Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Well, it’s been a while since your intrepid correspondent checked in with Penelope over at the Soapothecary, but what awaited me struck me really as sort of visual, and tactile, art as well an olfactory pleasure that I didn’t fully recall.Soapothecary in Jim Thorpe PA

But it all came back to me quickly. They say your sense of smell is the source of your most vivid recollections.

People wandered in and out and she let everyone know that touching and smelling the product was a good thing (except when it’s some of her natural laundry detergent since it’s a powder), in order to get the full measure of all the types of soap available.

Soapothecary in Jim Thorpe PARight now, she’s dreaming up something for Jim Thorpe’s Earth Day Celebration, an event that grows each year. And there’s a clear fit – everything is made with natural vegetable ingredients, and no animals are involved.

In general, there’s the fragrant air of creativity, especially when you peruse the various new soaps that have been just made, but not yet cut into bars.

The Soapothecary has a big presence online  – just click here.

Otherwise, the brick-and-mortar and soapmaking operation is at the Douglas House on the first floor, just up Broadway from the traffic light in downtown Jim Thorpe. The address is 77 BroadwaySoapothecary Jim Thorpe PA

When you get there, just relax and let your senses take it in. The store is really an extension of Penelope herself, and you couldn’t be more welcome. Enjoy!


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I’m telling you – you don’t know what a temptation soap is!

And this is a guy saying that.

Soapothecary Jim Thorpe

Hawaiian Plumeria

At first, the extent of my association with soap consisted of my mother making me wash off glorious dirt accumulated on the playground all day. No fun there!

Then there was the long-resisted transition to adulthood, but still – soap was essentially about showering and getting out the door.

But now that we’re all grown up, it turns out that soap and its many cousins are a lot of fun, even for a guy.

And a truly fun local shop is Soapothecary in downtown Jim Thorpe, two blocks up Broadway.

The store, relocated to Jim Thorpe’s Douglas House in summer 2010 and constantly changing as new products are introduced, offers a fantastic variety of all-natural olive oil soaps and luxurious skin care products – all handmade on site by local soapmaker, Penelope Briggeman.

Soapothecary Jim Thorpe

Various soaps

“It began as a hobby in my basement,” she says modestly. “When my friends and family began knocking on my door asking for more soap, my entrepreneurial spirit kind of took over.”

She moved into a store front and has never looked back. As natural skin care products and herbal remedies have entered the mainstream, and consumers look for alternatives to mass-produced products, her customer base has steadily grown.

Word of mouth has taken care of the rest. Ten years later, Ms. Briggeman has expanded her line to include lotions, facial products, creams, shower gels and body sprays.

Handmade Soap

The Soapothecary

Her newest effort is the creation of a range of natural home cleaners and products, diversifying her offerings even further.  Ms. Briggeman holds herself to strict production standards, using only all-natural, renewable ingredients. Nothing animal, synthetic  or petroleum-based is found in her soaps.

Here’s Penelope on Blue Ridge Cable TV demonstrating her technique!

Soapothecary is located at 77 Broadway in the Douglas House Market. It’s a beautiful store with plenty to occupy your senses, so give yourself time to take in the sights and scents. Call them at 570-325-3850, or browse their website and order online at http://soapothecary.com.

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There is something about yoga that keeps people coming back. It has been with us for thousands of years, an ancient technique that helps bring the body, mind, and spirit into shape. Ancient yogis used its specific postures and breathing techniques to prepare their bodies for long periods of meditation.

These days, the motivation behind the practice varies. In western society,  many use it as an alternative to aerobics. Any way you look at it: yoga is “in.” Yoga is everywhere, including Jim Thorpe, PA.

For over two years, Maya Kowalcyk has been holding Hatha-based yoga classes for all levels at various locations in and around Jim Thorpe. She began her study of yoga in 1997 at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia beginning with a class that taught a blend of yoga poses and Pilates, an exercise system that focuses on building core strength. From then on, yoga has been an integral part of Ms. Kowalcyk’s life.

A runner and an avid backpacker, she suffered a knee injury during a backpacking trip in the Shenandoah National forest in 2007 that left her left knee painfully swollen for weeks. Running was out of the question, so she began to practice yoga more often to take its place.

After a few months, the pain in her knee was almost gone. She began running again, balancing her mileage with time on her yoga mat, and was amazed to find that she was pain-free.

Yoga Classes in Jim Thorpe, PAAfter completing her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification in 2008, Ms. Kowalcyk began teaching classes in Jim Thorpe. “The community of people that come together to practice is my most important reason for teaching yoga,” she explains.

“Yoga can heal you. It helped me to heal, and I’ve seen it heal many others. But no one can convice you,” she adds. ” The only way to understand is to experience it for yourself. You have to be willing and open.”

Ms. Kowalcyk offers weekly yoga classes at the Mauch Chunk Opera House and at Flow Restaurant & the CCCP Gallery. Individual sessions and small group classes are available. Ask about yoga parties for children and adults, and the Yoga Kids Camp: a week-long day camp with yoga and art activities, date TBA. Ms. Kowalcyk can be reached at 570-527-5453 or emailed at yogajimthorpe@gmail.com for more information.

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The Jim Thorpe Farmers Market is set to reopen on June 19th, 2010. The market runs every Saturday from 9:00am- 12:00pm in Memorial Park, E. 10th street on the East Side of Jim Thorpe (over the bridge).

The location is family friendly – Memorial Park has one of the coolest playgrounds around! There will be music in the gazebo, and most importantly, all the freshest foods that money can buy. Jim Thorpe PA Farmers Market

Local Food is Fresher & More Nutritious. How long have those green beans been sitting on the shelf at the grocery store? What about those peppers? Research has proven that the vitamins and nutrients in produce begin to break down as soon as it is picked. Fresh produce from the farmers market is second only to picking produce straight from your own back yard.

Open Land is Precious. Here in Pennsylvania, we’ve watched as farm after farm has vanished in the name of progress. Some of the most fertile lands around have been turned into housing developments, industrial complexes, and strip malls. When you support local farmers, you’re protecting the scenic landscape for which Pennsylvania is known.

Local Food is Safer. Local food doesn’t mingle in large factories.  It is grown on a small scale right near the market, minimizing health risks caused by contamination (Remember the spinach outbreak? The constant beef recalls?)

Local Food is Better for the Environment. Buying your produce at the farmers market uses far less non-renewable resources like oil.  Think of all the fuel it takes to truck in lettuce from California, or to fly in plums from Peru!

The market is currently accepting donations, volunteers, more farmers, musicians, and community organizations for our community table for the upcoming season.

For more information, please email Bob at info@jimthorpefarmersmarket.org

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