Before we opened the B&B we had lots of ideas on what it was to be. It had to be a place where we would like to stay. A home that reflected not only our tastes, but who we are. A home where the innkeepers share their stories, converse over breakfast, help with travel details, but leave you to your privacy. The location of our house, rural and bucolic, is attractive to travelers who want to get away from the city but we also see guests who simply want to experience something different.
The smallest details often make the biggest impressions. And for us, that is our guest soap. I never thought much about soap, I suppose, but as innkeepers we considered the following: What if someone has allergies? How could we choose one standard scent? Do we want bars or liquid soap? Which is easier to clean up? Is there a way to incorporate something local here and help a small business? Enter, serendipitously, our friend Marty. Turns out his cousin Charleen raises goats on a farm in Darien Center and (you guessed it!) makes goat milk soap. I called her. Guest sized bars, she said, are no problem. I'll send you some samples.
Shortly thereafter, we received a small, sweet-smelling package from Harper Hill Farm containing little paper envelopes of beautiful scents. Oh. My. Goodness. The variety of colors and aromas was overwhelming, but we managed to choose about 8 of our favorites. Even better, however, was how these soaps felt when you put them under water. They almost melt. Aromatherapy and moisturizer in one small little bar.
The thing about small-batch soap is it's REAL soap, rich in natural glycerin. No detergents, synthetic colors, artificial foam boosters, petroleum or alcohol. An added bonus for us? She uses lard and milk from her own pigs and goats, herbs from her garden and as many local ingredients as possible. Perfect.
Guests will find in their rooms a variety of scents from which to choose, and we encourage them to take their bar home with them. They may also purchase full size bars here.
As innkeepers, these unexpected friendships we make along the way become part of our home, to be shared with those who stay with us. Small businesses have a friendly face behind them and most likely a good story as well. So we help keep a goat employed. Buy goat milk soap!