Loosely translated, serendipity means invention by happy accident or being given or exposed to events that are least expected and are found very pleasing. The word comes from a fable about "The Three Princes of Serendip" who were sent off by their father to find a secret potion to kill the sea dragon that was swamping their boats and drowning their sailors. Because the princes were so well educated, wherever they went they received valuable and agreeable things not sought.
In 1970 as Jess Hall was preparing roast beef, he discovered he was out of his favorite commercial salt blend. He created a new condiment mixture as a substitute, writing down the ingredients so that if something tasted "off", he could balance it with something else. This first batch weighed 2-1/2 pounds and gave the roast beef such a good flavor, he was glad he had written down what had gone into the blend. The speed with which it disappeared attested to its favorable reception by his visitors, so he decided to make more — Serendipity Seasoned Salt was born. The blend eventually led to a thriving mail-order business and got rave reviews from consumers who said the seasoning made them gourmet cooks.
Jess was born in Yuma, Arizona, in 1920. After serving in World War II as a pilot in the Army Air Corps, he worked in the oil field equipment industry until his retirement in the early 70's. He returned to Weatherford from Houston and spent a year remodeling his home in Weatherford. That was just about all the retirement Jess could take, so he started his salt company in 1976. In the beginning, only stores owned by friends would carry his Serendipity. You could find it at James Matheson's Gulf Station, Ed Malone's Hardware Store and Bob Perkin's Gibson's Discount Center. Now, all of the stores in Weatherford carry the Jess Hall line of products and Jess ships his seasoning blends all over the world. No matter whether you are in Canada, Holland, Germany, Scotland, England, Nigeria, China or Russia, you might run across a container of Jess Hall's Serendipity Seasoned Salt with the notation on the label – "Made in Weatherford, Texas".