By Rebekah Otey
While Union students think of Barefoots’ Joe Coffee as a beverage, local proprietor ‘Made on Acorn Hill’ uses the coffee for another reason: to make soap.
Made on Acorn Hill started with Ashley Bausch and Mandy Holmes, both housewives and mothers, who in 2010 wanted to come up with creative gifts. Having made soap before, Bausch worked with Holmes to find recipes.
Using natural ingredients, they bought the supplies, made the soap and handed it out as gifts. By January 2011, people already had asked for more.
Bausch and Holmes decided to sell the soaps to test how well their product would do. Within two weeks, they sold out.
After trying a variety of ingredients, Holmes and Bausch decided to try something a little different in their sudsy products.
“We love coffee and have been wanting to make a coffee soap,” Holmes said. “We love sourcing local ingredients whenever we can, so we set out to find a local coffee source.”
After doing some research, the two women found out about Barefoots Joe. They contacted Joy Moore, the campus coffeehouse’s director.
“Once we got to meet Joy and Jesse and hear about how Barefoots was a student-led initiative after the tornado and is a student-run shop that roasts its own beans on campus, we loved the story,” Holmes said.
Shortly after, Bausch and Holmes met with Moore to talk, with the help of Jesse Myers, Barefoots’ roaster, and some of the other baristas.
Over the course of several days, the Barefoots staff saved coffee grounds to give to Bausch and Holmes.
Once the women collected enough to put in the soap, the coffee grounds went through a dehydration process. Then, they were ready to be used.
Its makers say the soaps are better for a person’s skin than store-bought soap because natural ingredients, such as goat milk, olive oil and coconut oil, are used.
“The coffee grinds add a texture and exfoliation [properties] to the soap,” Holmes said.
The soaps can be found at South of New York Salon in Jackson or online at www.madeonacornhill.com.
The bars are sold either individually for $6 or in a gift set, with varying prices depending on the set. One of them includes a coffee mug with the coffee soap, called “Espresso Yourself.”
“They did this at the end of last semester, hoping to sell over the holidays,” Moore said.
It was a success, and the two women will continue to use the coffee. Recently, the local business started making sea salt scrubs.
“We’re hoping to incorporate the Barefoots Joe coffee grinds in a scrub soon,” Holmes said.