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The Yankee Candle Story

The Yankee Candle Company
A True American Success Story

On a cold, December night in South Hadley, Massachusetts, a 16-year-old high school student sat at his family's kitchen table. Christmas was just around the corner and he didn't have any money to buy a gift for his mother. Fortunately, his desperation led to inspiration.

He decided to make a candle for his mom because it would be a completely unique and personal gift, something she would really appreciate. He also knew she was a little nostalgic, too, and that memories and emotions were important to her. Best of all, she loved to celebrate the holidays.

So he created a simple candle from everyday materials he found there in the kitchen: household wax, a red crayon, some string for a wick and a milk carton for the mold. A neighbor happened to see the candle before he could give it to his mother and was so impressed, she convinced him to sell it to her. With his newfound wealth, the teenager bought enough materials to make two new candles, one for his mother and another to sell. And that's how Yankee Candle was born.

Today, The Yankee Candle Company is proud to be a part of so many people's lives, from celebrating special moments to making every day brighter. Because of this, we have a uniquely personal relationship with our customers. It's something we never take for granted. After nearly 50 years, we remain as particular, passionate, creative, caring and genuine as ever. We still make sure that every product and service we offer reflect the things that matter most to us and to you.

1969

 

A 16-year-old high school student created a candle for his Mom’s Christmas gift, using canning wax, red crayons, kitchen string, and a milk carton. He begins to design and handcraft candles in his family's kitchen. With his father's help, he opens a small retail shop. That number would grow to more than 575 retail stores and over 35,000 authorized retailers worldwide.

Original Logo

Original Logo

First Mail
Order Catalog

First Mail Order Catalog

Original
South Deerfield, MA Store

Original South Deerfield, MA Store

Hand-colored Labels

Hand-colored Labels

First Retail Store
Sturbridge, MA

First Retail Store, Sturbridge, MA

First Housewarmer®
Jar Candles

First Housewarmer Jar Candles

Bavarian Christmas Village

Bavarian Christmas Village

Chandler's Restaurant

Chandler's Restaurant

Yankee Candle® Factory

Yankee Candle Factory

Car Jar®
Air Fresheners

Car Jar Air Fresheners

Williamsburg Village

Williamsburg Village

Good Air™ Collection

Good Air Collection

Scenterpiece™
Easy Melt Cup System

Scenterpiece Easy Melt Cup System

1973

 

All 12 employees of the company now known as Yankee Candle move into an old paper mill in Holyoke, Mass.

1974

 

Our first scented apothecary candle jars hit the market. Early favorites are Bayberry, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Pine, and French Vanilla.

1977

 

Yankee Candle is THE big story at the Boston Gift Show. Retailers nationwide take notice and place big orders for their stores.

1981

 

We send out our very first mail order catalog. Today, we send out over six million catalogs featuring “scratch & sniff” fragrances.

1983

 

We move our store to South Deerfield, Mass., the busy crossroads for most auto traffic between New York and Vermont. Company sales reach $1 million.

1984

 

The Yankee Candle factory follows to South Deerfield, and the flagship store adds unique specialty shops and eateries. Honeydew Melon debuts.

1986

 

We introduce full-color printing on our labels. Previously, every illustration was filled in by hand with colored pencils!

Our first retail store outside of our factory store opens in Sturbridge, MA.

1990

 

Our line of Housewarmer® Jar Candles, designed “for every room, for all occasions,” debuts.

1991

 

An annual tradition begins! Santa makes his first helicopter arrival at the flagship store in South Deerfield.

1993

 

The Bavarian Christmas Village opens in our South Deerfield store, helping to make it one of New England's most popular attractions.

1994

 

Home Sweet Home® and MidSummer’s Night® debut.

We turn 25! Our factory moves to a larger home in Whately, Mass.

1995

 

Chandler’s Restaurant opens its doors at our South Deerfield Village.

1996

 

We launch our first website (yankeecandle.com), welcoming a new generation of customers and giving long-time fans a new way to shop. Annual sales pass $100 million.

1997

 

Macintosh debuts.

1998

 

Forstmann Little & Co. purchase Yankee Candle. Christmas Cookie debuts.

Across the ocean we go, to Bristol, England, where Yankee Candle International now serves customers in 24 countries.

1999

 

Sage & Citrus debuts.

2000

 

With over 1,000 candlemakers, we create more than 80 million Yankee Candles.

Car Jar® Air Fresheners debut.

2001

 

In the wake of September 11, we donate thousands of candles for memorial services across the country.

2002

 

Clean Cotton® and Lilac Blossoms debut.

2003

 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of our South Deerfield Village store, we open Santa’s Enchanted Village inside the store.

2004

 

Balsam & Cedar debuts.

2005

 

We open our second Yankee Candle Village flagship store in Williamsburg, Va. Each Village store features 400,000 candles in over 200 different famous Yankee scents.

2006

 

In November, working hard to meet holiday demand, our team set a record by creating 1,054,182 Jar Candles in seven days! Vanilla Cupcake and Lemon Lavender debut.

2007

 

Sun & Sand®, Mango Peach Salsa, Red Apple Wreath and Sparkling Cinnamon debut.

For the second year in a row, the Country Music Awards named Yankee Candle the official candle of Country Music’s biggest night.

2008

 

Our Williamsburg Village Store celebrated its first wedding as a couple married under the indoor snow shower that falls year-round at both our Village Stores.

2009

 

Pineapple Cilantro debuts.

We kicked off our 40th birthday year with a fresh start, introducing our Good Air™ candles.

2010

 

Yankee Candle becomes the #1 premium scented candle in the United Kingdom. Yankee Candle Fundraising helps generate over $15 million for more than 12,000 local and national groups.

2011

 

Pink Sands™ and Bahama Breeze™ debut.

We open our first company-owned retail stores in Canada.

2013

 

Yankee Candle joins Jarden Corporation’s portfolio of leading branded companies.

2014

 

Scenterpiece™ Easy Melt Cup System debuts.

2015

 

Girl Scout Cookies® candle collection debuts.

We now produce over 200 million candles per year.

Yankee Candle® employs more than 6,000 skilled, dedicated workers around the world. You can find Yankee Candle® Stores in more than 575 locations, and our popular candles, fragrances and accessories are available at over 35,000 Authorized Yankee Candle® Retailers. Chances are good there's one near you.

Unlike many brands, our story is your story, too. Yankee Candle® shares your passion around making each day a little brighter, a little better, a little more enjoyable with your favorite fragrance. We're honored to be part of that, and it's a responsibility we've never taken lightly.

As a favorite gift, a cherished tradition, or a way to make wherever you are feel like home, you can always count on Yankee Candle®. Thank you for making us part of your life.

 

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