2016 Brings Additional Organic Ingredients!

Most businesses have a mission statement. If you have not read our Mission Statement and our business promises, please visit the ABOUT US link and scroll down to “What Makes Us Different”.

One of these promises is to keep our products priced reasonably.  The price of Goat Milk Soap varies widely all over the United States, from a low of around $3.99 to a high of over $12 for a 4 – 5 ounce bar.  The price has a lot to do with location, whether the milk is made from powdered milk or real milk, whether it is commercial or privately made, if ingredients are synthetics or essential oils, types of colorants used and non-organic versus organic ingredients.  Lastly the manufacturing process itself and the analysis of time studies to determine the EXACT cost of manufacturing in terms of time, labor and overhead are all part of the pricing equation.

In 2015, we upgraded to organic coconut oil, we began switching to nature-based fragrance oils and gluten-free Vitamin E.  Changes take time, packaging has to be corrected to reflect the true ingredients, it will always be a work-in-progress.

For 2016, we have made a decision to upgrade our oils to the best possible grade we can obtain. We now purchase Organic Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm FRUIT Oil and most recently Organic Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil (EVOO).  It is a big step, but another that differentiates us from the majority of soap-makers in the “hobby” ranks.  Prior to now, we have made our products with regular or 100% pure olive oil which is really a blend of refined non-organic pure olive oil and virgin olive oil. It is the oil that the vast majority of soap makers use.  It is less expensive and does do a great job in soap.  As a general rule, in training, soap-makers are told they don’t need EVOO to make a nice soap and this is absolutely true.  It isn’t a requirement. It also helps the small maker keep their price down, the oil is much less expensive.

For us, an issue arose when we took a look at the composition of the oils and possible adulteration during processing prior to being brought to market.  We began researching our olive oil and found things we did not want.

The difference in olive oil is not only the fruit itself (plump healthy olives verses damaged olives) but the process that is used to extract the oil and processing additives. Regular or pure olive oil goes through a process of cleaning and conditioning which includes the application of phosphoric acid and citric acid.  It may also be deodorized and bleached. Despite the name, regular/pure is actually a blend of refined, processed oils. This processing reduces the vitamin/mineral content. Refining will also allow inferior or damaged olives to be used and their oil made edible. This is done by additional filtering, heating, charcoal treatment and/or chemicals to push the acidity higher & preserve the oil for longer periods.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is unrefined. The oil is extracted using ONLY pressure and is not heated. This is the best way to keep the good-for-your skin antioxidants in the oil.  The free fatty acidity content of 1% is a direct measure of the quality of the oil, and reflects the care taken from blossoming, picking olives directly off the vine and gentle transport on the way to pressing. Delays or damage in harvesting, fruit fly infestation, and enzyme breakdown due to poor storage conditions increase the free fatty acid content.

The soap industry is highly competitive, ever-changing with new advances in formulations, additive technologies and production methods.  Soap can take many forms thru many different recipes giving customers a plethora of choices. But in the end, handcrafted, artisan soap is only as good as what goes into it.

Ask any award winning chef to use Cool Whip instead creating of a Crème Auglaize and wait for the frown. The quality of the ingredients used are the cornerstone of success when making any product from scratch.

On January 15th, our first drums of organic extra virgin olive oil and organic palm fruit oil were delivered and are now being used in production. This raises the overall percentage of organic ingredients we use. We are in pursuit of the level that will eventually allow USDA organic labeling. It is a long road, but we are now a step closer.

Adding additional organics such as EVOO and additional authentic essential oils necessitate a price increase on February 1st.  Even with a modest increase, our price is still highly competitive when compared to well-known national competitors.  Plus we will continue to offer multi-bar event discounts, free shipping days, and % discount days and other periodic sales/specials that allow you to SAVE.  With premium ingredients, we do not compete on price…..we compete on quality. Consumers purchase artisan products expecting the best and our mission is to provide just that. Contact us at any time with ingredient questions. Your feedback is always appreciated!

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