Hastings Company Expands While Giving Away Half of Their Product


Despite giving half of their product away for free, Hastings business is growing.

Business isn't slowing down just because boxes still need to be unpacked at 405 West 2nd Street.

Pacha Soap moved to the location a week ago to fulfill the need for more space to expand manufacturing.

"For every bar of soap of Pacha Soap sold, a bar is given away to someone in need," said co-owner Abi Vrbas.

Vrbas said it's a mission people have embraced: giving hand crafted soap to people in developing countries to help prevent disease.

Giving away free soap may not seem like the secret to success, but Pacha's owners said it's that mission that's helping the company grow.

"I don't think we could be growing rapidly without the love and passion we have for our soaps," said Vrbas.

After selling soaps across the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions, they're now expanding to the Southwest.

And, the company hired a chief operating officer.

But, they've got even bigger goals.

"Eventually we want to create something more sustainable and we want to set up soap factories in developing nations like Peru and Rwanda," said Vrbas.

Hastings business leaders said companies with unique products or stories, like Pacha, are thriving, especially in the downtown area.

"You can go to the national chain stores. You can go to those every day and you can go to those in any community, but you don't find those types of stores here," said Tom Hastings, Hastings Chamber of Commerce president.

But, the Chamber of Commerce is excited about one chain coming to town – Perkins.

New management at retail outlets housing those national chains – like the Imperial Mall – is also a promising sign, according to Hastings.

He's especially positive about the new owners of Cimarron Plaza, recently bought by locals.

"When you have local ownership, I just think you can see a lot more growth potential because they're hands on and if there are things that need to be done the decisions can be made immediately," said Hastings.

He said, although they haven't yet signed on the dotted line, more businesses are looking at the community.

Locally, Pacha Soap is available at Grow Nebraska stores. In Hastings, Back Alley Bakery and WineStyles also sell the bars.

To purchase online, click here.