Hebden Bridge soap company proves its the best bar none

Warren and Marcus at the Yorkshire Soap Co, Market Street, Hebden Bridge.
Warren and Marcus at the Yorkshire Soap Co, Market Street, Hebden Bridge.

A soap business is blowing bubbles in celebration after experiencing its best ever trading period, despite being hit by the winter floods of 2015.

The Yorkshire Soap Company, which launched in 2004 and has six outlets across the region, is looking to open further outlets in 2017, with turnover predicted to hit £5m.

The company was co-founded by Warren Booth and former chef Marcus Doyle.

Mr Booth, originally from Copmanthorpe in York, started making soaps to sell while managing the Louis Vuitton concession at Harrods in London. In 2004 he teamed with Mr Doyle, from Ripponden near Halifax, and the duo started making and selling the soaps from a small gift shop in Hebden Bridge with just £500.

Today The Yorkshire Soap Company employs 65 staff and has premises in Leeds, Beverley, Knaresborough, two stores in York as well as the original Hebden Bridge site.

Mr Doyle said: “Our ethos remains the same as the day we started and everything we produce is hand crafted by our own staff, who we train in-house.”

Two years ago the Hebden Bridge store was hit by floods with nearly all the stock destroyed. However, soap base manufacturer Stephenson Personal Care came to the rescue.

The Horsforth-based firm delivered nine pallets of emergency soap base material free of charge which Mr Warren and Mr Doyle were able to turn into £10,000 worth of saleable stock, effectively keeping them afloat.

“The flood damage could have finished us off as a business at a critical time in our development cycle,” Mr Doyle said. “To generously donate free product to us showed the faith and interest Stephenson Personal Care had in us as a business and a long-term customer.”