kerfoot blog

The tale of the Black Soap in half a coconut

I have been referred to in the last week as the ‘rookie’ of the business and although I am not the latest addition to The Kerfoot Group team one of my colleagues still sees me as the ‘junior’. As I am just the wrong side of 29 I take this happily. With this ‘junior’ name you’d think that I get left with all the rubbish jobs but this one was not. Here is the tale of me and my bar of black soap in half a coconut…..

When Tom and Hannah recently returned from a Kerfoot Group trip to Ghana (visiting the communities that produce our Shea and Black Soap) they brought a poxy sized bar of black soap back.

Recognising that this was the only gift they returned with (noted) and as the enthusiastic ‘rookie’, I pounced on them to snaffle this gift to try at home. It was only when I pulled out of the Olive House gates that the panic hit about what I had let myself and my new bathroom into.


As proud new owners of a wobbly cottage in a village I started to sweat about what the black soap was going to do to my shower tiles, newly painted walls and not to mention the new white fluffy (wedding gift) towels.


Two thoughts cropped up:

–          Bin the soap (could not bring myself to doing so as I know how much work goes into making the stuff)


make my husband trial it, in the garden with the hose. Newlyweds we may be but there was no way I could have swayed him to accept this challenge.

Thank goodness I took the challenge. Quite honestly the results were incredible (sorry to use the Kerfoot tag line). With a bit of water it worked into a massive lather and although it went on a brown colour it rinsed off myself and (more importantly) the tiles like a dream. The scent is light, inoffensive and refreshing as the mercury was hitting 30 degrees all around. What struck me most of all was it felt really natural and for once I was not using a synthetic shower gel with a poor name that suggests “I’m showering in a rainforest under a waterfall”. No, here I was with a hunk of extremely unattractive brownish soap that was free (brilliant for a Yorkshire girl) and made my skin feel dreamy soft.

I have had nightmares of soap since the day my parents made me use a bar of soap known for the red sticker on it (no brands being endorsed here). With three children to bath they used one standard soap and that was it for the first 10 years of my life or until I had enough pocket money to buy my own. For these tough years I had a horrid squeaky, uncomfortable feel to my skin, never felt really clean and I smelt very average of a factory made soap. Black soap could not have been more different, I am a black soap convert.


I knew it would not be all that bad, as a best seller of the Kerfoot Speciality division the soap went down a storm in our little house. Being known for over-spending on all things beauty this freebie was welcome and now has a special place in the bathroom, but it does not mean I am going to use it exclusively. All other major cosmetic brands can breathe easy, the sales are still safe!


The true shock came as my husband emerged complementing the ‘stuff in the coconut’ that you left in the shower. Unisex, effective and free for once, no wonder we both loved it!!


ALL images shown are of a replacement bar of ‘black soap’ used for the purpose of the blog. The original was used too quickly for photos!


Ellie Wade, Buyer





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