Unique and delicious local candles made in NH

You might have missed Ross Mingarelli’s CandleTree soy candles in Concord – it’s only 84 square feet

Smelling a pencil can take you back to your childhood. Ross Mingarelli of CandleTree Soy Candles puts wicks in scented wax to take you anywhere you want to go. Mixing a pinch of this, a dice of that into his Secret Candle Potions, he works in a space the size of a Hobbit’s closet on Main Street in Concord, but displays over 1,000 candles at a time. Wild blueberry, fresh tangerine, buttered popcorn – even dill pickle and beef jerky. So throw in a Bic, spin some light jazz, and just relax in the dancing lights and simmered scents. Choose your pleasure, inhale and savor. Ah, the good life, illuminated.

Photo by David Mendelsohn

  • I was born and raised in Warner. I own a small tree service business and usually don’t have a job in the winter except snow removal. This means that I have a lot of time to fill.
  • A friend of mine told me I should check out Pinterest to find some hobbies I could try. I started making candles as a winter hobby five years ago.
  • I picked up all the supplies I needed to start experimenting – plus picked up a pound of soy candles.
  • I use 100% soy wax, which burns completely naturally and cleanly. Some other candles use paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based – the smoke from the candle can be bad for your lungs and body.
  • Each time I made a candle I had different options to improve each candle I made. I have spent countless hours and a lot of money trying to figure things out.
  • My candles come in 10 ounce square jars with wooden tops, but I can also make custom candles of any size upon customer request. I even had fun making 500 ounce candles with different themes like “Batman and The Joker”.
  • My colors are personalized because it makes my candles more unique and fun to make. I currently have over 600 candle scents, and that will continue to grow over time.
  • My store on North Main Street is only 7 by 12 feet, which is 84 square feet.
  • At first I was nervous about its small size, but then I started to take ownership of the place, and after a few months I ended up making it a long-term opening. This little store was now attracting new people hooked on CandleTree, and my customer base has grown a lot.
  • The name of the company comes from [combining] my tree service business and my candle business, hence “CandleTree”.
  • Customers’ favorites are more and more varied, but some are: farm cider, apple harvest, cocktails by the pool. white sage and sea salt, lilac, pineapple orchid and lemon lavender.
  • I plan to make my candle business my full time priority. I feel like candle making found me, and that’s how I know I was supposed to be a candle maker, aka the “Candle Man”.

Get a handle on the candles

Church candles in red and yellow transparent chandeliers

Last year Ross Mingarelli created what he believes to be the largest soy candle in the whole of New Hampshire – a 500-ounce monster (actually designed to look like a servant from the movie “Despicable Me” ) using a popular lemon parfait – a blueberry scent. With the advent of electricity providing abundant light (and even appearing in tiny sparkling false candle lights), the humble candle must now perform such stunts to remain relevant, but the glories of waxy enlightenment can be traced back to thousands of years until the dawn of civilization. The ancient Egyptians dipped reeds in animal fat about 5,000 years ago, and within a few millennia had developed candles with papyrus wicks dipped in beeswax. Settlers in early New England discovered that boiling the greyish green berries of bayberry berries produced a fragrant wax that burned cleanly. Extracting wax from berry berries was tedious, so the popularity of berry candles declined. Now, when it comes to scents and colors, the sky is the limit.

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About Aaron Humphreys


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