It's community first for the Riggsbys - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

It's community first for the Riggsbys

Makayla Holder | Staff | | Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 7:43 pm

HALDEMAN A former military couple turned their soap making business into a central feature of the community. 

After serving in the Air Force, Craig and Susan Riggsby reconnected to their hobbies when they started Morehead Kentucky Made (MKM) Soap out of their kitchen in 2013. 

“That’s why I built this,” said Craig. “It was to show certain people in this community that it could be done.”

Riggsby MKM Soap
Craig Riggsby makes soap October 31, 2019, at MKM Soap in Haldeman, Ky. Photo by Makayla Holder / The Trail Blazer. By Makayla Holder

Haldeman was a busy town that has since decreased in production and activity since the closing of the brickyard. This is something that the Riggsbys hope to change with their store, which now rests at the historic site. They hope to build a Haldeman museum on the rest of the property.

They want to encourage a foster the lost treasure of the world, community. 

Riggsby MKM Soap
Craig and Susan Riggsby's store, MKM Soap, has become a central gathering place for Haldeman on October 31, 2019, at MKM Soap in Haldeman, Ky.  Photo by Makayla Holder / The Trail Blazer. By Makayla Holder

“Everybody is so wrapped up in their individual lives that they don’t gather like they used to back in the old days when community was everything,” said Susan, who said they also help with events like the Haldeman Christmas tree and Trunk or Treat.

For Craig, his love for community stems from the lack of community he had when he was a child. His dad was in the Army and they often had to move. Craig followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Air Force as there were no job prospects for him in Haldeman at the time.

This meant he had to put his soap making and crafty side on hold.

“Being in the Air Force you can’t take soap making and something like that with you there’s just too much to carry with you when you go,” said Craig.

After both Craig and Susan left the military and their son was out of high school, the couple moved back to Kentucky because of Craig’s roots in Haldeman.

“It’s his dream and in all honestly I’m along for the ride,” said Susan. “He literally followed me all over the country for 20 years and now it’s my turn to follow him and this is where I followed him to.”

Riggsby MKM Soap
Susan Riggsby wraps and seals the bars of soap for sale October 31, 2019, at MKM Soap in Haldeman, Ky. Photo by Makayla Holder / The Trail Blazer. By Makayla Holder

Craig dedicated lots of time to created his soap recipe.

“By reading it, by studying it, by learning everything about it, I learned the line that you walk, like in anything,” said Craig.

Money has never been a point of interest for them. It has always been about doing what they love while building their town up.

“It’s a safe place,” said Craig. If anybody’s got a problem, they can come here. That kind of thing. It’s a thousand percent community.”

To the Riggsbys and their community there is nothing more important than their town.

“Haldeman is Haldeman, not Morehead,” said Craig. “We take pride in what we have.”

Click below to watch a short video: https://youtu.be/7a14ajpFc00