By Roy Honkanen
I was born only 75 km away from the site of the present Honey Candles shop. This has been my home for 57 years. I’ve lived in the Kootenays my whole life graduating from Kaslo High School in 1974 and then entering the forest industry soon after. I worked for 16 years close by as a logger in the times when logging was a big economic stimulus. I left the forest industry in 1990 and worked as an employee for 10 years in general construction, still in the Kaslo area.
In 2000 an opportunity came along to produce natural beeswax candles. There was no mentor to guide or work with us through this new venture. My daughter, Alecia helped through the high pressure times and then left for university when she thought we were headed in the right direction. Then it was up to my wife, Leah and me to make natural beeswax candles and fill the orders.
Since that time we have grown and expanded our manufacturing facility. We eventually took over the sales and distribution of Honey Candles. We have hired several employees and find ourselves one of the many small businesses in Kaslo that provides important employment in our small community. It has been a huge learning curve for us. We’ve had to learn about the importance of both the quality of the natural beeswax we use and the type of wick for each candle we make. We want our customers to get the best beeswax candle that can be produced.
Over the years I have stepped into almost every job in the shop, but I mainly pour pillar candles. We have quality moulds and take care of them. Our clean, organized and tried procedures make quality beeswax candles next to none. Most recently I have taken on filtering beeswax to be sure we have natural beeswax that results in a candle that burns as perfectly as possible. We want our customers to be happy with their Honey Candles experience.
For myself, I like natural beeswax pillar candles, especially the round ones. They burn and burn as beeswax is naturally long burning. I find they give off a good light and a nice natural honey scent. If I go to a ski hut for a few days all I need are a couple of 3 inch pillars and my headlamp.
It’s important for our customers to know our beeswax candles are carefully handpoured and made in Canada. They are both serviceable and very elegant. I have always maintained that beeswax candles don’t have to be crude.