September 20, 2020

BY JESSICA LANTHIER

Some residents of southern Ontario kicked off the Christmas season early by attending Country Home Candles’ 27th annual Christmas Open House from Nov. 22 to 25.  The family-owned candle factory, which is always filled with delectable fragrances, was the essence of the holiday season thanks to cheerful music, special deals, Christmas decorations and the opportunity to give.

Peter Northgraves owns Country Home Candles with his wife Karen. The business is  located on Middleton Church Road in Delhi, approximately one hour from Kitchener-Waterloo. He said every year the entire staff decorates a dazzling Christmas tree and sells tickets for people to win it with all of the proceeds going to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper program. The winner of the raffle gets to keep the tree, ornaments and all.

“Giving back is important,” he said, “especially around the holiday season.”

The four-day open house featured special deals on the famous candles, flameless home fragrances such as reed diffusers, holiday decorations, jewelry and accessories, various assortments of soaps and body care and several food items, including gourmet dips and drink mixes.

Karen Northgraves thinks the open house turns out better every year and has her daughters to thank for it. Lauren, 23, Abby, 21, and Hannah, 19, (currently in Venezuela for a one-year exchange program) have all worked at the store and have just as much passion for it as their parents do.

“The girls are helpful,” Karen said. “We have social media pages for it, but they (the girls) spread the word to a lot of our customers.”

The candle factory has been open since 1991 and has been astoundingly successful. The Northgraves’ products sell well not only in their own factory, but also in several franchised stores such as Green Earth. Currently, Country Home Candles has retail partners in places across the globe such as Ireland, the UK and in the United States.

Peter said he is proud that they have had such success, especially since they started out as a small family business.

“We’re an independent business so to be selling our products worldwide is a pretty good achievement.”

Daughter Abby, a student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, said she loves to work at the yearly open houses because it’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

“We put on Christmas music all day so everyone is always in a great mood when they shop for their family,” she said. “Who doesn’t love Christmas carols?”

Jennifer Reece, a personal support worker and currently a stay-at-home mom of three (with one along the way) certainly does.

“I always come here for the open house,” she said. “It’s my favourite place to buy gifts for my parents and in-laws.”

Reece, who bought three raffle tickets for the Christmas tree, said her favourite fragrance is Country Home Candle’s signature item, Grandma’s Kitchen.

“It’s the essence of the holidays but is still casual enough to burn every day.”