Last weekend, I took H to the industrial part of the city so we could finally go visit Aleppo Savon, a local soap factory committed to making natural handmade soaps.
It was established last year by a fourth-generation Syrian soap maker who had come to Canada as a refugee. Along with two of his friends (one of who was also a Syrian refugee) he established Aleppo Savon. I will explain how this ties into Ramadan in a future post.
It was a quiet Sunday morning, and when we got to the soap factory, we had the chance to look around.
In addition to a variety of soap, the shop also carries oils, and some foodstuff.
H quickly started walking around to smell the different soaps. She decided the white ones (jasmine) were her favourite.
We marveled at the way they were displayed before we were joined by Walid, one of the owners and soap makers at Aleppo Savon.
He explained that the soaps were stacked the way they were to allow for air circulation- they take 6 months to dry before they’re ready!
He showed us what the famous laurel oil soaps look like when they’re ready. It was so cool to see how much the colour changes.
He picked up on our fascination and showed us what they look like on the inside.
He was very kind and obliged when we asked him if we could see where the magic happens. He took us on a tour and explained the various parts of the soap making process.
We saw where the soap is cooked and got to test the famous laurel oil.
We saw how the soap is solidified (set in wooden crates) and cut into bars.
We saw how the soap is stamped (this was H’s favourite part!)
And we saw where the soap is packaged.
We even got some lavender soap to take home to try.
The soap we purchased smells amazing. With only natural ingredients, it is a beautiful way to stay clean and a great alternative to other soaps, shampoo and shaving cream.
This was a wonderful opportunity for H (and myself!) to see how something is manufactured, not to mention, an easy way to support a local small business started by a group that is very close to our hearts. All of the staff I’ve interacted with are friendly and humble and I wish them nothing but the best in their venture as they contribute to the Canadian economy and to Canadian society.
I loved seeing how engaged H was during our visit- how she was able to use her different senses to interact with this product. She asked questions, gave input and felt important as she was taken on a personal tour. One of the best parts for me happened after the actual visit. Later that evening while H was playing with her blocks, she turned to me and said “These as my soap towers.”