Coop Coco & Calendula is a worker's Cooperative founded by:
- Alysia Melnychuk, master soaper, Co-owner
- Sarah Hunter, CPM, HC, CQIA, Co-owner
Where We Started
Alysia Melnychuk founded Le Savon Populaire during the winter of 2002-2003 as The St-Henri Soap Kitchen. Her initiative was to make beautiful gifts for her family and friends for the holiday season. She had such positive feedback from the adventure, she then went into full production. Continued positive feedback, along with a few botched recipes, have prompted Alysia to research, develop, test, and basically get down and dirty learning the art and alchemy of soap making. Alysia is supported by her friends through sound marketing advice, research and development (they've been really, really clean in the past years!), and encouragement.
Natural, Vegetable-based Products
The majority of our soaps are vegan (the exception being the Goat's Milk Scrub), and all of our products use only vegetable ingredients with the exception of a small amount of beeswax appearing in our lip and body butters. It is important to us to use ingredients that are renewable, don't take a heavy toll on the environment (either in their creation or consumption), and offer the simplest, most down-to-earth option. In our search to produce accessible products, we carefully balance cost with quality, choosing organic, fairly traded ingredients, supporting local merchants, and using the highest quality, unrefined ingredients available to us.
We believe that in the current consumer world, quality products are often beyond the reach of people with little disposable income. People are often forced to sacrifice quality for affordability - from everything from food, housing, clothing and health care. While we can do little to help this situation apart from being active in our communities and advocating for change, we can strive to make our products accessible to those with lower incomes. For the average person, using handmade soap won't revolutionise her life, but it may help reduce her suffering from common skin problems such as eczema, or reduce the need to buy unneccessary products to counteract the drying effects of commercial soaps. Handmade soaps are simply better for everyone and therefore we believe they should be accessible to everyone.
Respecting the Environment
We are dedicated to making excellent skin care products available at reasonable prices, while not sacrificing their quality or the environment. We make every effort to keep our packaging to a minimum, offering reusable or recyclable containers when possible. We only use natural products derived from vegetables and plants, creating a biodegradable product that is also environmentally friendly.
Quality & Animal Rights
All of our products go through rigorous testing and development. We never test on animals - only our willing neighbours and friends. Our products are made with care and detail and only go to market once we are completely satisfied with the results.
Our interests are in remaining in business - not exponential growth. Likewise, we are not interested in any get rich schemes. Our goal is to create a loyal customer base that continues to come back because of the quality of our products, and for the care we put into our service.
Our methods of operation are simple. We: -offer quality products at a fair price; -respect the environment at every oppurtunity; -work respectfully with others in the same industry to foster a sense of cooperation rather than competition, which benefits the consumer as well as the producer; -support our local communities; and -try to live simply so others may simply live. Questions or Comments? We always welcome questions and feedback. If you would like to respond to anything on this page, have a question for us, or simply want to make contact, click here.