Who would have thought that soap and soda would be a winning combination?
Beacon Bath & Bubble owner Brenda Murnane did.
A natural entrepreneur, Murnane first opened a women’s workout gym in Beacon in 2006. Next to it, she dedicated another space for soap crafting to produce a curated selection of products for her gym clients. Little did she know that her hobby would mark the beginning of a sudsy new career.
After a few years working on the two businesses, Murnane closed down the gym to fully focus on her soap shop. Hoping to expand upon her range of products, she dubbed her new enterprise Beacon Bath & Bubble. In 2010, when the property at 456 Main Street hit the rental market, she scooped it up. She expanded again in 2014, relocating from her current building to the one at 458 Main. The resulting retail space was significantly larger than her original one and gave her the perfect opportunity to add an old-fashioned soda counter.
When visitors enter the shop nowadays, they come face to face with a treasure chest of body butters, sugar scrubs, lip balms, and lotions in 60-plus different scents. All the products are made in the production room in the back of the shop, where they are wrapped and labeled with Murnane’s own designs and set on the shelves at reasonable prices.
“[The] whole store has a feel to it. It’s a happy feel,” Murnane says. “People come in, they get to see some of the old things from the past. They smell some of the soap that reminds them of a happy memory.”
Since founding her soapy endeavor, Murnane has collected quite the loyal clientele of locals who can’t get enough of her signature bar soaps and sugar scrubs. Of course, it probably helps that she has a rainbow-hued soda counter to fuel the sugar cravings. Inside the 1950s-inspired storefront, Murnane stocks about 70 different flavors of soda shipped directly from Washington state. They’re displayed next to a 1940s candy vending machine, with historic knickknacks like an old wooden icebox and record player nearby. On the vintage TV, she keeps black-and-white Shirley Temple films rolling throughout the day.
“I love my store. My heart goes into it,” she enthuses. “And I love when people come in and…they see what it is and they get it and they love it and then they keep coming back to me. So that’s awesome.”
Thanks to her love of crafting and all things retro, Murnane is the driving force for Beacon Bath & Bubble’s continued success. Not just a place of remembrance and nostalgia for repeat visitors, the store also a weekend destination for travelers to the Hudson Valley. After all, who can resist rainbow-hued soaps and bubbly bottles of soda pop?
Beacon Bath & Bubble
458 Main St, Beacon