Middlebury, VT—The certified organic factory of bath, beauty, and cleaning product makers Vermont Soap was heavily damaged by a fire in early June, but the company is now making big steps towards rebuilding.
Though nobody was in the building at the time of the blaze, some production equipment was destroyed, necessitating a new location to continue their business. Vermont Soap has recently signed a lease on this new location— a building right down the road from the old factory—and is beginning the process of moving and building a new factory.
In a statement, founder and CEO Larry Plesant emphasized that the company was not going out of business as a result of the fire, and that overcoming this challenge only served to make the company stronger. “Our new factory will be bigger and have new equipment, which will allow us to continue to grow here in a community that has been a big help supporting us throughout this ordeal,” said Plesent. The workforce for both the new and old factory consists of 25 local employees. Plesent noted that their factory outlet store suffered less fire and smoke damage than the factory and will be reopening, and that Vermont Soap plans to be manufacturing products out of the new factory location within 30 days.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014