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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.



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

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

Easy Melt Cup System

Scenterpiece Easy Melt Cup System



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



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



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



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



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.



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



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.



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



Macintosh debuts.



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.



Sage & Citrus debuts.



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

Car Jar® Air Fresheners debut.



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



Clean Cotton® and Lilac Blossoms debut.



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



Balsam & Cedar debuts.



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.



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.



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.



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.



Pineapple Cilantro debuts.

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



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.



Pink Sands™ and Bahama Breeze™ debut.

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



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



Scenterpiece™ Easy Melt Cup System debuts.



Girl Scout Cookies® candle collection debuts.

We now produce over 200 million candles per year.

Sales of Personalized Photo Candles reach $1 million in the first year they’re offered.

The Yankee Candle Company hits $1 billion in sales for the year.



We begin rolling out our new logo and an updated, removable label design.

Charming Scents debuts.

To keep up with the growing demand of fans across the globe, we open our first production plant overseas, in the Czech Republic.

Our first national TV ad campaign airs.

Jarden (and Yankee Candle) is acquired by Newell Brands.

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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