suffolk candle Company
This month we spoke to Patrick, the owner of Suffolk Candle Co, learning how the company started and what's next for the business.
What's the suffolk candle co story?
For 30 years, I worked in the software industry, most recently for BT, but I just fancied a change of direction. One of my children, whilst in year 12 at school, was involved with a project where a group of students had to make and sell a product; they chose to make candles, and were remarkably successful. So when I was looking for a change of direction, I thought that it would be interesting to make and sell candles for a year and see how it went. Five years later I'm still doing it, and enjoying meeting a completely different group of people from those I dealt with in my previous career.
What makes TSCC a cool place to work?
Cool? Not sure it has ever been cool, but I certainly enjoy being my own boss, and having the opportunity to develop the business as I wish.
What's next for your business?
Working with new fragrances is always fascinating, trying to figure out what might appeal to people, not just to myself. We are also looking at wax melts, which seem to be increasingly popular now; an easy way to fill the house with fragrance without having to have a naked flame.
Best business moment?
I think it has to be when I sold to my first retailer. It was a new enterprise, and I wasn't really sure how good my products were, but the buyer was clear that they were delighted with the candles.
A valuable lesson you have learnt...
Stick with what you believe in. Keeping it handmade. Having the products made by a candle manufacturing company would be easy enough, but I would lose the hands on element, which allows me to keep a very careful eye on quality.
What's your favourite product?
Candles in tins! So versatile, and you can throw one in a suitcase so wherever you end up, you can have your favourite scent with you (although not in a hotel of course).
How many products do you make?
We currently have a range of candles in black and white glass containers, or tins, and as diffusers across a range of 17 fragrances.
There are a range of fragrances, from light and fresh to dark and spicy, and as everyone is different you can pick your own signature scent. My personal favourite is one called 'Spice', which has notes of Cedarwood, Jasmine and Patchouli, which we have burning much of the time at home.
Favourite song and why?
Ashes to Ashes, by the amazing David Bowie. I was lucky enough to see him in concert many years ago, and his music regularly gets played on the speakers in the workshop.
What's your best joke?
Anyone who has heard one of my jokes will politely inform you that I really don't have a best joke! But seeing as I make candles, it would have to be something candle related. How about... "I'm a big fan of candle holders. Or Birthday cakes, as I call them".
Thank you to Patrick for taking the time to answer our questions, and be sure to check out the range of candles from Suffolk Candle Co in the Food Hall.