April 19, 2013 by talkaboutyork
There are many lovely shops in York. Not only their contents, but their locations make them seem more interesting, quirky and intriguing – easily done with narrow cobbled streets and ancient buildings. But there is one shop which outshines all others. Whenever we have visitors to York, it is one of the first places I take them. Perhaps it’s the bubbles which float out from the front door. Or it could be the sheer beauty of the displays or the heady fragrance that hits you as you walk in. Mainly, I think it’s because it is such a clever idea, brilliantly executed. The Yorkshire Soap Co. (found on Blake Street in York) makes cakes. Exquisite, beautiful looking cakes – like strawberries and cream, lemon meringue, cherry bakewell and chocolate fudge. They’re decorated with dainty hand made flowers. They smell amazing. They are served by the slice or as tiny cupcakes in paper cupcake holders. And when you buy them, they’re put into a box and tied with ribbon. There’s just one catch – they’re NOT edible. They’re soap. The founders – Marcus (a former chef) and Warren (a maker of soaps) are the Willy Wonka’s of the soap world. They have created a paradise that is so unusual you can’t help but be captivated. The decor is slightly bizarre, almost surreal, but grand, beautiful and opulent at the same time. And the music that is played …. it’s full of wonder and expectation and upliftment. It makes you feel as though anything is possible – like something out of Alice in Wonderland. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if a March Hare started darting about the place while a Mad Hatter pocketed cupcakes surreptiously. The beautiful cakes are what get you in the door, but once inside the wonderland, you find plenty of goodies – like huge basins filled with delicious bath salts, or shelves of foam bath, room fragrances, gorgeous candles and less dainty but equally dazzling soaps like tomato and basil. I was there today. Again. Showing more visitors my favourite shop in York. It was relatively quiet being a week day morning. But I have been there on weekends where it has been mobbed with customers all walking around in open mouthed astonishment or breathing in deeply, enjoying the fragrance. When I was there just before Christmas, I asked how things were going since their recent opening (they’ve run a similar shop in Hebden Bridge for a while). Warren confessed that they had been overwhelmed, with a queue from the till to the piano (yes, there’s a piano in store obviously). They were making the products as fast as they could and were still selling out. It’s easy to see why. It’s a magic treasure trove. I highly recommend you stop by and be enchanted. And my hearty congratulations to Warren and Marcus for their innovative entrepreneurship – I love it when small businesses with a brilliant idea do well. My thanks to the Yorkshire Soap Co. for giving me the pictures. This is not a sponsored post. None of my posts are sponsored. If they are, I’ll say so. I just write about things I love.