Around here, at Lancaster County Soapworks, we often have a month or two to breathe and prepare for the onslaught of heavy duty business in the Spring. Many of our local customers are seasonal and while they may restock a bit after Christmas, our springtime orders tend to hit us hard.
We don't come to a standstill in the beginning of the year, but we do prepare for the busy months to come. One of the things we did this year that was a little different was to order larger quantities of raw materials farther ahead than usual. Because we heard rumblings of price increases (we should be used to this by now) we decided to order enough fats and lye to hopefully hold us over til the end of summer when, we understand, prices should drop - at least for the fats.
The truck arrived last week and we stashed the fats in the garage bay beside the shop. It is cool and shady in there in the summer and they should be fine. Here are a couple of shots of what I'm talking about:
And another view:
We have a pallet of lye at a guaranteed price coming in the end of March.
It is a good feeling knowing we are well stocked and ready to ride out the price changes of the coming months. Some people get a kick out of having shelves of canned goods in the basement. For me, it is the thrill of having fats ready for the next few months. Who knows what to expect when we next need to order.
While we were in some relative "down time," we were busy stocking the shelves. In the beginning of March these shelves were mostly full, but as the month went on and orders started rolling in, they are starting to look a little peaked, so we'll be making soap again to try to stay ahead of the demand.
So, here we go on our roller coaster ride through the busy season... Wheeee!