Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Expansion for Torrington soap business

09:55 19 May 2014

Lesley and Richard Phillips with Mike Vosper, from Natwest.

Lesley and Richard Phillips with Mike Vosper, from Natwest.


The Soap Kitchen has secured a new warehouse in Bideford after 14 years of trading.

Lesley and Richard Phillips with Mike Vosper, from Natwest.Lesley and Richard Phillips with Mike Vosper, from Natwest.

A TORRINGTON business has produced bespoke soaps for a Vogue fashion shoot as it celebrates moving into a new warehouse.

The Soap Kitchen started out of curiosity 14 years ago when owner Richard Phillips began his hobby of making soap in the family kitchen.

The business runs from a shop in South Street, Torrington, and has now taken on five new employees, moving into a new warehouse in Bideford.

Richard started making soap for family and friends and then began selling it at craft fairs and markets before he and wife Lesley bought a shop in Torrington to sell his wares.

“We found that people started to ask us how to make soap and what you needed, so we started to sell ingredients as well as hand-made soap,” said Lesley.

“We built a website and it became a niche business which has grown year on year.”

As well as their shop the couple rented a warehouse where they made their soap and from which they distributed their internet orders.

But they quickly grew out of it despite taking on more space and with a loan from Natwest have now taken on the unit in Caddsdown, Bideford.

“In the short time we have been here we are finding it more suitable and we are continuing to grow,” said Lesley.

“We have recruited four new members of staff in the warehouse, in the office and on the creative side, as well as a retail apprentice.”

In addition to finished soaps and ingredients to make soap, the company plans to run soap making workshops demonstrating how they still make soaps by hand.

Between its shop and warehouse The Soap Kitchen now employs 20 people, and it has just made bespoke soaps for a photo shoot for fashion magazine Vogue.

Lesley said: “It just shows what you can do.

“We started the business in a small, manageable way and it has grown organically – it has been customer-led.

“We have never taken a gamble thinking ‘let’s do that’ – we’ve always responded to what the customer wants.”

Other News Stories

The crash at the sub station in Congrams Close, Newport.

VW Polo crashed in Congrams Close this morning (Tuesday)

Read more
An artist's impression of the new leisure building at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks.

New entertainment complex planned in major redevelopment

Read more
Gearing up for the North Devon Christmas Market are organiser Neil Hampson (left) with local youngsters and Liz and Derrick Spear plus Ian Williams and Ian Roome from Over and Above.

Don’t miss the North Devon Christmas Market in Braunton on Friday, December 4.

Read more
Pig on the Hill's ?? pickes up the best 'Gastro Pub' award from Gabriel David of Luscombe Drinks and Nigel Barden at The Food & Drink Devon Awards 2015. Picture: Steven Haywood

Two North Devon businesses took home awards fromm fifth ceremony celebrating food and drink in Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:52
Lulu is performing at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple

Join star at the Queen’s Theatre this March as she belts out the hits from her 50 year career

Read more
Yesterday, 11:52

The 19-year-old woman was walking in Town Walk, Barnstaple, when a man approached her and demanded her bag.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:06
A winning team of Brends (from left) Peter, Richard, managing director John, Peter, Justin, and Matthew collect the award from Fiona Bruce,  Hilditch Tennant from Beacon and Simon Numphud AA Hotel Services.

Brend Hotels won hotel group of the year at national awards ceremony presented by television’s Fiona Bruce.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:57
Professional Development and Creative Industries graduates Claire Robert, Myka Scott, Sarah Turner, Mary Myers and Lou Boulter. Picture: Elliot Anderton

Crowds lined the streets as the graduates paraded through Barnstaple

Read more
Yesterday, 09:56

Fire fighters called out to A39 to help rescue woman in overturned van.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:49
Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon.

MP Geoffrey Cox said changes should be ‘put on hold’ until the Care Closer to Home scheme has proved effective.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications