Manos Soap started in 1940 when founder C. Kay Manos (Pantzis) and her mother, Anastasia, began making soap together in Santorini, Greece. Three years later, the family immigrated to Brooklyn, NY, where Kay and her mother continued making soap in the kitchen of their apartment. Soon their soap became a fixture of neighborhood housewarming events and mini festivals, creating a bridge between the soap-making traditions of their home in Greece and the urban streets of America that would last for four generations.
In 1970, Kay opened Kay’s Luncheonette in Norwalk, CT. Apart from its homemade food and pastries, the luncheonette gained notoriety for its other staple menu item—soap. The luncheonette’s small, handcrafted soap batches became so popular that Kay and her growing family began expanding into the cold process soap-making techniques and new personal care products that Manos is famous for today.