Soapy Sales - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Soapy Sales

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VISTA (CBS 8) - A local company of master soapmakers, who began in business 150 years ago, are celebrating their amazing success.

From their plant in Vista, the first family of foam continues to gain a worldwide reputation for putting magic in bottles and bars.

Dr. Emanuel Bronner with his cool guy glasses and an impish grin is more than just the patriarch of Vista compound that employees 120.

“He himself was third generation master soapmaker from a German, Jew soap making family in southern Germany.”

In the late 1920s, Dr. B brought those sudsy recipes with him when came to America. He parents were killed by the Nazis. By 1948, he had begun selling his suds stateside. Today members of the Bronner family still practice their alchemy of making magic soap.

The problem is: Emanuel Bronner didn't really come the North County to pedal soap. He was out to cleanse souls.

“We are all children of the same divine source,” said David Bronner with Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap.

That was the crux of the slightly manic messages that still meander around the labels of his biodegradable peppermint soap.

“In fact, if you didn't want to hear what he had to say, he would sell you the soap,” added David.

Now, the good doctor may have been reluctant to retail, but the world sure wanted to buy his soap, thanks to hippies and health foods stores.

The company's stance on fair trade and environmental consciousness suited the lifestyle of the wandering Woodstock generation. No truckin' deadhead in a Volkswagen bus ever left home without it a bottle or two.

“We don't maybe run it with quite the same religious fervor he did. But I think we hold true to his ideals,” explained David. “My granddad died in '97. I think we did 4.8 million. This year we're probably going to cross 80 million.”

That will light up smile of the man behind this amazing soap opera.

“My granddad was a visionary,” continued David.

A man without compromise. If you didn't share his vision, he's simply say, "no soap."

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