Soft as a Grape comes roaring back with production of fashion masks

Jun 23, 2020

After being closed for several months, the Soft as a Grape facility on Marion Road has come roaring back to life as 90 percent of employees are hard at work producing a huge variety of fun and fashionable masks.

Even the company’s owner, Allen Katzen, was hard at work at the heat press.

Raymond Nicoletti, chief operating officer at Soft As A Grape, said that the staff has been excited to be back at work and creating a fun new product.

“We had to be working, and everybody needed masks. We knew it was a good idea when everybody wanted one,” Nicoletti said.

Nicoletti said that the company is working to make masks a fun part of people’s wardrobes.

“We realized that a mask is like a pair of socks -- you need one for each day of the week now,” Nicoletti said. “Everyone here ar work matches their shirt to theur masks. It’s a new part of the wardrobe.”

The company is trying to have enough designs so that there is something for everybody, Nicoletti explained. Designs include sequin martini glasses, peace signs, anchors, and unicorns, alongside screen-printed favorites like sharks, oars, motorcycles, and guitars.

The strategy seems to be working -- Nicoletti said that shoppers often leave with anywhere from five to ten masks in hand.

“If you’ve gotta wear a mask, make it look cool. Everyone chooses the maks based upon how they feel,” Nicoletti said.

All the masks are made with three layers of 100 percent cotton fabric, and are machine-washable.

The masks are on sale every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting, at the company’s 328 Marion Road location. A variety of other products from the company’s warehouse are also for sale, often at deep discounts.