As my birthday year of travel to celebrate the big one is coming to an end, I’ve pushed myself to find the unique, fun and educational places in America. My life became better when I stepped into sammysoap.
Through the suggestion of another local shop owner, I found myself stepping through the door of a sudsy adventure. Of course, there’s soap here but not just any soap but natural, made by hand with real ingredients soap. Throughout the store a wonderful scent tickles the senses as so many things are present that serve any and every need. Besides soap, there are dishes, toys, ornaments and little trinkets that make a person say, “Oh, I like that.”
This wonderful space was once the Kirkwood Firehouse No. 1 with some of the original features still in place, including the tallest bathroom in St. Louis. The best part of sammysoap is what takes place in the back of the store. You can tour and learn how to make all-natural soap while learning about the importance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids used in essential oils. Chris, the soap maker, demonstrated for example, how oils like wintergreen (really birch) combined with sassafras gives a root beer scent. Since it was the middle of the week and slow, I was the only guest and loved it. I was able to ask questions and learn so much about the making and curing process of ‘loafs’ of soap and cutting those into bars. I even designed my own bar of soap.
The beauty and essence of sammysoap is the story behind the for-profit business. Her son Sammy, diagnosed with an intellectual disability at six months, changed Karen Copeland, the owner, giving her a new vision for her life. In fact, the shop was the catalyst for both she and her son to find meaning, thrive and grow. Other people like Sammy also help in the shop providing them with a drive to make their way in this world with dignity while earning a wage.
I can testify to this wonderful soap having tried the orange patchouli which filled the shower with the most delightful scent without drying out my skin.
Overall: Celebrating their 4th year in business, this gem is the best place for children or anyone young at heart to hang out for an hour to learn about soap making while having fun at the same time.