Handmade soy candle company Candelles went from a startup that once operated out of the kitchen of its co-founders to a thriving business in just three years because of the amenities and services it received from CAN BE.
Co-founders Kelley Major and C.J. Graaf chose to move into the CAN BE Innovation Center in November of 2017 because it offered the company a small space to start out with the option to expand when it was ready. They are now taking that next step and moving into a 6,800 square-foot space in the CAN DO Corporate Center in Drums.
Just 15 months after Candelles moved into a 900 square-foot space at CAN BE, the company expanded to 2,500 square feet, which allowed it to streamline its own operations and provide fulfillment services for other small businesses.
Major said the options and services CAN BE provided the company included the support it needed to grow into the operation it is today.
“CAN BE's facility has been an awesome starting point to begin scaling Candelles. By providing us a utility-included rent option that increased yearly as we grew, and having the flexibility to grow from 900 square feet to 2,500 square feet, it really made the jump from a small office space to an actual warehouse setting seem much less daunting,” she said.
In addition to growing its physical space, Candelles has also expanded its workforce since moving into CAN BE. In 2017 when the company moved in, Major and Graaf were handling all the work themselves. Now, they are a seven-person team and had a total of 10 employees during the busy holiday season. Major hopes to have as many as 15 to 20 people on staff by the end of 2021.
Major said CAN BE is an ideal place for small businesses owners to start their operations.
“They can assist in helping form your business and all the red tape that goes behind it, as well as connect you with helpful services local to the community. They also provide start-ups the opportunity to get out of their homes or garages and create a more professional working space, which can be crucial to making your dream business a reality,” she said.
Candelles worked with Griff Keefer of Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate to find their new location in the CAN DO Corporate Center. Hinerfeld CRE provides leasing services to the owners of the multi-tenant office/warehouse flex industrial building that Candelles moved into. Keefer said that Hinerfeld's longstanding relationship with CAN DO made finding a new home for Candelles an easy process.
“Hinerfeld CRE works regularly and cooperatively with CAN DO to assist in commercial real estate projects in the Greater Hazleton area. We set up a tour of the space with the property owner and Candelles. Following the tour, Candelles found one of the available spaces to be suitable for their needs and selected a 6,800 square-foot space with office, distribution/manufacturing space, and docks,” he said. “The ongoing interactive communication, experience and market knowledge of CAN DO and Hinerfeld CRE provided quickly viable options for Candelles to find a new home to expand their business operations.”
Keefer added that CAN DO is an organization that “fosters a positive and professional business atmosphere” and is “essential to the successful growth of businesses in the region.”
“Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate has enjoyed a sustained, collaborative relationship with CAN DO for many years. In our past dealings, we've communicated on possible best uses for the available properties and CAN DO provided valuable input on available industry support programs the prospective owners could engage,” he said. “Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate holds the team at CAN DO in the highest regard for its skill and professionalism in the industry. We especially thank Joe Lettiere and his staff for their longstanding support of the Greater Hazleton area business community and their confidence in Hinerfeld CRE as a partner in the commercial real estate markets in Northeast PA.”