Candle Company Bounces Back After Closing Due To COVID
FINDLEY LAKE — Our Own Candle Company, like the village of Findley Lake where it is located, is bouncing back from the hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like so many businesses across the nation, Our Own Candle Company — which ships its products globally — was forced to close its stores in Findley Lake for two months. At the same time, the village of Findley Lake saw all of its popular spring and summer events be canceled.
One of the most popular of these events is Kids’ Day, which is hosted and funded by OOCC. “That was a tough one,” said Larry Gross, co-founder of OOCC. “We couldn’t come up with any way to havae that with social distancing.”
However, plans are now being laid for the annual Harvest Festival, which takes place over Labor Day Weekend, Gross said. “The only thing we know for sure that is going on is the Harvest Festival,” Gross said. “Vendors are pretty optimistic about it. Vendors and bands are all lined up.”
Gross said that some modifications of Kids’ Day are being worked into the Harvest Festival, which will be held on Sept. 4, 5 and 6. Other highlights include wine tasting, a beer tent, crafters, and an antique show.
“I think, for the most part, Findley Lake has fared pretty well, overall,” Gross said. “A lot of day trippers are coming in every day.”
Our Own Candle Company has bounced back as well, according to Gross. He said they continued to ship a lot of their candles to essential businesses, such as grocery stores and hardware stores. “Most of our business is wholesale,” he said. “A lot of our customers were still open.”
Furthermore, OOCC conducts a lot of online business, Gross said. “We do a tremendous amount of business with Amazon and that never stopped, and our own website did very well,” he added.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t an easy journey, Gross said. “The hardest part was not doing any retail business and still keeping the payroll intact,” he said. He said the company kept its entire staff on payroll during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Now the Candle Company’s retail stores in Findley Lake are open seven days a week, with some restrictions. Masks are required of customers and the stores are permitted only 50% occupancy.
Gross said the restrictions have not presented a problem. “We’ve had zero problems with people wearing masks,” he said. “And the 50% occupancy hasn’t been hard to enforce.”
So with just a few modifications, Findley Lake is back on its way to bieng “The Coolest Little Town Around.”