Sandstone Candle Works in downtown Amherst is offering customers something a little different, a chance to design their own candles to smell.
Located at 166 Park Ave., Sandstone Candle Works is nestled between the many bustling businesses of historic downtown.
When it opened in 2016, Sandstone Candle Works welcomed a small number of customers offering up to 70 scents to choose from for their candles.
Since then, the number has skyrocketed to over 100 different smells, including unique smells like leather, rain and old books.
Co-owner and operator Joni Poli alongside Jim Jenkins came up with the idea for the candle shop while on a trip to Columbus.
“We visited a small candle shop there that gave people the opportunity to make their own candles and choose the scents they wanted,” Poli said. “I liked the idea so much that when I got back to Amherst, I knew they needed it here.”
Customers can expect more than just candles.
In addition to the eight- to 16-ounce candles that customers can make, Sandstone Candle Works offers beard palms, lotions, fondants, misters, and smelly jellies.
Prices range from $15 to $29, depending on pot and items used.
Poli said parties are always welcome.
“We have a small party room at the back of the store that can accommodate up to 25 guests,” she said. “We welcome people to bring their own food and drink, or we can help with catering items for kids’ parties, which are especially fun here.”
The candle making process takes about three and a half hours in total, 90 minutes to choose the scents and dip the candles and the other two hours for the candle to dry.
In the meantime, customers can treat themselves to other merchandise, including puzzles and Amherst memorabilia, or they can go explore the rest of downtown and return when their candle is finished to pick it up.
Poli’s mother and colleague, Nadine Holm, said guests sometimes wonder why the candles lack color.
“We only use premium soy candles from secret recipes that are as natural as possible, so there’s no color,” Holm said. “By adding dyes, it adds chemicals and we try to keep our products clean and sustainable for the environment.”
The candle shop is in the process of getting its liquor license so it can offer its own line of alcoholic beverages to sip while making candles.
“We accommodate everyone here at Sandstone Candle Works, but we especially want to welcome adult guests into the store,” Holm said. “At the moment we are having a beer tasting party, but we hope that soon we will be able to offer our own alcohol as well.”