SAFFORD — Cretive and unique gift ideas can be found around every corner in Graham County, as evidenced by two of Safford’s newest Downtown area businesses — Rustic Barn Bakery and Sativa Soap Shoppe.

At the Rustic Barn Bakery, the pies were in the ovens, and baker Lauri McLain was excited as she got ready for her new business’ Nov. 22 grand opening.

McLain opened her business on Oct. 5. “It’s gone really, really well,” she said while preparing for the grand opening, which included a Graham County Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting.

“I love it; I’m so excited. I went to bed at about 11 last night and could not sleep. I got back up at 2 and started baking,” McLain said.

When McLain lost one career, she turned to another skill in opening The Rustic Barn. “I worked for Freeport for 33 years, then had an accident in surgery and my nerve was burnt. So I got dropped off in the real world and had to figure out how to make a living again, reinvent my life.

“My dad was a baker and I know how to bake really well, and so I thought I’d start baking. It’s gone a lot faster than I thought it would. Everybody likes homemade goods — breads, rolls and muffins.”

The Rustic Barn’s homemade treats — which can soon be enjoyed on an outdoor patio under construction — include whole pies and slices, breads, hot rolls, cookies, cakes and candies. Hot chocolate and coffee are offered as well. McLain also takes special orders for pies, cakes and hot rolls and does gift wrapping. In addition, the bakery carries cups and plasma cutters from other vendors.

The Rustic Barn Bakery, 724 S. 6th Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special orders may be placed by calling 928-428-0091.

At Sativa Soap Shoppe, 417 W. 7th St., owner and soapmaker Karen Pabst creates and carries a range of soaps and other products infused with hemp and CBD (cannabidiol) oils. She said the business was just over a year old. “I started making soap as a hobby, and then we just decided to give away a lot what I made. It was received well and we decided to just make soap.

“I didn’t want to make it at home because I had two dogs and wanted to have an environment strictly for making soap.” They found that environment on 7th Street, in Safford’s oldest standing building; the Lewis building, built in 1877.

The store’s colorful homemade CBD soaps have names like Horizon, Awake and Purple Haze. “They all have six ingredients aside from the color and fragrance, and that’s all made here with different oils and shea butter,” said Pabst. But the selection at Sativa Soap Shoppe doesn’t end there.

Their other CBD products include solid lotion sticks, bath balms and bath salts, lip balm and body butter. The shop also carries a variety of non-CBD bath balms and bubble bath.

Pabst said CBD lotion sticks could help with joint inflammation and bath balms could soothe anxiety, stress and aching joints. “CBD has a lot of skin benefits. With lotion sticks and bath balms, it kind of gets into your system a little bit more. We’ve had some customers that got some good results with pain relief.”

Pabst’s said they originally planned to use the building as work space, not intending to have a retail shop; much of the store’s business is wholesale. “We just had so many locals stopping in that we decided to put the stuff we make for sale up front here,” she said.

Sativa Soap Shoppe, established in 2018, is currently open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, but Pabst said those hours could change. “We’ll probably be expanding those hours a little bit because we’re ramping up production; we have a couple of huge wholesale accounts that will be coming to fruition in the near future.”

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