This season I’m working on a new. video series with Travel Alberta that shares the stories of amazing immigrant entrepreneurs and their businesses that you have got to check out!
The first video of this series that I worked on with Chad Kruger Productions for Travel Alberta is:
Have you ever heard of Aleppo soap? It’s the oldest style of soap in the world, dating back thousands of years, and you might be surprised to learn that in North America, Aleppo soap is made in Calgary, Alberta from Aleppo Savon!
Owner Abdulfatah Sabouni was taught the ancient craft by his father, who learned from his father before him—their last name even means “soap maker!”
It was such an honour to meet Abdulfatah and help share his story.
Abdulfatah Sabouni is a a fourth generation Syrian soap maker. He and his family came to Alberta in 2016, where he immediately went to school to learn English. Then he opened his soap business shortly after in 2018.
His family has been making soaps for over 125 years, and the soap itself—a mix of olive and laurel oil—is one of the oldest styles of soap in the world (said to have originated thousands of years ago!) 🤯
There’s actually only a few Aleppo soap makers in the WORLD, and Aleppo Savon is the only Aleppo soap maker in North America. Really, really cool right?
“It’s beautiful, it’s something from the trees, something from the natural Earth,” Abdulfatah tells me. “Not anyone can make Aleppo soap because Aleppo soap is traditional. It’s from a thousand years ago. Aleppo soap makers have the skill to take all caustic soda out of the soap. We leave the soap for six months curing and the soap changes colour from green to brown. After six months you can use it for face, hair, anywhere, it’s 100% pure soap natural.”
As of our interview, Aleppo Savon makes 1,000 kg of soap PER DAY!
They pour it onto a mould, cut it, stamp it, and then leave it in these really cool soap towers (looks like jenga lol) for curing, which takes at least six months.
“If you don’t love to be a soap maker, you cannot do the soap making. I love this job.” – Abdulfatah Sabouni
It was interesting to learn that Aleppo soap actually thrives in colder weather (I joked that it’s good Abdulfatah ended up in Calgary, Alberta then! lol)
“The special business is a handmade business,” Abdfulfatah says.
“It’s hard working, it’s not easy, that’s any business, it’s not easy to do it.”
I think it’s amazing that Abdulfatah could carry on his family legacy here in Calgary.
He was so gracious and so sweet when we talked, also so sincere about how happy he was be here and to be able to make soap. Truly, such a stand-up guy.
They do offer tours—you just have to ask!
So the next time you’re in Calgary, Alberta, head over to Aleppo Savon to meet Abdulfatah and his team and head home with a bunch of amazing soap loaded with culture and history.
Thank you Abdfulfatah for taking the time to talk to me, share your story and being part of this Travel Alberta video!
And be sure to subscribe to Travel Alberta’s YouTube Channel for more video inspiration on ways to make the most of your adventures in Alberta.
Note: this post is NOT sponsored by Travel Alberta. I’m working with them as a contractor for video production but not for blog / social media (these are just things I’d share about anyway lol).
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