Love+Leche is founded on
our love of Mother Nature,
an appreciation for things natural, handmade, sensual and beautiful;
and the passion to create a meaningful life that will inspire others to do the same.
Leche (pronounced “lay-chay”) is the Spanish word for milk. It’s what babies ask their mothers for (when they can talk!) and what the founder of Love and Leche would get from her goats. And of course, we all know what Love is . . . read on to hear about Daven’s journey from her very beginning until the passing on of the company to us!
In 2005, as Milk+Honey, we debuted at the renowned Santa Fe Farmers Market, selling handmade goat milk soaps and beeswax lotion bars. Daven’s business was inspired by living a very modest, but satisfying Farm Life out in Glorieta, 20 minutes outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A typical day went like this:
“Every day I go out to milk my ‘girls.’ They greet me with a range of personalities: gentle, loud and demanding, patient, surly. They always appreciate being fed and scratched, and, with no sense of personal space, rub and push against me; I am part of the herd. In exchange for my caring for them, they give me their milk—rich, frothy, white and oh-so-fresh! Then there are the bees. Those girls are buzzing in and out, very busy, ignoring me. But when I open the hive every couple of weeks in the summer, I am greeted with a stunning gift of warm, sweet, golden honey—it seems too good to be true. Into the house these precious products come, and how can I describe the satisfaction and pride I feel as I watch my children dip their fingers into fresh honey, chew on beeswax, and drink fresh, cold milk? This milk, honey and beeswax goes right into my soap and lotion bars . . . and then I get to watch the delight and wonder on customers’ faces when they find out just what is in these products and where it came from! It is an honor to be able to share this bounty with strangers. . . who soon become loyal customers and friends.”
Since moving from Glorieta and into the “urban” environment of Santa Fe, Daven no longer kept her own bees, and her goats have gone to live with a lovely, country-singin’ cowboy, Archie West. But the focus and heart of her business remained unchanged: making beautiful, natural products with the bounty of rich goat milk and warm golden honey and beeswax–and satisfying customers who are astonished by the purity and efficacy of these products.
When you received one of her soaps or lotion bars, they may have been hand-poured by her son Simon, and packaged by her daughter Roan. The packaging was designed by a Santa Fe designer, and strived to be as green as possible for the size of her business: recyclable, reusable, re-giftable, or keepable-foreverable! The artisan designs were thoughtfully created as a collaboration between Daven and local sculptors Stephanie Huerta and Bien Irizarry.
In 2020, Daven was ready to peruse other ventures and the Dobratz Family purchased the company. They had been selling the bars in their yarn shop for years and using them themselves! With Daven’s guidance, they moved production to their hometown of Winter Haven, Florida, found local Florida beekeepers and farmers and continued to make the same beautiful lotion bars (we’ve discontinued the soap). From our Family to yours we hand mix, pour and package every bar.
We are fortunate to have a friend like Daven and to produce a product that we can be proud of.
When you use our products, well, you can read the comments and testimonials throughout this site. Please share your story with us as well!