supply chain. We’re learned that it’s better to do things the right way and always remember your “why” — Why are you building this business? For us, that “why” is producing a truly sustainable food, supporting the farmers who are growing seaweed regeneratively, and creating products that are flavor-packed and nutrient-rich.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d start with a beach walk in La Jolla, visit to Wayfarer Bakery in Bird Rock, and maybe an afternoon kayak ride. For the best ginger beer, we gotta go to Preston’s Ginger Beer at Miralani Maker’s District. On weekends, I love to visit a local farmers’ market, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market and maybe check out some breweries in Barrio Logan. My favorite fish tacos are Oscars on Turquoise in Pacific Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people deserve a shoutout! My business partner Avery supports everything I do. My family here in San Diego is a huge support. And all the small businesses we partner with are truly inspiring!
Lucianna Mcintosh, Lorena Masso, Emma Fishman