Lucy Buckingham and James Clews at Stephenson Group's Horsforth manufacturing plant
A food and coconut oil brand is aiming to soak up more success after teaming up with a Yorkshire-based soap manufacturer for its first range of coconut oil-based soaps.
Lucy Bee is diversifying its product range to now include a range of ethically produced coconut oil soaps for the first time. The company has teamed up with specialist Leeds-based manufacturers, Stephenson Group to produce the new range.
The Stephenson Group which has its global manufacturing plant in Horsforth, was the first manufacturer to successfully use 100% coconut oil in any soap formulation. It has previously worked with international brands such as The Body Shop and other ethical brands including Traidcraft and the Yorkshire Soap Co.
Launched in 2012, Lucy Bee offers a range of natural products including cacao, maca, lucuma, turmeric, cinnamon and salts. The business was founded by entrepreneur Lucy Buckingham, a 27-year old qualified beauty therapist with a love of healthy living.
An interest and love of the healthy properties of coconut oil is what led Lucy to start the business and all of its products with the exception of the bath salts range are organic and, where possible, Fair Trade which is at the heart of the company's ethos.
Lucy said: “I have always been interested in bringing out my own soap and skincare range. I came across the Stephenson Group who are also very ethically responsible and with their in-house scientists we started working on different formulations to get everything moving. Coconut oil can sometimes be difficult to work with as an ingredient, so it was important to ensure everything was perfect and the formulations with Stephensons featuring completely pure organic essential oils have really brought out the best our ingredients can offer.”
The soap formulations produced by Stephenson Group for Lucy Bee are all made purely from coconut oil, and includes a completely natural soap, a fragrance free one, citrus featuring lemon, tangerine and cinnamon, an exfoliating soap which contains crushed coconut shell, spearmint, basil and cloves and a floral ylang ylang soap with jasmine and cedarwood. The product range will be launched on the cosmetics and personal care market in late September after which Lucy will turn her attention to a completely new skincare range.
James Clews, sales and marketing director at Stephenson Group commented: “This has been a fascinating and challenging project. It’s so satisfying to see the finished product after 18 months of intensive development work. As a hugely successful and ethical food brand it’s great to see Lucy Bee expand its food-based expertise further into its beauty and personal care range as it looks to make its considerable presence felt in this highly competitive market. I’m sure this new soap range will have as much of an impact on customers as the existing coconut oils and food range.
“There are lots of similarities between Lucy’s exciting business and our own – we too are a family owned business – fifth generation owned - and with over 160 years of expertise, we know just how important cultivating the right relationships and partnerships can be.”
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