By Sarah Allen
Candles can be a source of memories and comfort. The right scent at the right time can send someone back to their childhood or can whisk them away to a serene forest.
At Beech Street Candleworks in Lynchburg, many of those moments can be found in a variety of hand-poured, soy-based candles.
The Highland County business was first started by Brent Huffman in 2009. In May 2013, Sharon Bedard purchased the business and, since then, it has “been growing like crazy,” she said.
All of the candles are made on site using fragrance oils and cotton wicks. The jars and lids are made in America, and the soy is grown in the Midwest.
“We try to keep it as simple and pure as possible,” Bedard said.
She described the candle-making process as “very precise.” It begins with heating the jars, measuring the wax and fragrance oils, and then combining and blending those. The materials are weighed out to one-hundredth of an ounce.
The candles are then poured and allowed to set for four days, which, Bedard said, gives “a really nice, consistent fragrance throughout the candle.”
Bedard said the most popular fragrance throughout the year is Appalachian Trail. However, in the summer, Lemon Verbena is “huge, huge, huge,” and the scent, Christmas Memories, was introduced in 2015 and “sold fantastic,” she said.
Other scents include Morning Brew, Dora Bell’s Kitchen, Hillbilly Creek, Moonshine and Nantucket Linen.
One fragrance, named after the county seat of Highland County, is called Hillsboro Twilight. According to the store’s website, the aroma invites patrons to “enjoy the warmth of our hometown.”
The candles can be purchased at stores throughout Highland County, as well as at beechstreetcandleworks.com. They can also be found as far west as South Dakota and as far south as Cocoa Beach, Fla. The candles are in stores throughout South Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana.
Bedard said the American Heart Association has worked with Beech Street Candleworks to design custom melts for certain events.
However, Bedard said, one of the highlights in Beech Street Candleworks’ history was its inclusion in the Grammys. In 2014, the candles were a part of swag bags for a Grammy event honoring Carole King.
And that, Bedard said, “led to a much larger growth of our wholesale business.”
Bedard said future goals for the business include “ramp(ing) up wholesale manufacturing” and getting into at least one nationwide retailer.
However, locally, Beech Street Candleworks has become a community staple far beyond its candles.
In October 2015, the business moved into a storefront in the village of Lynchburg. There, shoppers can browse, not only for candles and melts, but also for handmade jewelry, furniture and local photography.
“The store side is really fun,” Bedard said, adding that the goal is to “grow the local artisans.”
In addition, Beech Street Candleworks hosts painting parties. For a small fee, people can enjoy a “great night out,” Bedard said, while painting everything from pumpkins to cocoa mugs, and from Christmas ornaments to wine glasses. Food is provided and wine is allowed. Four to six parties are hosted each month.
BEECH STREET CANDLEWORKS
Address: 111 S. Main St., Lynchburg, OH 45142