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Ground Soap Named Entrepreneur of the Year

By Bob Peters
March 2, 2012

Angela Youngs of Ground SoapTaking an everyday product and making it unique is not easy, but that is exactly what Angela Youngs has done with her company, Ground Soap.  Using organic and wild crafted ingredients, Angela’s hand-made soaps are healthy and leave a very small footprint on our planet.  An innovative logo and sustainable packaging add to the overall impression of exceptional product quality.

These ingredients have made Angela’s soaps very popular among consumers across Canada, and that success was recognized recently by the Cornwall and Chamber of Commerce as it named Group Soap the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of the small business community in Cornwall. The honesty, constructive feedback and support from so many of these hardworking individuals has really kept me fueled," says Angela Youngs. "Our soap named "Backbone" was named after all of the people that have the strong will to start a business and keep pushing toward the stars!"

Ms. Youngs began her journey into entrepreneurship by seeking out assistance to ensure that she took all the right steps.  This involved taking the Self Employment Assistance Program through St. Lawrence College and using the services of the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre.  Beginning with a detailed Business Plan, she created a critical path to develop the product and to bring it to market.

Building her business through local farmers markets and craft shows gave Ms. Youngs a connection to her customers and provided the perfect venue for customer feedback. As the popularity of Ground Soap products grew, she researched established retail outlets to determine locations that would be the best fit. It took a great deal of perseverance to convince each store owner to carry the product line. Samples were provided and follow up calls were made. Each different store had to be convinced of the potential of the product and each agreement was negotiated separately.

Ground Soap currently offers nine different soaps with fun names such as Body Breath (peppermint), Black Cricket (lavender and chamomile) Backbone (cinnamon and clove) and Lemme Bee Your Honey (lemon and – you guessed it – honey).

It is just over two years since the initial launch of the business and Ground Soap is now sold in over 50 locations throughout Ontario and Quebec – in natural food stores, organic stores, farm markets, salons and spas, gyms, gift shops, and naturopathic clinics.  Ground Soap ships directly to customers as far away as California, and is also sold online at Lilou Organics and Ethical Ocean.

In late 2011, Angela moved production out of her house and into leased premises at Renew Lifestyle Studio in Cornwall Ontario. New products are planned to be launched in 2012 as the company looks to expand to more retail locations in BC and the United States.

In February 2012, Ground Soap was selected as one of the most ethical brands in America by online retailer Ethical Ocean.

For more information on Ground Soap, please visit www.GroundSoap.com.

About the Business Excellence Awards

The Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards is a distinguished Cornwall tradition established in 1988. The Awards recognize outstanding achievements by Cornwall area businesses and individuals in the fields of commerce, community work and/or innovation. The awards ceremony, coupled with the presentation of the coveted Citizen of Year award is one of Cornwall’s most prestigious annual affairs.

For more information on the Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.CornwallChamber.com

Category: Business