A luxury soap and skincare business in the Scottish Highlands is to expand after revenue soared by 22% last year.

The Highland Soap Company, in Fort William, will open an extension of its visitor centre later this week, adding a whisky and gin tasting room and there are plans for more Scottish stores. 

The firm opened a new multi-million visitor centre, cafe and shop in December 2020, close to the 13th century Inverlochy Castle and with views onto Ben Nevis.

In two years, Highland Soaps has quadrupled manufacturing capacity to grow its e-commerce business, which sends out 30,000 parcels a year, and wholesale business which services 5000 bedrooms worth of hotel clients.

The Herald:

Products are now stocked in 400 outlets and the firm continues to expand its export business which will be 20% of revenue in 2023.

The company now has ambitions to open stores in Inverness and Edinburgh when suitable locations can be found.

READ MORE: Highland Soap Company opens multi-million pound visitor centre on historic site

Revenue growth was 22% last year and the company is seven times the size it was in five years prior in 2017.

Founder Emma Parton was featured in the E2E Female 100 of the fastest growing female-led companies

The Herald:

She said: “Our visitor centre has been a success since the day we opened and an extension has been on our agenda ever since.

"The good news is that we have space for a second expansion, perhaps focusing more on food and in the pattern of a farm shop."

The Highland Soap Company was launched 20 years ago as a maker of organic soaps in Ms Parton's kitchen at a time when such products were hard to find.

READ MORE: Millionaire businessman to open Highland town's first cinema in 15 years 

The company now has six shops, supplies many of the country’s finest country house hotels and has gift shops at the National Trust for Scotland properties and international distributors as customers. 

The extended visitor centre shop, which opens on Thursday, will add children and baby clothes, books and toys, stationary, cooking and kitchenware and art to the soap, skincare and candle range.

Archie MacDonald, business partner, said:“ Just before opening, we will email local customers and incentivise them to visit the town and our shop.

"They are likely to spend time with neighbouring retailers and cafés as well as our new shop, so it’s a win-win situation for all of us.” 

Mr MacDonald's father is Councillor Angus MacDonald, who built Fort William's first cinema in 15 years 'as a gift to the town. He also opened a bookshop on the high street.