Milford Candle Company Opens New Facility in Ohio

Kimberly Houghton

With candle purchases on the rise during the global pandemic, Alene Candles opened its second facility in New Albany, Ohio, this week.

“We needed additional space to complement our operations there for warehouse and development for manufacturing technologies,” said Rod Harl, president and CEO of Alene Candles, which is headquartered in Milford.

Expanding its New Albany footprint will also create about 60 new jobs, at least initially, according to Harl, who said the $30 million, 280,000 square feet facility is about twice as large as the Milford location.

Although Alene Candles temporarily stopped producing candles and instead began manufacturing face shields for about five weeks in light of COVID-19, it has since returned to candle making in time for the holiday rush.

“Business has been strong,” said Harl, explaining people are turning to candles to provide additional comfort at home during these unusual times.

Alene’s clients have continued to come back to them with increased projections for this past May, June and even the end-of-the year, he said.

“Business retention and expansion is absolutely crucial, especially as we look to provide more services during the coronavirus pandemic and come out the other side stronger,” Mayor Sloan Spalding of New Albany said in a statement.

“It’s gratifying to see Alene Candles continue investing in and committing to our community in numerous ways.”

Harl said Wednesday that the new manufacturing technology being implemented at the second New Albany location will be developed and perfected in Ohio before Alene contemplates introducing it here at its New Hampshire site.

Alene Candles began ramping up its production in preparation for the holiday season months ago, although it is still seeking to hire additional workers, according to Harl.

“We need people. That is the biggest challenge we have — the availability of employees,” he said. “We are hiring. We have been probably 10 to 15 positions short of a full crew all season long.”

Alene Candles typically employs 200 workers year-round at its Milford plant, but takes on additional hires during the fourth quarter of the year.

Alene Candles designs and produces candles for dozens of clients, including well-known retailers such as White Barn and Bath and Body Works, as well as high-end retailers in the New York cosmetics industry.

Its headquarters includes a 180,000-square-feet facility in Milford, but the company now has two sites in Ohio and offices in New York.

Alene Candles was previously named one of New Hampshire’s “Best Companies to Work For” by Business New Hampshire Magazine. It has also been recognized as one of 17 honorees across the country from the TD Bank Thanks You campaign after producing and donating more than 60,000 face shields to more than 200 organizations this past summer.