What we apply on our skin enters our system; skin is porous. Kerry Plank, owner and operator of Alpine Made uses organic goat milk in her soap and skin care products to nourish users’ bodies from the outside in. Alpine Made products are sold at Farmer’s Markets including the Elmwood Bidwell market as well as local/regional stores Wegmans and Feel Rite. What does it take to create goat milk soap?
For Plank, it involves tending an eleven acre goat farm in Wales, NY and milking the 34 Alpine dairy goats twice a day. Due to her sustainable farming practices, Plank was able to gain organic certification from the North East Organic Farms Association, no small feat.
Farming is one aspect of the company’s story; it provides a steady source of raw materials. The next phase is making the soap and skin care products. For this purpose, Plank has a team. She plans to hire more staff to accommodate growth, given she has quadrupled production in the last two years to meet the demand.
In addition to tending the farm and making the products, there is a third aspect to the business which is finding and serving the customers. Plank started offering her products at the Horsefeathers’ Winter Market on Connecticut Street when it opened five years ago. Building from there, Plank began selling at the Elmwood Bidwell market and festivals including Elmwood Festival of the Arts and the Letchworth Arts and Crafts festivals.
Her products are available in many small local shops in Buffalo and East Aurora. To keep up with supplying these retail outlets, Plank plans to build a 1200 square foot barn and add five more acres of farm land so she can add more goats. This small woman-owned, local, green business is making it the old-fashioned way: hard work, careful planning and consistent quality and service.
Look for Alpine Made products and celebrate our local farms and businesses.