We would like to thank our friends at Night Market Cleveland for putting together such a beautiful profile of BARR's Bars! They really have talented individuals who make up such a dynamic team! We invite you to click on the picture below to view the vendor profile.
Vendor Profile: BARR'S Bars, ltd.
By: Rachel Hunt (Originally Published September 22, 2015)
“Reach across the isle and shake hands with the maker,” says Anthony Barchanowicz of BARR’s Bars, a delightful play-on-name for a Cleveland based soap-making company. If you purchase any of their products, made by hand the way that pioneers from the region did it, there is no need to question the cleanliness of the palm reaching out to greet you.
BARR’s Bars prune their garden's harvest; they stick-stir each of their crafted cold process soaps and pour molds of soap to cure. All of their products are comprised of high-standard, beneficial ingredients. Their product is similar to the Mrs. Meyer’s pump-soaps that permeate Target, but did you know that you could get artisanal hand wash made in your hometown?
“People are looking to get out of the big box stores to find a product they like,” says Anthony. Most of the inspiration for BARR’s Bars came from older generations, people that weren’t afraid to invest in their neighbors. Their products are based on reclaimed, hand-grown, made-from-scratch ingredients and they even provide an online tutorial for those interested in the behind-the-scenes process of soap creation.
“We originally wanted to created a liquid hand soap for the ‘small hands’ in our family to use after going to the restroom because when they tried to manipulate our bar soap, it proved challenging for them,” writes BARR’s on their website. “The end result was a solution with simple ingredients: our very own grated bar soap and hot distilled water.” It is this kind of problem solving that sets BARR’s aside from the rest of the pack and enables them to break the mold, taking their versatile inventory to pop-up events like Night Market.
“This generation has an impression of disengagement and not being able to have relationships with people,” says the other half of BARR’s Bars, Rebecca Barchanowicz, of why it’s so important to her to connect with customers in an atmosphere that promotes spontaneity and enrichment.
“It’s an age of enlightenment,” Anthony reflects. Markets that enable buyers to connect one on one with makers of the product are becoming recognized as integral parts of local economies.
*Written article is the published work of Rachel Hunt and Night Market Cleveland. Click here for the original article.
Being a part of an event which is quickly gaining momentum in only three short months has its surprises. Imagine a warm summer evening. The fusion of ethnic food, wares and entertainment. The enjoyment of visitors exploring the ethnic and cultural attractions of the area. Music playing while shoppers and roving food carts weave through the marketplace. This is Cleveland's first Asian Night Market, better known as Night Market Cleveland. WKYC Channel 3 Cleveland published a two minute report featuring Night Market Cleveland. Although, we did not get interviewed, our "BARR's marquee sign" did make it into some of the footage. Below is a snapshot and the original video. Make sure the last Night Market Cleveland (September 25th) on your "to-do list" before summer ends!
It started with a movie that tangled the essence of the two worlds of personal fantasy. The land of my Heritage, and my passion for all things Anglican. The movie did not have the excessive budget, the next stimulating plot line, the defying performances of struggles, but it encaptured a romance of simplicity. Memories portrayed a definitive childhood consumed by an integration of absolute love, and focused attentiveness. A money driven life, full of given pleasures, showered an empty soul. But the soul found rejuvenation in the simplicity of hands, of tender submission, of quiet observance of nature's growth. There was a greed for passion, a conquered quest, but no trophy. There was a winner, but no victor. Only the sacrifice of the security that was assured, was he truly set free. That was when his true and honest vision became the constant reality of what we strive to know as life's purpose.
*Photos courtesy of John Tellaisha Photography
Conventional laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols and more. Many brands contain ingredients such as petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Fragrances in these detergents are made of a mix of harmful chemicals.
Luckily, we have a simple recipe available:
- 1 Cup of Borax (20 Mule Team available at most grocery stores)
- 1 Cup of Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer available at most grocery stores)
- 1 Whole Castile Bar (from BARR's Bars)
- Five Gallons total of water
- Five Gallon Bucket (preferably with a lid)
1. Grate one bar of castile soap with cheese grater or food processor. (Or you can ask us too when placing your order!)
2. Place grated soap in a sauce pan with 2 quarts of hot water and gradually heat, whisking constantly until soap is completely dissolved. Be certain to not boil.
3. Add 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a clean 5-gallon bucket and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
4. Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
5. Cover and leave overnight.
6. Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers. If you save your old laundry detergent dispensers, you can wash them out and fill them with your homemade laundry soap.
7. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.
This laundry soap is not intended to produce "suds". However, it will leave your clothes clean and unscented. If you wish to add a scent, you may add 40-50 drops of steam distilled essential oil of your choice to scent you laundry soap.
1. Handcrafted soaps are manufactured locally in small batches with the personal oversight and care of the soapmaker. Handcrafted soapmakers use high-quality ingredients and are able to add specialty oils and additives to personalize their formulations. Natural soap is made from a chemical reaction between water, lye (also known as sodium hydroxide), and fats and oils. These fats and oil are turned into soap and glycerin by a chemical process called Saponification. This process, when completed properly, leaves you with pure soap, glycerin, and some residue from the natural ingredients. Glycerin is the key byproduct which attracts and retains moisture on your skin. Most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from the soap to then create other more expensive products such as skin moisturizers, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and other products.
2. There are three methods to produce handmade soap.
a. “Melt & Pour” - There are Melt and Pour “soap kits” you can buy at craft store to engage soap making at a kid safe level. These are generally glycerin based transparent soaps. They are not as harmful as the commercial bars, however they are still not “pure soap”.
b. "Cold Process." - The cold process method takes the most time as it does not utilize heat after the saponification process. Soap bars produced using this method typically go through a 3-6 week curing time based on the types of oils utilized. It is undoubtedly the best method for producing the highest quality soaps amongst handcrafted soap makers.
c. "Hot Process" - The hot process method utilizes heat after the saponification process has taken place by taking the “cold process liquid” and heating it for hour to speed up the curing process. This makes the soap less viscous however, less curing time is required.
3. With handmade soaps, just like with commercially manufactured bars, you need to read the labels. The goal is to find soaps that utilize only pure, natural & organic oils or fats.
4. Avoid any bars that use “artificial colors” or “fragrances”. These are synthetic chemicals and you don't want them on your skin. If you want a colored or scented soap bar, look for one that utilizes natural, organic colorants and steam distilled neat essential oils.
5. Commercially produced soap, “detergent” is manufactured by combining chemicals (including petroleum) into a slurry mixer. The mixture heats up on its own as a result of two chemical reactions. Once the mixture reaches the required temperature, it is dried using a vacuum chamber and an atomizer. The resulting powder is then mixed with various other ingredients to form the final product.
6. The term “soap” is heavily regulated by the FDA. Companies are not permitted to use the term “soap” unless it is truly a handcrafted bar of soap (which is only produced by handcrafted soapmakers).
7. Terminology large companies utilize to remain in compliance with the FDA:
a. Dry Skin Cleansers
b. Anti-Aging Moisturizing Bars
c. Body Wash
d. Shower Gel
e. Bath Foam
f. Body Lather
g. Gentle Skin Cleansing Bar
h. Beauty Bar
8. Most large companies manufacturing these “fake soap products” aka “detergents” utilize petroleum based ingredients such as the following (check your labels on the products you own today):
a. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
b. Acrylates Copolymer
d. Petroleum byproducts (aka degreaser & PAH, known to cause cancer, skin irritation and allergies)
e. Stearic Acid
f. Sodium Sterate
g. Triclosan (known to the EPA as a pesticide, see below)
h. Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
9. Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan. Triclosan is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of a number of triclosan-containing products claim that the active ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use. Consumers are, therefore, exposed to triclosan for much longer than the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face. Your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with, similar to sticking something in your mouth. Chronic use of chemical laden products will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illness can occur.
10. The “detergent based” chemicals and toxins found in commercially produced “fake soap” are finding their way into our eco-system. Each time that lather goes down the drain, the pollutants are going with it. A recent report by the United Kingdom's Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) revealed that synthetic chemicals from soap, body washes, shampoos and other healthcare products were passing through the filters at water purification plants. The list of offenders included phthalates, which are linked to reproductive disorders in humans and animals, and parabens, a preservative, which is linked to cancer.