Unique and Delightful Local Candles Made in NH

You may have missed Ross Mingarelli’s CandleTree Soy Candles in Concord – it’s only 84 square feet

Smelling a crayon can take you back to your childhood. Ross Mingarelli of CandleTree Soy Candles puts wicks in scented wax to take you wherever you want to go. Mixing a pinch of this, a thimbleful of that into his secret candle potions, he works in a space the size of a Hobbit’s closet on Concord’s Main Street, yet displays upward of 1,000 candles at a time. Wild blueberry, fresh tangerine, buttered popcorn — even dill pickle and beef jerky.  So flick a Bic, spin up some light jazz, and just kick back to dancing lights and simmering scents. Choose your pleasure, inhale and enjoy. Ah, the good life, illuminated.

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Photo by David Mendelsohn

  • I was born and raised in Warner. I own a small tree service business and usually have no work in the winter except for plowing snow. This means I have a lot of time to fill. 
  • One of my friends mentioned to me that I should check out Pinterest to look for some hobbies I could try. I first started making candles as a hobby in the winter five years ago.
  • I picked up all the supplies I felt I needed to start experimenting — plus I picked up a soy candle book. 
  • I use 100% soy wax, which is all natural and clean burning. Some other candles use paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based — the smoke that comes off the candle can be bad for your lungs and body.
  • Every time I made a candle, I got different options on how I could improve each candle I made. I spent countless hours and a lot of money trying to figure things out. 
  • My candles are offered in 10-ounce square jars with wood tops, but I can also make custom candles in any size to the customer’s request. I’ve even had fun making 500-ounce candles with different themes like “Batman and The Joker.”
  • My colors are custom because it makes my candles more unique and fun to make. I currently have over 600 candle scents, and this will continue to grow as time goes on.
  • My store on North Main Street is only 7 by 12 feet, just 84 square feet.
  • At first I was nervous because of how small it was, but then I started making the place my own, and after a couple months, I ended up making this a long-term opening. This little store was now getting new people hooked on CandleTree, and my customer base has grown a lot.
  • The business name came from [combining] my tree service business and my candle business, hence “CandleTree.”
  • Customer favorites are getting varied now but some are: farmhouse cider, apple harvest, cocktails by the pool. white sage and sea salt, lilac, pineapple orchid, and lemon lavender.
  • I plan on making my candle business my full-time priority. I feel like candlemaking found me, and that is how I know I was meant to be a candle maker, aka the “Candle Man.”

Getting a Handle on Candles

Church Candles In Red And Yellow Transparent Chandeliers

Last year, Ross Mingarelli created what he thinks is the largest soy candle in the entire state of New Hampshire — a 500-ounce monster (actually designed to look like a minion from the movie “Despicable Me”) using a parfait of his popular lemon-blueberry scent. With the advent of electricity providing abundant light (and even appearing in tiny faux-candle flicker lights), the humble candle must now perform such stunts to remain relevant, but the glories of waxy illumination go back thousands of years to the dawn of civilization. The ancient Egyptians soaked reeds in animal fat about 5,000 years ago, and within a couple of millennia had developed candles with wicks of papyrus dipped in beeswax. Colonists in early New England discovered that boiling the grayish-green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned cleanly. Extracting the wax from the bayberries was tedious, so the popularity of bayberry candles diminished. Now, as far as scents and colors are concerned, the sky is the limit.

Categories: People