Welcome to Vanguard Soap
We are an industry leader in manufacturing new-to-market organic, natural and sustainable products.
Our quality systems are unparalleled, as we are the only ISO 9001 registered facility for both bar and liquid soaps, and we also maintain certification for Organic products, FDA-registered drug items, RSPO products and non-GMO products.
First Generation: 1943-1972
Charles Breazeale earned his chemistry degree at age 19 during the Great Depression, and after years of odd jobs he began his soap career in 1938 as the chemist at Tennessee Soap Company. In 1943 he developed a new line of washing powders. The company’s owner allowed Charlie and his wife Evelyn to form Valley Products Co. to produce their powders at night after he finished his work day.
In 1945 they bought our current plant site and expanded into bar soap, liquid soap, sanitary/janitorial products, and car washing products. In 1951 they bought Tennessee Soap after Charlie’s boss passed away. The Korean War brought large contracts to make GI bar soap, and by 1960 75% of Valley’s business was making US Government bar soap, laundry soap, pumice soap and aircraft engine cleaner.
Second Generation: 1966 to 2005
Jim Breazeale joined the business in 1966 at a time when the business had overextended into too many products and become too dependent on declining government work. He downsized the operation to its most profitable core and began to seek ways to diversify from government work. In 1967 he bought a New York soap company to further expand soap base production. In 1969 he started a new division processing vegetable oils into fatty acids, and over the years he expanded that business to that point today that we process millions of pounds of material per month.
In the 1970s and 1980s Valley re-entered the bar soap market with significant acquisitions. Jim bought the assets of bar soap makers in Virginia in 1979 and California in 1987. In 1997 he acquired assets of a New Jersey soap company in order to expand the industrial soap and soap base business. Valley Products now had 3 divisions: consumer bar soap, industrial soap, and fatty acids.
Third Generation: 1998 to Present
Jeff Breazeale joined Valley Products in 1998, starting in the consumer bar division. He became president in 1999. In 2009 Jeff and his management team formed Vanguard Soap to buy the assets of the original family bar soap business. Vanguard started producing liquid soaps and body washes in 2010. The team focused exclusively on organic growth, and more than doubled the business.
In 2013 Vanguard vertically integrated into base making by buying the assets of Valley’s base and industrial soap division. In 2014 the shareholder groups of Vanguard Soap and Valley Products Co. came together into one holding company, with Jeff leading Vanguard Soap and his brother-in-law Ken Roberts leading Valley Products.
Vanguard Soap Leadership
Jeff Breazeale, Chairman & CEO
Jeff started with Valley Products Co. in 1998, as a third generation President. Vanguard Soap was later formed after his purchase of the bar soap division from Valley. Prior to 1998 Jeff was a manager with the Boston Consulting Group, where he was a member of the Consumer and Retail and Corporate Development practices. Jeff graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Business School. His interests outside work include many activities with his wife and 4 kids, playing guitar in two groups, and rowing. He is active in the Young Presidents’ Organization, serving on the board of the Southern 7 chapter.
Chris Pendergrass, President
Chris joined Vanguard in 2015 as President. A native Texan, he was formerly with Presco Polymers, a manufacturer of engineered plastic films and marking products, where he rose from engineering intern to President over 16 years. Chris earned a BA in Chemistry from Austin College, a BS in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Chris is active in the Young Presidents’ Organization, his church, and various community organizations. He loves playing golf, but spends most of his time and gets most of his exercise keeping up with wife and two young sons.
John Little, VP of Operations
John Little has 20 years of experience managing bar soap manufacturing operations, and 9 years of experience in liquids manufacturing, first at Marietta Corporation, and then with our team since 2004. John has another 10 years of experience in operations management running high speed packaging operations for large international manufacturers. John is a self-made operations leader who started as an hourly steel worker with Bayou Steel, then landed a supervisor role, and then was promoted to higher and higher operations leadership roles over his career. John’s outside activities include family, golf and hunting in our area.
Glenn Davis, Controller
Glenn Davis has 30 years of experience in manufacturing and retail accounting operations; he has been a member of our team since 2008. Prior to this, Glenn was the Division Controller for Dolco Packaging, manufacturer of foam egg cartons, plates and foodservice containers, with 8 manufacturing locations throughout the US. The first 10 years of his career Glenn worked for Fortune 500 companies – (Packaging Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tenneco Inc. and Diamond International Corporation). Glenn received his BS in Accounting from Husson University in Bangor, ME. Glenn’s outside activities include fishing, softball and hunting with family in his home state of Maine.
Scott Smith, Director R&D, Industrial Market Leader
Scott Smith has been in personal care manufacturing and development for over 20 years, and with our team since 2010. Scott is part of our business development team, leading our R&D efforts and also serving as sales leader for industrial markets. Prior to joining us he was VP Operations and Technical for a personal care ingredient manufacturer. Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Environmental Science. He is involved in many activities including family, sailing, snow skiing, and mountain biking. He is an active member of both the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS).
Mark Pritchard, Sales Manager and HBA Market Leader
Mark Pritchard has over 30 years of experience in bar soap and personal care product manufacturing, serving in a variety of senior sales, financial and general management positions. A British citizen, Mark started his career in accounting with a public British engineering company, and then a multi-national equipment manufacturer, where he moved to the US as controller of US operations. Mark then joined Twincraft Soap as CFO and then VP/General Manager. After this Mark became sales manager of a gift set manufacturer. In 2004 he joined us as a sales rep, and was promoted to sales manager in 2009. Mark is a UK qualified Certified Accountant with an accounting degree from West Bromwich College. Mark’s outside interests include exercising and caring for his adopted German Shepherds and other dogs.
Ken Roberts, Sales Manager, Health and Beauty Aids
Ken serves Vanguard Soap as Sales Manager, HBA (Health and Beauty Aids). He has over 20 years of manufacturing experience at all levels, and he has a particular passion for business development area of the company. He holds a BBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. Outside of the office he can be found on the tennis court, a trout stream or on the sideline of one of his 3 children’s soccer or lacrosse games. He is an active member of the World President’s Organization, Church of the Holy Communion, and serves on the City of Memphis Wastewater Hearing Authority Board.
At Vanguard Soap, we strive to be the highest quality company in meeting the needs of our customers. Our valued suppliers play an integral role in that by helping Vanguard Soap keep its costs competitive while maintaining high quality and on time delivery.
We utilize a rigorous supplier approval process as well as a supplier scorecard to ensure proper communication of both our and our vendors’ expectations and abilities. We are always looking for new and strategic vendor partners. To introduce your company to Vanguard Soap, please email us in order to contact our supply chain team.