Light the wick of a scented candle and smell the aroma. Hundreds of shapes, sizes, and varieties are made inside the factory at Paramold Manufacturing, a fifth-generation business that has been around since 1852.
Tess Bosse and Katy Szabo are partners in Paramold Manufacturing. They said they have childhood memories of the factory. Along with Rick Koster, they are proof that you can mix work and family.
Their father's great-grandfather started the business in Holland. Tariffs on imported beeswax reached an all-time high in 1930. That is when their family came to New York. Tess said the rumor is they fell asleep on the train from Manhattan and woke up in Sayville.
The 60,000-square-foot factory sits on 17 acres of land that was once used to sun bleach their own beeswax. Rick said in addition to beeswax, candles are made from soy wax, orange peel wax, palm wax, coconut wax, and more.
Paramold was one of the first and still is one of the largest tea light manufacturers in the country. Their grandfather Joseph Koster invented the granulator machine. Wax starts as a liquid. It's sprayed in the air as it cools and then turned into a powder before it's pressed. The machine can make up to 45,000 pieces an hour. The candles get wicked, clipped, and cupped.
Research and development take place in the lab, where new fragrances are made and candles and waxes are tested.
Rick said the company has worked with Walmart, Michaels, Wicks & Sticks, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. Paramold makes over $10 million each year, has 45 employees, produces up to 6 million candles each week, and sells wholesale throughout the country, Canada, South America and Europe.
While manufacturing locally is more expensive, the trio has great pride in their business and being able to employ and support local workers and their families.
There are many methods to manufacturing candles. Floater and pillar candles are pressed and then over dipped. Some candles are hand poured for a special touch. 90 Bourne is the newest line, named after the street address to pay homage to the company's history.
And while all candles come to an end, Katy, Tess, and Rick vow to keep the family flame alive.