Cutler Candle Company keeps things lit
BELPRE — After opening their store front on Black Friday, the Cutler Candle Company continues to light up Belpre with their array of products.
“It’s a family business,” said Zack Kerns, who owns the store at 230 Washington Blvd., Suite B, with his wife, Stacie. “Stacie does the mixes and colors; we all do the wicking, pouring and labeling.”
The company has been around since 2017, doing craft shows, online sales and pop-up shops at some stores. But it wasn’t until 2018 that they decided to make the leap to their own place, featuring their handcrafted candles, room sprays, wax melts and oils, all using locally sourced products, including parrafin wax for the candles, vegetable blend wax for the melts and Anchor Hocking glassware. Powdered dyes are used for better dissolving color.
“All of our raw products we source within 200 miles of here,” said Kerns. The products are made in Cutler, hence the name. In fact, the labels all feature a photo of the couple’s barn.
The candles come in more than 40 scents with about 10 seasonal scents and in 16-ounce, 20-ounce, half-gallon and gallon sizes. They are testing making 2-gallon sized candles, as well as pillars and votives soon, but want to make sure the scent and burn quality is up to their standards before they hit the shelves.
“We are second-generation candlemakers,” said Kerns. His mother had her own shop selling candles and votives. “After she stopped, we couldn’t get the scent or quality we grew up with and liked, so we would order the products and make candles at Christmas time with the family.”
Eventually this led to their own business, of making what they desired.
“We changed waxes as we went; we went through several until we found our current vendor,” Kerns said. “The way the wax and the wick burn affects the quality of the burn, and we want a burn that is fluent from the top to the bottom and to get the proper scent quality.”
In fact, the search for proper scent quality is why the company does not currently carry vanilla, chocolate or coconut scents.
“They start to smell burnt,” he said. “We’re trying to find an oil we like that doesn’t do that.”
The company still does some shows and just recently attended the Bob Evans Festival, in which they took the second place exhibitor award.
“And this was our first year of going,” Kerns said. “We plan on going to more festivals next year.”
The company also does fundraisers for local and out-of-state organizations, especially schools.
“We stumbled into that; we were trying to do a fundraiser for our daughter’s volleyball team and found a lot of people didn’t want to do a candle one because of glass breakage and the weight,” Kerns said. “So we decided to do the wax melts. There’s no glass; the kids can easily carry them and the price point is small: $4 and the organization will get half.”
He said the company just did eight fundraisers last month and will probably do more.
“November tends to be our busiest month,” Kerns said.
They have done about 30-35 fundraisers a year and are looking to double that number next year.
The storefront not only carries the wax melts and oils, but also diffusers and wax melt lights. They also sell wick dippers for the candles, so instead of blowing out candles when done, the wick is dipped back into the hot wax and pulled out again.
“It helps keep the longevity of the candle and the scent.”
Kerns said the 16-ounce candles should burn for at least four hours to make sure it burns clear to the edge to prevent tunneling. The wax melts for a usual-sized room can run two cubes over two days.
This weekend, the holiday scents will hit the shelves, including Birch Bark, Candy Cane and Peppermint Mocha.
Regular scents available are Apple Dumpling, Apple Orchard, Banana Nut, Black Tie, Cinnamon Stick, Cabernet, Clean Sheets, Crumb Cake, Crushed Cranberry, Daydreams, Endurance, Fall Fest, Honeydew, Hot Orange Danish, Innocence, Lemon Twist, Mango Madness, Maple Butter, Mulberry, Nana’s House, Orange Zest, Papaw’s Pipe, Peach Sangria, Pomegranate Cider, Praline Pecans, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Raspberry Vanilla, Red Pineapple, Rustic Valley, Salted Caramel, Spa and Spiced Latte.
Kerns said their best-sellers are Maple Butter, Banana Nut, Apple Dumpling and Cinnamon Stick. “They sell year-round.”
The company’s website is cutlercandlecompany.com.
Amy Phelps can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.