Tristan Corriveau started collecting partially used soap from hotels in 2016 after learning that the U.S. hotel industry throws away two million bars of soap every day. “From the first moment I had the idea to recycle soap, I felt pulled by the greater good embedded in the project,” he explains. “It isn’t just about making money; it’s about humanity’s impact on the world.”
The One Gallon Soap Company now collects soap from a variety of hotels. It is then cleaned, sterilized, and manufactured into liquid hand soap before being sold back to businesses in Portland, Maine. “We provide a local, recycled hand soap to businesses who care about their impact on the community and world,” Corriveau says.
The One Gallon Soap Company was awarded the Libra Future Fund Grant, a win for which Corriveau says his mentors had “crucial roles.” The grant is awarded to Maine residents working on projects that benefit the state’s economy and professional opportunities.
The One Gallon Soap Company was named Outstanding Young Entrepreneur at the 2017 SCORE Awards.
Corriveau admits that product development has always been his company’s toughest challenge. “It’s a new product that requires an intensely monitored formula and process,” he says. “Every detail matters. Finding consistency and repeatable results has been a challenge operating in the small business environment.”
Corriveau turned to SCORE for community, camaraderie, and support. He meets with volunteer mentors Donna LeBreaux and Chuck Grossman about every two weeks; they meet more often if Corriveau has a particular problem he wants to address.
“My mentors have helped me with almost every achievement,” Corriveau reports: “Connecting with our local university to discover a scalable sterilization method, creating local partnerships, understanding finances, marketing, and general advising and guidance.”