Opening the door to Four Sisters Soap and Tea Emporium is like walking into a parlor from bygone days. The environment is as warm and relaxed as the greetings from the mother/daughter owners. This quaint, vintage downtown gem has brought a unique experience to Richmond.

Melodie Lincavage and her four daughters started Four Sisters Farm when they moved from Germany in 2009. At the farm the family raises dairy goats without growth hormones or antibiotics and cultivates an organic vegetable garden without using chemical fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides. In November 2014, the women decided to open a store after successfully selling their handmade soaps and lotions at the Richmond Farmer’s market and other local markets.

“To be a soap maker you have to be an artist, a scientist and for us, a farmer,” Lincavage said.

Her favorite part of the business is the creative process of dreaming up the shop’s all-local, Kentucky Proud products. From the honey in the soap to the pastries in the kitchen, all products sold in the store remain true to locally bought, grown or sourced items.

Four Sisters offers 90 different kinds of certified, organic loose leaf fair trade tea. They also use milk from their dairy goats to make their all-natural, handmade soaps.

“Goat milk soap feeds the skin back. It has amino’s and proteins in it,” Lincavage said. “What we do is really healthy for the skin unlike any other kind of soap.”

Each soap comes with specialty skin care options and recommendations.

“If someone comes in and mentions any skin issue then we recommend the essential oil line,” Lincavage said.

She is also excited for the community to try the products and is offering specials such as a tea-tasting and a course in May at EKU to share her mission to “educate others of the harmful commercial goods and products that we are all exposed to.”

Four Sisters offered personalized Valentine’s Day gift sets, bath soaps and men’s products. They have promotions year-round, including a rewards program that allows frequent customers to receive free gifts and Thirsty Thursday, which offers customers a buy-one-get-one-free deal on teas and lattes.

For college students who want to connect to the small town feel of Richmond, enjoying a small business like Four Sisters might be the best way to be part of the community while sipping delicious homemade tea.