Buff City Soap brings customizable, plant-based suds to Ann Arbor

Visitors to Buff City Soap Ann Arbor can watch employees make soap and other products. (Sarah Parlette, Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

ANN ARBOR – Step into an explosion of bright colors, scents and unicorn magic at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor.

The highly anticipated Ann Arbor-Saline Road location is bringing the brand’s plant-based and customizable soaps, bath bombs, laundry soaps, soap whips, shaving bars, beard oils, body butters, handsoaps and more to Tree Town.

Doors to the “makery” will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday with a weekend of giveaways, discounts and freebies for some attendees.

Newly-made soap at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
Foaming hand soaps the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

“Ann Arbor is the perfect destination for a brand like Buff City Soap. We can’t wait to share all of our plant-based and handmade, customizable soap and body products with the community,” said Marketing Manager Virginia Kamenitzer in a release. “At Buff City Soap, employees can literally walk customers through every ingredient that’s in our products. There’s no big box delivery, but there is a deep personal pride that goes into every product we create. It’s a real joy to share something that satisfies our customer’s needs and wants!”

Started in 2013, Buff City Soap is known for handmade, cruelty-free products created at its own stores across the United States. Products are made with simple ingredients and are free from harsh chemicals.

The Ann Arbor store will carry the brand’s core line of scents and seasonal scents, as well as locally-influenced smells, like the University of Michigan-inspired Maize and Blue soap and a purple Pioneer high school-inspired soap. General Manager Kat Ramaut anticipates having at least three more local scents available on Thursday morning.

Buff City Soap fans can also get their hands on plant-based laundry soaps (with refillable containers), men’s care products, soap accessories, brushes, and new mini-sized go-to products.

Plant-based laundry soap at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Anyone wanting personalized products can ask an employee to quickly whip something up--and it is quick! Ramaut said it only takes five minutes to blend up a new scent. Visitors can grab an unscented bar of soap, body scrub or any other product on the unscented shelf and work with a team member to customize a scent or mix together a few they really like.

The Ann Arbor store also offers Bath Bomb Parties--reserved events for groups of up to 10 people to make their own scented, mini bath bombs. Groups of over 10 can also get in on the bath bomb magic but special reservations will be needed outside of the store’s normal hours.

Unscented products at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location can be customized by visitors. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

Kamenitzer said that in the future the store wants to partner with local schools and organizations to do in-store fundraisers.

Those interested in joining the Buff City Soap team can apply online via Indeed.

“It is a great team to be part of,” Kamenitzer said. “As a lot of people are out there and rejoining the workforce, I have to say that it is a wonderfully welcoming environment. The team is energetic and loves what they do.”

Here’s the scoop on the VIP opening:

On Thursday, the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce will kick off the VIP opening with a ribbon-cutting at 9:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., the doors will open.

The first 50 people in the store will receive a punch card for one free bar of soap per month for a whole year. This applies to the first 50 people at the store on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the weekend event.

All purchases will receive a 20 percent discount, with a 30 percent discount being given to those who spend more than $100.

There will also be hourly giveaways for free bath bomb parties, gift bundles and more. Check this out for the details.

Visitors who can’t make it to the new locations this weekend will have more chances to get to know the store. Kamenitzer said another grand opening is planned for later on in the fall, but the details aren’t finalized.

Buff City Soap Ann Arbor will be open starting on August 25. Its hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. on Sundays.

It is at 3143 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.

Check out some photos from inside the new location:

Products at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
The new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location also offers a men's line of products. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
Buff City Soap Ann Arbor offers soaps and scents just for kids. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
Buff City Soap Ann Arbor offers soaps and scents just for kids along with mystery boxes full of products. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
Newly-made soap at the new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
The new Buff City Soap Ann Arbor location is at 3143 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. (Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.