Celeste Cobena, otherwise locally known as The Soap Pedaler, has been a favorite at the Seaside Farmers Market since its second year in existence. Her plant-based and essential oil-infused small batch soap business first started as thoughtful Christmas gifts. Each year she would give homemade presents, often chocolate candies. She recalled, “In 1998, I decided against doing candy again, mainly so my clothes would fit come January. I had a book on soap making so I tried it.” Cobena had so much fun crafting soap that the rest, as they say, is history.
Whenever possible, Cobena loads up her wares and a tent on her bike and rides to the market and to do deliveries. Hence came the name for her business: The Soap Pedaler. A self-labeled environmentalist, Cobena has worked hard to save the state forests she would routinely ride her bike through. Her activism, in partnership with the local authorities, helped make the bike trails we all enjoy a reality.
Cobena has a Master’s degree in geology and uses her scientific background to experiment with a variety of essential oils and natural fragrances. Each soap is named for its own unique properties and aromas. Forest Trail is the most gorgeous hue of spring green and as you use it, wafts of foliage envelop your senses. Coastal Dune Lakes and A Day at the Beach are more subtle in both palette and scent, but leave skin soft, and dare I say, happier after you use it.
Another product Cobena offers is her all-natural liquid hand soap. Made with organic extra-virgin olive oil, palm, kernel and castor oils, and clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary, it contains no harsh chemicals, only known natural antibacterial agents. You’ve got to get your hands on it!
Cobena places a lot of value in doing what you love and listening to other people’s ideas. Over the years it has been her conservationist heart as well as her customers’ suggestions that have provided her with the inspiration on new soap scents and lines. Using her Dune Allen Beach home studio for production, Cobena can tinker away and get creative. Her latest batch is crafted from pine tar, as it contains properties excellent for your skin. This soap has a slightly smoky aroma, appropriately called Prescribed Burn.
Seek out the Soap Pedaler at the market every Saturday. I think you’ll agree her locally-made products are both practical and a luxurious treat. They make perfect gifts because they will be used and thoroughly enjoyed. No matter where you lay your head or wash your hands, using these soaps, you’ll soak in the magical coastal essence of South Walton.
Visit us on Facebook at The Soap Pedaler