As it’s Thursday, we thought we would take a step back and have a look at the fabulous journey we’ve been on since 2004! It’s been a fun and exciting 13 years for us, and there is nothing we love more than having a nostalgic throwback every now and again…
Our soap journey began in the wonderful world of Warren’s imagination, where his love of soap became a passion as he started to experiment with soap making techniques in his very own home. As his passion and curiosity grew stronger, he began to share his love of soap with Co-Owner Marcus. With Marcus’ background as a chef, an influence of food began to show in the unique products that they were creating. This is where the foundations of the Yorkshire Soap Company were built.
As word of mouth started to spread about our soaps, they became increasingly popular with the locals; this quickly took us from Warren’s kitchen to Hebden Bridge, where we opened our very first store; and what an exciting time it was! With a shop in the heart of this beautiful town, we will never be able to forget what an impact Hebden Bridge has had on our Yorkshire Soap journey. It has certainly been a pleasure.
We quickly came to see how much our wonderful customers loved all of our products, which saw us open our second shop in the market town of Otley. The three years that we proudly spent in Otley were ones to be cherished, with so much support and love for our products, we couldn’t thank our customers enough.
With so much demand for our soapy treats, we soon outgrew our original Hebden Bridge store, meaning we had to move to somewhere new; and that was 6 Market Street, which is still there to this day! During this move, our fabulous Hebden Bridge customers showed us their loyalty and continued to visit our store; and we also welcomed some new faces too!
Sadly, our beautiful shop was flooded in June 2012; although this was awful news, the community spirit outshone the devastation that the flood caused to this amazing town. With everyone working together, we soon got back on our feet and re-opened to the great news that we would be having a royal visit from The Prince of Wales.
It was our absolute delight to welcome Prince Charles into our Hebden shop. We will never forget his kind words and we are so grateful for the time he took out to speak with us. We spent over an hour chatting and he really took an interest in all of our products. It was such proud moment for us all. We really hope he enjoyed all of his soapy treats!
From one milestone to another, it was in August 2012 that we happily announced the opening of our York store! We couldn’t wait to put our mark on the rest of Yorkshire, and of course; what better place to do it than the remarkable City of York. With so much history in it’s walls, we could not wait to be a part of it. A year on, and with so much love for York and it’s people, we decided to introduce our customers to something a little different…
In August 2013, The Imaginarium was born (right next door to our York soap shop), which opened a world of eccentric but modern gifts and homeware for our customers to discover. Weird, whacky and wonderful; our magical emporium exceeded our expectations, and we were overwhelmed by the incredible reception; not just in York, or Yorkshire for that matter; but all over the country!
Whilst The Imaginarium continued to succeed, as did our soap company. This growth meant that we needed a bigger soap kitchen than the one we had in the back of our Hebden Bridge store. We soon decided to move our soap kitchen into the back of The Imaginarium, which quickly took us onto even further heights! So much so, that around a year later in May 2014, we moved all of our making and distribution to our current, 3000 sqft. soap kitchen. And in that time, we’ve realised we like to move an awful lot!
Exactly 2 years after we opened our doors to the wonderful people of York, we decided to sprinkle Leeds in a little Yorkshire Soap magic too, with August 2014 marking the date of our 3rd soap shop opening. What a fabulous time we’ve had there since! With so many lovely people travelling through Leeds, we are constantly welcoming faces, old and new. We’ve even been lucky enough to have a few famous faces come visit us too!
With the soap kitchen gone from the back of The Imaginarium and with a little bit of YSC creativity, our Enchanted Christmas room was soon born. Every year since, we have transformed our old soap kitchen into a winter wonderland, full of marvellous christmas decorations and the cutest little festive treats! When we open the doors to our Enchanted room, seeing the excitement on our customer’s faces never disappoints! They often travel far and wide to come visit our Enchanted room in The Imaginarium too! We really couldn’t be more thankful…
Our first Christmas with the Enchanted room open really flew by! Before we knew it, it was 2015 and we were soon looking for our next adventure. As the enthusiasm for our products grew bigger and word of mouth slowly spread up and down the country, we knew just the thing for our next step on our Yorkshire Soap journey! Our website was launched in July 2015 - and our soapy treats were soon being delivered to customers far and wide! We were absolutely delighted with the response, and this digital journey has now continued for over two years - thanks to you!
Although this new venture was becoming a great success, in December that year, we later received some devastating news that our beautiful Hebden Bridge shop had flooded for the second time - and although we were heart broken, we decided that we were going to make something positive out of this saddening event. We soon introduced our ‘Hebden Hummingbirds’; a delightful bath truffle topped with a little hummingbird. The reason behind this product was to help fundraise money for ‘The Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal’, as we donated 50p from each of these truffles as a way of contributing to those who aid people during these terrible floods. You can read the Hummingbird story below:
Once again, the Hebden community spirit shone and in February 2016, we reopened our doors and it was like we had never been closed! You all came down and showed your continued support for us - for that we can’t thank you enough!
From there, we’ve gone on to open three more wonderful soap shops! The gorgeous market town of Beverley was where we decided to open our 4th shop in June 2016. Then just a month later in July, we opened our 5th store in the historic town of Knaresborough! Around a year later in October 2017, we opened our 6th store in the newly renovated Piece Hall in Halifax, which we have been waiting for, for such a long time! It is so good to be finally open - our fabulous customers can’t get enough of our soap treats! You can read a whole lot more about our Piece Hall Store here.
Although our Yorkshire Soap journey has been one heck of a rollercoaster, we really wouldn’t have had it any other way. Coming from Warren and Marcus’s very own kitchen, to opening 6 of our own stores (along with a fantastic online store for the rest of the country to enjoy), we are so proud at what we have all achieved…..
The thing is, we couldn’t have done any of this if it wasn’t for our fabulous customers, both old and new. So… thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!
Warren, Marcus and the whole YSC team x