Kendall Williams and Vicki Teem, Sassafras Springs Farm

Goat Milk Soap Production Expansion
Grant Award: $3,000

 

Kendall (pictured above with her 10 year-old daughter) and her mother Vicki purchased equipment to expand their goat milk soap and lotion business. They produce natural products using goat milk that is hand-milked on the farm. They have converted a mobile home on the farm into the “Sassafras Springs Soap Shop” to create and sell soap, store supplies, and cure the soap. They purchased a single induction cooktop, freezer, printer, thermometer, soap cutter, curing racks, soap molds, and crates.

Kendall recently started raising her own animals on her family’s third generation farm out of concern about the health effects of processed food. She soon had more goat milk than her family could drink, so tried making soap. Vicki started helping her daughter make it, “and loved the creative aspect of producing such a useful and beautiful product,” Vicki said.

“From the kitchen in our home, we made our very first batch of soap,” Kendall said. “We enjoyed the end product, the time spent together, as well as, the main variations of scents so much that we decided to turn our interest into a business.”

They make the soap using the cold process method, which requires four to six weeks of curing time in which all the liquid evaporates out of the bar and what’s left is a longer lasting, higher quality soap. They tried many recipes and landed on two that “produce a rich, creamy lather with wonderful benefits to the skin,” Kendall said. They can add botanicals grown on-site an essential oils, and are committed to keeping the product as natural, chemical-free as possible. They also pasteurize milk for lotion.

Kendall and Vicki sell at the Stecoah Valley Harvest Festival, as well as to the Stecoah Valley Center, Full Bloom Florist, Sweetwater Farm and Garden, and to individuals through Facebook.

The family’s land is a former tobacco and cattle farm, which Vicki’s grandfather purchased in the 1930s. She has fond memories of working her grandparents’ garden. “We hoed long rows of corn in the same place that I now raise a garden and have a high tunnel greenhouse,” Vicki said.

“The long-range outcome of this project is to develop this business as one way to support and maintain our family farm so it will be passed on to our children and grandchildren,” Vicki said.

Look up Sassafras Springs Farm on Facebook.

Graham County

Contact the Local Extension Agent

 

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