Tampa Company Hand Makes Soap On-Site


Midtown shop makes unique soap

Go behind the scenes of the ‘makery’ at Buff City soap at Midtown in Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla.Buff City Soap may be new to Tampa’s Midtown area, but it’s not new to soap-making.

Its motto is “Always Fresh. Always Handmade,” so FOX 13 visited the venue to see how the company does it.  

The Buff City Soap “makery” is kind of like a bakery with pots, pans and utensils.

“In our soap, we use a Buff oil blend, which consists of palm oil, olive oil and coconut oil. We also use lye in place of any animal fats or tallows,” explained manager Aaliyah Silva.

Like a well-accomplished baker, or mixologist, or maybe both of those together, she swiftly prepared a batch of their narcissist soap ingredients. It’s the company’s most popular soap.

She combined the Buff oil with the lye in a mixing bucket to create the base of the soap. The next step was adding the color. For the narcissist soap, the colors she added were white, teal and gold mica.

“We mix each bucket between 25 seconds to a minute,” she shared as she prepared the mixture for the fragrance.

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There is a heating process for the blending, but not too hot.

“It is a medium set soap,” she related. “We want our soap pour to be anywhere between 90 and 100 degrees.”

That gets the base ready for the final touches of the fragrance. Narcissist smells of peach wood with notes of raspberries, patchouli and sandalwood.

“When you add the fragrance into the bucket, that’s what makes the soap solidify faster,” she said.

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She poured the mixture into the loaf pans, which are really like bread loaf pans, so it could cool and become solid. Think of it like pouring a thick brownie batter out of the bowl into a glass pan.

“We have to wait for it to set which may take anywhere between an hour to maybe a couple of hours and then we cut it into bars,” she explained.

Those bars each smell like the desired fragrance and show the distinct swirls of the colors mixed into the oils.

That handmade 5.5-ounce bar of Narcissist soap costs $7.

Buff City Soap is located at 1130 Gramercy Lane in Midtown, Tampa.

Click here to see all the soaps made in the shop. 

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