Buzz on Business: Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. Opens 

by | Mar 14, 2024

Above: The Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. East Greenwich team, from left, Aaron Rome, Quincy Rome, Yolie Rome, Gail Roberts, and Naomi Mariano. Submitted photo

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Yolie Rome calls her decision to get into the soap-making business a “midlife career change.” That’s a bit of an understatement. She came to her role as owner of the brand new Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. at 1000 Division Street after 15 years as an advising dean at Brown University. 

“I wanted to make a physical product,” she explained. Looking around the shop, she’s gotten her wish – she and her crew (aka family members including her husband, her mother, her sister and her sons) have made hundreds of brightly colored bars of soap since late January. 

The main part of the manufacturing takes place in the room behind the store. It’s hard to believe this was a Piezoni’s not all that long ago. 

This is the first Magnolia Soap store in the Northeast – the franchise business is based in the South. Those brightly colored bars are part of what the company calls the “joy of color” and, truth be told, it is cheery! The soaps are plant based and have very few ingredients, typically five or fewer, according to Rome. The company supplies the raw ingredients and recipes but the rest is up to the individual store owners. 

Rome plans to offer party hosting and workshops in coming months. And, although she and her family live in North Kingstown, Rome is developing an “Avenger” line (I think it’s possible to develop some “Skipper” products too!). 

In addition to the soaps, Rome offers a laundry soap – all you need is “just 2 tablespoons,” she said – as well as candles, bath bombs, and shampoo and conditioner bars. 

The company likes to support nonprofits. This month, there’s a special bar in support of the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island. (Author’s note: As mother of a son with Down syndrome, I bought one!)

Rome is enjoying her new post-academic career. “It’s just fun,” she said. 

Store hours:

M, T, W, Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Th, Fri 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday 12-5 p.m.

The kids’ offerings at Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. including soaps scented with cotton candy, birthday cake, and cereal, as well as donut- and waffle-shaped bath bombs.

Fun colors are part of the fun at Magnolia Soap & Bath Co.

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March 16, 2024 3:10 pm

Can’t wait to check it out!


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