PEI

P.E.I. potato soap could be international hit, Island craftsman hopes

Interest is growing quickly in Pieter Ijsselstein's latest product, and he hopes to find markets for it across Canada and abroad.

P.E.I. craft beer soap could be next

Pieter Ijsselstein with an uncut bar of his P.E.I. potato shop in his workshop in Hope River. (CBC)

Interest is growing quickly in Pieter Ijsselstein's latest product, and he hopes to find markets for it across Canada and abroad.

Ijsselstein and his wife Geraldine operate White Gables in Hope River, where they create and sell a number of things, including candles, textiles, pottery.

And soap. Most recently soap made out of the Island's famous spuds.

Ijsselstein said using starchy potato juice in soap just made sense.

"This is a great product for P.E.I.," he said.

"It's something that can be sold abroad, across Canada, different countries, because of the potato brand: the P.E.I. brand."

Waste potatoes put to use

Pieter Ijsselstein has been making soap for a while, but the reaction to his potato soap has been special. (CBC)

Ijsselstein said one of the great things about the product is it uses potatoes that would otherwise be thrown away. Farmers are often stuck with them, and are paid just pennies per pound, if anything. 

"It's a great use for cull potatoes," he said.

"I'm up to a point where I'm using about 100 pounds (45 kg) of cull potatoes per day."

Ijsselstein is investing in some new equipment so he can ramp up his production. He's also looking at using some other P.E.I. ingredients in his soap, including craft beer.

The soap is currently sold at a number of retail outlets across the Island.

With files from Mitch Cormier

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