Buff City Soap Cleans Up Cape Coral
January 24, 2019 // Franchising.com // Memphis, Tenn. - Cape Coral is getting squeaky clean. Buff City Soap - the Southern-based lifestyle brand changing the way people buy their everyday soap by providing plant-based alternatives - is opening in Cape Coral in late February.
Located 1715 Cape Coral Parkway, the new shop houses a retail store and manufacturing Makery where employees handcraft soaps in front of customers. The new shop is owned and operated by Michele Williamson, along with her two daughters Samantha Wuthrich and Abbey Williamson. This is the first of four Buff City Soap shops the mother-daughters team plan to open, with a second Cape Coral location being planned for 2020 and potential locations in Fort Myers to follow.
“We are thrilled to spread Buff City Soap’s plant-based alternatives to our community. Buff City Soap is unlike any other brand out there,” said Michele. “With both a retail shop and manufacturer under one roof, our customers can customize soaps and see each product being handcrafted by employees in store, creating an interactive and engaging experience for customers from the moment they walk into the store to when they use their soap at home.”
Owning a soap shop was not always in the plan. Michele currently works as a Battalion Chief and Paramedic, where she has worked for 25 years. Prior to launching Buff City Soap, the brand’s founder and CEO, Brad Kellum, was Michele’s paramedic trainee. Shortly after Brad graduated from training, Michele responded to a paramedic call for a severely injured motor vehicle accident. It was Kellum’s daughter.
“It is very full circle as I was Brad’s mentor as a paramedic and he is now my mentor in business,” added Michele. “We’ve kept in touch all these years and our mutual friends opened a shop in Naples. I went to help out with the opening and knew I had to be a part of what Brad has created.”
Michele adds that Kellum’s daughter is fully recovered and works for Buff City Soap, herself.
“Aside from my previous connection with Brad, I really resonated with the brand’s vibe,” said Michele. “It’s easy to sell something you believe in and I truly believe in Buff City Soap. I have always had sensitive skin and the plant-based products give me and customers the freedom to not worry about the products we are using. There’s so many different ways for us to engage with the customers and as a crazy DIY’er I love the customization aspect.”
Founded in 2013, Buff City Soap started when Brad Kellum, a former firefighter paramedic discovered that his every day store-bought soap was packed with cow fat and other synthetic materials. He, along with his girlfriend and cofounder Jennifer Ziemianin, a registered nurse, began experimenting with a plant-based alternative in their garage.
Now, the brand offers traditional soap bars, along with a men’s care product line, plant-based laundry detergent, pet care products and other accessories. Each shop includes a Makery, where employees handcraft each product in-store. Customers can customize their products. Furthering its customization promise, the shops host birthday parties, bachelorette nights and other events, and launched a subscription box service.
In each new market, Buff City Soap designs unique soaps based on the community. Inspired by the charm and history of the city, Buff City Soap of Cape Coral will feature one-of-a-kind scents.
“As Buff City Soap continues to expand and bring our plant-based alternative soaps to new communities, we take pride in finding the perfect franchise partners who will bring Buff City Soap to their communities,” said Kellum. “I’ve known Michele for years and her hard work ethic, dedication and charisma will make her new shop successful.”
Buff City Soap has 14 locations open in five states, including Tennessee, Colorado, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. There are currently 20 additional stores in various stages of development. To augment the brand’s growth, Buff City Soap is seeking passionate franchise partners who share the brand’s vision. Including a franchise fee of $50,000, the total investment to open a Buff City Soap shop is $235,000-$320,000. The average shop is 1,800 square feet and employs five-six part- and full-time employees.
About Buff City Soap
Founded in 2013 and franchising since 2018, Buff City Soap is a Southern-based lifestyle brand disrupting the way people buy every day soap. The brand’s Makeries house a manufacturing and retail business under one roof, where customers customize soaps and see employees handcraft the products in-store. Buff City Soap has 14 shops open in five states with 20 additional locations in various stages of development. For more information visit www.buffcitysoap.com.
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SOURCE Buff City Soap