EXCESS OF JERSEY MILK LEADS FAMILY INTO SOAPMAKING BUSINESS

June 28, 2001 12:00 am
Margaret Weber makes almost everything she sells in her laboratory except for candles and hand-crafted oil lamps. She'll have a booth at various events around the area this summer, she said, including county fairs and other activities. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
Margaret Weber makes almost everything she sells in her laboratory except for candles and hand-crafted oil lamps. She'll have a booth at various events around the area this summer, she said, including county fairs and other activities. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

Were a complete body, bath and gift shop, she said. Our laboratory and factory area are right here next to our retail space, she said.

The area has 950 square feet.

Her family started making soaps three years ago when they lived on a farm near Hermiston, where they had cows who gave a lot of milk. They lived in Hermiston for 20 years.

We moved to La Grande a year and a half ago. We live in the city, but we still have nine cows on a place in Cove, she said.

The business has been open three months.

Several of our recipes are milk based, but we have a variety of other soaps, too, she said.

Starting to make soap was a sort of survival thing. I heard people made soap from milk and we had a lot of milk.

Her husband, Don, who now works for S&G Machinery Co. on Island Avenue, grew up on a farm. They raised six children five girls and a boy and they were home schooled. Two, Elizabeth and Talina, still live at home.

The excess of rich, wonderful Jersey milk, coupled with the ongoing fascination and study of science, brought us to the idea of soapmaking as a way to avoid cottage cheese overdose, she said.

She chose Margarets Farmacy for the name of her business.

I wanted a name that encompassed a farm-oriented, down-to-earth lifestyle something to show were in touch with our environment. Our products are in touch with the earth. We love being farmers.

She uses herbs in a lot of her products. She likes to make products that are beneficial to our customers, that are helpful and good for them. We harvest a lot of herbal essential.

Yarrow, for example, is good for you, but she doesnt want customers to think it supercedes medicine or any medical advice. She emphasized that none of her products are intended to be used for medicinal purposes.

We are committed to offering products which are formulated with quality, purity and variety, for luxuriant skin care.

Every consideration has been developed with regard to preferences in colors, fragrances, textures and types. Our products are carefully formulated, prepared and packaged by a devoted staff of friends and family, she said.

Our ingredients are selected with the purpose of creating products that are as wholesome, pure, natural and effective as possible.

If it looks like soap and smells like soap, she has it. And she makes almost everything she sells in her laboratory except for candles and hand-crafted oil lamps.

She has a full spectrum of ultra traditional salves, lip balm, massage bars, bath and body scrubs, a full line of emu products the oil from which provides dermatological treatment.

We offer a complete line of products for men, too, not just for women, Weber said.

She has taught soap making and wants to hold classes at her location.

I want people to get a grasp of what good skin care is.

Shell have a booth at various events around the area this summer she said, including county fairs and other activities.

Story by Ray Linker