A Cup of Collaboration

Great partnerships are sometimes forged over coffee. Such is the collaboration between local companies, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve and Rising Star Coffee Roasters.

When Solon-based Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve went searching for a coffee partner, they wanted more than great coffee; they wanted a company that reflected their own unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability. Rising Star was impressive on all counts.

Sam Friedman, brand director for Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve, says Rising Star is one of the few roasteries in Cleveland going beyond fair trade and bringing in sustainably grown organic beans. “They are making some of the best products, which serve a great purpose for our own mission. Plus, they’re local and we want to support them,” says Friedman.

Friedman adds, “The beans are roasted just for us. They’ve been experimenting with the roasting level so it creates a great scent, [and] maintains the color properties, staying very dark.”

Why use coffee in soap? It turns out coffee is one of nature’s strongest natural deodorizers, Friedman explains, and the beans are also ground to create a scrub. Coffee has been used for centuries for cosmetic purposes, particularly as a rinse for dark hair.

Rising Star’s coffee beans are used in five of their most popular products—aromatic and silky smooth Coffee Spice and Java Spice soap bars, a gentle cleansing Mocha Java Body Polish, a deliciously fragrant Cafe Moreno Shampoo Bar, and a decadent Mocha Java Lip Butter that feels like a dessert on the lips.

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has been certified organic since 2010, and makes 265 products from approximately 1,100 ingredients, all of which can be traced to their source. No ingredient is artificial, synthetic, or made with anything containing GMOs.

A family business started by Friedman’s mother, Ida, everything is still made by hand in small batches by a tight-knit and trusted team comprised primarily of family and close friends. Products are mixed and molded in a slightly larger version of a home kitchen using a collection of pots, pans, and crock pots. Then they are individually hand-labeled, and packed to ship all over the world.

Friedman hopes to work with more companies and farmers. He actively pursues partnerships with local companies that are willing and able to meet the stringent standards required to maintain their USDA and OEFFA organic certifications. In addition to Rising Star, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve currently sources ingredients for their products from other Ohio companies: Mackenzie Creamery, Stutzman Farms, and Snowville Creamery.

Learn more about Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve by visiting their website, ChagrinValleySoapandSalve.com. Pick up their coffee products at Rising Star Roasters on the west side in Hingetown at 1455 W. 29th St. and on the east side in Little Italy at 2187 Murray Hill Rd.