Growing up on an acreage in Independence, Iowa, Meg Dickinson has always loved small towns with rich histories, making Dallas Center the perfect location for her new shop, Sugar Grove Goods.
“We moved to our own little acreage just outside of Dallas Center in 2017. We love that a majority of the buildings on our property were built in 1900,” Dickinson said. “I feel it’s important to make positive impacts when possible, and I’ve always wanted to help maintain the integrity and revitalize a historic Main Street.”
Dickinson’s idea to open Sugar Grove Goods first came about after several years purchasing a goat milk complexion soap from a boutique. She said it was the cost of shipping this product that motived her to attempt the process of soap making. As a relentless DIY’er, Dickinson thought, “Why would I buy things when I like what I can make myself?”
“Shortly after the first few batches I was absolutely addicted to soap making,” Dickinson said. “The brand is all about handmade luxuries and I am very excited to share my products with everyone.”
Dickinson has since expanded her product line to include both bath bombs and soaks at the request of her children. She also began making solid lotions in order to help her husband with chapped hands throughout the winter season.
“For the longest time he refused to wear gloves during the winter, and he refused to use lotion. His poor winter hands were so chapped and dry that I couldn’t help myself. I bet him that I would make a product that he would use and love, and now solid lotion is one of our top selling products,” Dickinson said.
As a small business owner, Dickinson also tries to incorporate local ingredients in her products whenever she can. Her Lip Treatment and Solid Lotions, for example, use unrefined beeswax from Bell Farm in Runnells. She also uses milk from her family’s goats, stating that it really doesn’t get fresher than that.
“My products are all handmade, by me. There is also a lot of love and research that goes into every ingredient, and every formulation,” Dickinson said.
The location in Dallas Center officially opened on April 18 and includes both a coffee shop and Sugar Grove Goods products. Although COVID-19 has changed the way Dickinson originally planned to unveil the shop, she does currently offer coffee to-go along with the sale of goods through her website, https://sugargrovegoods.com/.
Products currently available for purchase include goat milk soap, goat milk bath soak and bombs, whipped sugar scrub, lip treatment, beard oil, shampoo bars and soy candles, to name a few.
“Thankfully the community has been amazingly supportive and understanding,” Dickinson said. “I always tell people to let me know if there is anything missing from the site, or if there is something special they are looking for.”
Coming up this year, Dickinson plans to slowly grow her product line, potentially including conditioner bars. She has also been working to attend online shows, such as the Locally Grown Showcase, and plans on selling other goods made by local artisans as soon as it is safe and reasonable to have an open retail space.