Thoughts on a “certain soap franchise” in the US

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IslandSoap

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Hi Everyone!! Not sure where to post this.. but I’ve come across one particular Facebook soap group where “ once a month” a certain soap franchise gets mentioned and boasts curing their soap for 3 days and then selling it to the public. Personally.. I believe in following good soap making practices.. am I jealous that they are mass producing soap and selling it for a quick dollar? Not jealous, just disgusted that they are lowering the bar ( no pun intended) — basically cheapening it. What is everyone’s thoughts on this? I’m thinking that a franchise like this is inviting the government to jump in and strictly regulate us handmade soapmakers.
 

Obsidian

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Unless the soap is hurting people, the government isn't going to care about a crappy product.

Any chance this company makes HP? I've seen HP makers sell their soap at just a day old.

I don't agree with it, seems like the soap would be sub par and they wouldn't get a lot of return customers.
 

amd

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Now I'm curious. Maybe not share the company, but the FB group. I would be curious to see if there's discussion among the FB group regarding this practice.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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I'm not involved in any FB Soap Groups & Happenings.

As far as selling soap "before It's Time" Is like the differance between a "Box Wine & An Aged Wine" Its selling a cheep version of it's self. Return Customers thats Questionable?.

It can represent the Handmade Soap Artisan's In not a positive light especially if the three Day old soap is awful to begin with.
 

IslandSoap

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I'm not involved in any FB Soap Groups & Happenings.

As far as selling soap "before It's Time" Is like the differance between a "Box Wine & An Aged Wine" Its selling a cheep version of it's self. Return Customers thats Questionable?.

It can represent the Handmade Soap Artisan's In not a positive light especially if the three Day old soap is awful to begin with.
That is exactly my point. 😞
 

Zany_in_CO

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once a month” a certain soap franchise gets mentioned and boasts curing their soap for 3 days and then selling it to the public.
My guess is they are doing what the commercial soaps do, i.e, buying the "noodles", processing them (rebatch) with any additives, color and fragrance of choice. Since the noodles are fully cured, I can assume this 3-day-old soap is every bit as good as what I have on my curing shelf now. Of course, they are taking most of the work & time out of the process and ALL of the fun! If I were "in the business" and they could make my formula, it might be a real time & money saver.
Who knows? :smallshrug:
 

Cheeky Goat

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My guess is they are doing what the commercial soaps do, i.e, buying the "noodles", processing them (rebatch) with any additives, color and fragrance of choice. Since the noodles are fully cured, I can assume this 3-day-old soap is every bit as good as what I have on my curing shelf now. Of course, they are taking most of the work & time out of the process and ALL of the fun! If I were "in the business" and they could make my formula, it might be a real time & money saver.
Who knows? :smallshrug:
No, it’s true Cold process soap. Just made with basic ingredients and swirls and sold fast.
 

Tara_H

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Good Lord...just name the company and be done with it!
I wonder if it's these?
 

TheGecko

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Buff City Soap. Dude who runs it is Brad Kellum, former firefighter, law school drop out, wannabe soap maker. I’m sure if any of us had a $100,000 to spending on a marketing firm along with additional funds for marketing, labeling, packing etc and churn out crap soap (I’ve seen the pictures of used soap…you can tell that it is crap), we could sell franchises at $320,000. But I don’t have the money to hire a marketing firm and I refuse to sell crap soap. He’ll be out of business in a couple of years.

ETA -Technically speaking, once a soap has fully saponified…24-48 hours…the soap is safe and will get you clean…which is the basis for ‘true soap’. Is it a good quality soap? Is is long-lasting? Will it leave your skin feeling good? No. No. And No.


As for BCS - First ingredient listed in this soap is Coconut Oil. Followed by Palm Oil, Rapeseed Oil (unrefined Canola Oil), FO, Olive Oil and Mica. Doesn’t appear that their Palm Oil is RSPO. He’s selling a gimmick, he’s not sell soap.
 
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TheGecko

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I wonder if it's these?
Soaptopia filed for bankruptcy last year. $4000 in assets, $1.4 million in debt
 

earlene

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He’ll be out of business in a couple of years.
I don't think so.

According to the company history, this business was started in 2013, began franchising in 2018 and has more than 100 locations in multiple states in the US. In September 2019 CEO, Justin Delaney, replaced the founder as CEO, but Brad Kellum was still involved in the business. If he & Jen (his wife?) are still involved, I don't know, but in November 2019, the company was acquired by Guideboat Capital Partners and Crux Capital who were responsible for the expansion of franchises from 26 to over 100 locations.

And now, only a few days ago, Buff City Soaps obtained funding from another firm to expand products, open more stores and expand e-commerce. So it looks like this business is heading to compete with Lush.

They don't seem to be on the West Coast or in the Pacific Northwest, nor in the North East, or any of the Northern states yet, but there are many in the Southern States and several Midwestern states, as well as the South East. I don't see any in my state of Illinois, but most of the surrounding states have franchises.

But my gosh, those franchises are costly!!! I cannot even imagine how they have convinced 100+ people to buy into their scheme! And how can anyone afford to open a new franchise of ANYTHING at a time like this!?! During a pandemic?

Apparently these franchises are called Soap Makeries, and they are following the same formulas/business model. Too bad their soaps are un-cured, but they are branching out to many other products and even if people learn the soaps are inferior, they may stick around for the other stuff.


 

IslandSoap

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I don't think so.

According to the company history, this business was started in 2013, began franchising in 2018 and has more than 100 locations in multiple states in the US. In September 2019 CEO, Justin Delaney, replaced the founder as CEO, but Brad Kellum was still involved in the business. If he & Jen (his wife?) are still involved, I don't know, but in November 2019, the company was acquired by Guideboat Capital Partners and Crux Capital who were responsible for the expansion of franchises from 26 to over 100 locations.

And now, only a few days ago, Buff City Soaps obtained funding from another firm to expand products, open more stores and expand e-commerce. So it looks like this business is heading to compete with Lush.

They don't seem to be on the West Coast or in the Pacific Northwest, nor in the North East, or any of the Northern states yet, but there are many in the Southern States and several Midwestern states, as well as the South East. I don't see any in my state of Illinois, but most of the surrounding states have franchises.

But my gosh, those franchises are costly!!! I cannot even imagine how they have convinced 100+ people to buy into their scheme! And how can anyone afford to open a new franchise of ANYTHING at a time like this!?! During a pandemic?

Apparently these franchises are called Soap Makeries, and they are following the same formulas/business model. Too bad their soaps are un-cured, but they are branching out to many other products and even if people learn the soaps are inferior, they may stick around for the other stuff.


I wasn’t sure I could mention this soap company on here🤷‍♀️, but the “ workers” and/or owners have been showing up on one of the Facebook groups (once a month it seems) basically giggling ( no kidding) on how well they are doing, and they seem to enjoy throwing digs into us quality soapmakers. 😞. The first 2 times I didn’t think much of it.. someone just posting about how they “ bought a bar to test it”, and “wow! selling cold process soap after 3 days!” The last post I read this past week ( it started off the same way..” I bought some soap from them to test it!”) got to me.. especially with the “ digs” from an owner(s) of a franchise towards one particular soapmaker😐. She( the owner) and another employee is aware that soap is way below standards from all of our comments and she could care less… which is why I started this thread. There’s nothing we can do except keep on doing what we r doing “ the right way”… but it is a bit unnerving that they are doing this to handcrafted soap. 😞
 

IslandSoap

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Here is something else that’s fishy…. If you go to the site and check out their soaps..EVERY SINGLE review of each soap has a 5 star rating🙄. Ya gotta be kidding me. Their uncured soap is getting 5 stars??? Something is definitely rotten in the kitchen.
 

beckster51

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There are 2 franchises of Buff City Soap in my metropolitian area. They have flourished during the pandemic by capitalizing on the need for washing your hands, especially with their soap. They run a lot of commercials around here on TV. I have not used a bar of their soap, nor gone to one of their shops, but I know several people who have. I would bet most of their customers have not actually used a well cured bar of soap, so they have no idea the soap is not the best.
 

VikingChick

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As someone who is still learning, I sometimes will pick up a bar of soap from a vendor, usually at a farmers’ market, to compare ingredients, performance, and price point so that I can get an idea of where I’m at and whether I can compete. So when I saw a new soap shop next to my local Target (realizing now that it was Buff City), I stopped in. It looked like they had just opened. Lots of soaps and bath bombs, all variations on the same theme really (Swirls, bright colors, and fun-sounding fragrances). The few that I picked up to smell were not very strong (skimping on FO to increase profit, maybe?). One thing that was kinda cool is that they had a workspace that appeared as though they would make soap out in the open so consumers could watch. (Although if that’s the case, I now wonder how they handle lye safety with people around...)

Anyway, all that to say that the soap looked to be of average quality. I didn’t buy anything because none of the prices were posted, which to me was a little sketchy. I walked out of there feeling like I could do better at home.
 

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