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Candle cash headed my way

The mind sure works in strange ways.

On Christmas Day at my sister-in-law’s home in Roanoke Rapids, I was watching my wife open her mountain of gifts from her family members. There were so many presents that she opted to let me tear open a few in order to speed up the process. If I didn’t lend a hand, we would be there until Easter.

There was one to her from her nephew and his family. I ripped the wrapping from the box and discovered two Yankee Candles. That’s exactly what we (err, make that what Deborah needed)…two more candles to add to a growing collection. There’s more wax in our house that one would find at the famous Hollywood Wax Museum.

While I have nothing against candles (they do come in handy when the electricity goes out), I’m none too crazy about having “Yankee” stuff in my house. I am, after all, a Southern man (not in a racial way)…born and bred below the Mason-Dixon Line.

It got me to thinking…why not have candles in our house made in the south. The first thing to pop in my mind was is there such a thing as Confederate Candles.

After a little Internet research, there is a Confederate Candle Company. I’m pretty sure they do a fine job of making scented candles, but they are located in Rogers, Ohio. It seems that both major candle companies are located in the north (South Deerfield, Massachusetts is the home of the Yankee Candle Company).

While surfing the worldwide web for candle information, I ran across a financial press release from the Yankee Candle Company. In it, the company reported their revenue, expenses and net income for 2007. My eyes popped open as I learned that something as simple as a candle could generate truckloads of cold, hard cash. Get this: last year, Yankee Candles reported retail sales of $407.7 million. Wholesale revenue stood at $329.3 million. By the time all the bills were paid, the company netted nearly $50 million in profit.

Fifty million bucks in the pocket for molded mounds of wax, poured in a glass, with a wick in the middle.

The key must be in their various scents. Just by lighting one of these candles will have your home smelling like vanilla, or lavender, or cotton, or…..you name it, there’s a candle that smells like it.

Perhaps I ought to look into a candle making career. How ‘bout Cal’s Carolina Candle Company? And keeping with my Southern roots, there’ll be no fancy dancy fragrances. Look for my candles to be aptly named Road Kill Possum, Essence of Outhouse, Hog Killing Day, Fatback and Jowls, Collard Greens, Peanut Field Dirt, Pig Pickin, and my signature collection…Tobacco and Budweiser Breath.

I can sense the big bucks rolling in now!

(Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.)