Candles For A Cause: Bethpage-based Candleworks Aims To Employ Those With Special Needs

Candles for a Cause
Beach Day, one of the three limited edition scents available from Candleworks.

A new brand of Long Island-made candles is providing employment for individuals with learning and developmental disabilities.

The not-for-profit organization Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Inc. (ACLD) launched Candleworks in April. The Bethpage-based business offers jobs in different facets of the operation, including research and development of the scents, melting and mixing the fragrances, hand-pouring each candle or wax melt, processing orders, and packaging and shipping the products to customers.

“With Candleworks, we have developed a sustainable business model for people with developmental disabilities to contribute to society and feel an incredible amount of satisfaction that they’re crafting and manufacturing products that customers will love,” said Gerard DiMuro, ACLD’s vice president for administration. “There is a strong market for scented candles and we have a unique story of making a product with passion. We believe this will resonate with the public and instill pride that their purchase contributes to creating a meaningful job for someone.”

All Candleworks’ candles are made in small batches with 100% soy wax. They come in a variety of themed scents: Calm (lavender, sage, cedar, and cypress), Dream (strawberry, vanilla, and freesia); Cozy (bergamot, amber, and dark musk), and Refresh (red currant, lemon peel, and peppermint).

There are also three limited edition candles: Beach Day (coconut, sandalwood, and tonka bean), Beautiful (rose, carnation, and powder), and Joy (citrus, mint, and orange peel). Each candle costs $21 and burns for more than 40 hours. 

The online shop also sells wax melts in all the same scents as well as wax warmers.

Candleworks prides itself not only on employing an underemployed population but also giving employees a sense of purpose.

“For people with special needs, employment offers greater economic self-sufficiency through the application of their skills and active participation in their communities. Candleworks continues ACLD’s mission of enriching the lives of adults with learning and developmental disabilities by connecting them with fulfilling jobs,” said Robert Ciatto, ACLD’s president and CEO. “This new initiative will ignite a passion for work, giving our employees a sense of purpose and dignity as they create something of their own.”

To learn more and to purchase from Candleworks, visit candleworks.org.