Honey Candles are handmade in Kaslo, BC, using 100% pure beeswax. These beautiful candles are long-burning, all natural, and purify the air. The multi-generational Honkanen family runs Honey Candles, and they are passionate about producing the highest quality candles, supporting local jobs, giving back through social initiatives, conserving the environment and protecting honey bees.
Who are the people behind Honey Candles?
Daughter and Son-in-law, Alecia and Stephen Neville, and parents Leah and Roy Honkanen, along with an amazing team of local staff.
What do you make?
Honey Candles make a diverse assortment of pure beeswax candles.
How would you describe your company?
Our dedicated team of people takes pride in each candle they make for you. Quality always comes first.
How long have you been in business?
Roy and Leah have been running Honey Candles in Kaslo for the past 16 years. We are excited to be passing our business on to our daughter Alecia and son-in-law Stephen. For Alecia, it is a joy to move back to Kaslo from Fort St John and Stephen is excited to move to the Kootenay’s for work and for our outdoor lifestyle. They brought their two young daughters and have a new baby girl. It is a delight for Roy and Leah and all the Honey Candles team to have their energy and new ideas. They share the company principals of producing a quality product as well as providing quality jobs for Kaslo and area.
What are some of your greatest joys?
One of our greatest joys is the feedback we receive. This week a customer was saying how she does not like to overload friends and family with presents throughout the holiday season however, she likes to give our candles as gifts, “As they are symbolic of the light that we attempt to bring into the world at this time of season”.
We also derive joy from the social initiatives that we are involved in, such as the Life Candle program, and the ways our company has found to contribute to honey bee conservation and environmental protection.
What is the Life Candle Program?
As a manufacturer of natural beeswax candles, we have beeswax remnants leftover from the candle making process. In collaboration with Canadian Food For Children, a volunteer-run organization with British Columbia offices, we developed an initiative called the Life Candle Program. Since May 2008 we have sent over 1200 Life Candles to families across the world. Through the Life Candle Program, we re-melt the leftover beeswax and pour it into small reused tins (tuna cans, soup cans, bean cans) collected by staff and management.
Candles are often the only source of light and heat for families in dire situations. We believe it’s important for families to have beeswax candles because the wax burns longer, brighter and hotter than any other candle wax. This means Life Candles are very useful for families who might otherwise go without light or a means to heat food and shelters.
And you seem to be passionate about honey bee protection too, how does Honey Candles contribute to conserving honey bee populations?
Most of us don’t think about the honey bees until we see them flying around our gardens and orchards in the spring and summer. They make us smile because we know they pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat. Just think about the fresh peaches and apples we so enjoy – oh yes, and our precious beeswax Honey Candles! Honey bees are a vital resource in our ecosystem.
Since 2007 honey bee populations have declined dramatically and colony collapse disorder has resulted in bees disappearing by the millions around the world. There may not be a perfect solution to this problem but research is needed to discover the options.
We created our Peek-a-Bee candles as a way to give back: for every purchase of a Honey Candles Peek-a-Bee, $2.00 is donated to research. By using pure beeswax, and when we and our customers purchase 100% pure beeswax candles and other bee related products such as honey, bee pollen and propolis, we support the fragile beekeeping industry and encourage beekeepers to continue establishing apiaries.
What is your vision for your company?
With the support of Roy and Leah and the experience of the Honey Candles team Alecia and Stephen will continue to grow Honey Candles and providing new items at our customer’s request. In just the past 6 months they have added Heritage Drip Pillars and Hanukkah Candles.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
Supporting local businesses not only provides direct jobs, it also provides a huge amount of spinoff. Not only in local purchasing by our employees, but also in the purchases local business make to other business, tradespeople and contractors. The compounding benefit ensures careers and employment for a huge variety of people and this keeps our communities vibrant and thriving.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Kootenay Co-op customers have been fabulous advocates of Honey Candles and have helped support our focus of providing quality local products. Thanks so much.