Humble Beginnings – Soap making at the kitchen bench
It all began from very humble beginnings. Soap making at Moon Haven started at the kitchen bench in our home in Busselton. Space was limited but we managed to produce enough wonderful hand made soap to meet the needs of our clients… well initially at least.
As the business and demand grew, so did the need for space and the first expansion was into our patio at home. It was during this time that we began experimenting with different mould designs and pouring methods. We were, of course, also refining our formulations, most of which we still use today. The kitchen was still the centre of our manufacturing, but the patio gave us more space to store our materials and finished products.
When we first opened our retail shop in lovely Cowaramup Village, we were still producing all our products at home. Over the following months we were able to acquire space behind the shop, but much needed repairs to the structure prevented us from moving our manufacturing for several months, but eventually we were able to start producing our soaps on-site. What a thrill that was, not only were we able to produce everything we needed right in Cowaramup, but we finally got our kitchen back and could stop eating off the barbie!! During this time our business structure needed reorganising and we split off the manufacturing branch of Moon Haven into a separate business line called Margaret River Natural Soap Company. So when we talk about Moon Haven products you may occasionally hear us refer to Margaret River Soap or MRNSCo. If we do, we are still talking the manufacturing of Moon Haven soaps, lotions and potions.
It was during this time that we could actually invite our customers to come into the back of the shop and watch and participate in our soap making process. What an interesting time that was for everyone. But as is normal in life nothing stays static for long and before long we were getting desperate for more space and more equipment.
That eventually this led us to leasing our current “Soap Shed” on Friesian Street in the Light Industrial Area of Cowaramup off Treeton Road. We wanted to stay close to the shop and the centre of all our activities. Here we have 150 square metres of nothing but soap making. We have now been in this location for almost a year, and have made significant steps in refining our processes and facilities. We still have space to expand for a while and we have found that we have been not only been able to product what Moon Haven needs, but we are able to still maintain our high standards of making the highest quality aromatherapy soaps for you.
Our other manufacturing (lotions, salves and skin care products) are still being produced at the back of our Cowaramup Retail Store. What’s in the future? Well I am sure Leonie will be telling you more about that one of these days, but for now our short term plans will keep us in the Industrial Area of Cowaramup. We already have purchased our own block of land in the Industrial Area. Hopefully within a few short months we will begin construction of our own custom built factory and offices and the future “Soap Shed” will be combined with the manufacture of all the other delicious and fantastic Moon Haven Products.
In our next article, look for the story of how we come up with the ideas and names for our full range of soap products.
Soap Master Extraordinaire