Sunday, March 28, 2010

Keep A Goat Employed

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!


  1. Hello Auntie and Uncle~

    I read the Easter blog! Great time had by all~ awesome!
    I just had to comment on the goat soap. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I used the last bar for as long as it would last after we got home. I loved the smell. As soon as I smell them it takes me right back to our (semi-romantic) relaxing holiday we had with you last year. I still have the wrapper too, I think. And yes, I still sniff them!!
    Love yall

  2. Michele @ The Hayward HouseApril 9, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Thanks, Sue! I wish you could see the green "foot" soap (mint and pumice shaped like a foot) which will be arriving any day now.

  3. Hi

    We are going to copy your idea and use a local soap maker's green soap in our inn too. I want to give the guests full size bars instead of the small hotel size ones but I haven't figured out whether it is practical for them to take the soap home with them in a baggy or something. I'd like to save it and melt it down to make new bars but that looks like some heavy work.

    Bill -