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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 26, 201905:20 AM EST

Build-your-own candle bar is coming to San Marco

Kristanna and Hampton Barnes are working to open the business in September.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

There soon will be a place to custom-make scented candles in San Marco.

Kristanna Barnes and her son, Hampton, plan to bring Wick: A Candle Bar to 1641 Hendricks Ave. Barnes said her goal is to be open by Sept. 20.

Customers will walk in, be shown to a candle wall with various scents and choose several they like. A worker will help them select the scents that work well together, the customer will mix the scents, pour the oil into the wax and then pay.

After 90 minutes, the customer can return to pick up the candle. In that time, Barnes said customers will be encouraged to explore the surrounding San Marco area, look at shops or eat in restaurants.

After visiting a candle bar in Cincinnati, Barnes brought the idea to Hampton and they decided to open the business together.  She is a former chair and two-term member of the Duval County School Board.

With the addition of the San Marco Beach Buggy, a free ride service, Barnes said it will be easier for people to reach the store, surrounding shops and restaurants. 

Wick: A Candle Bar at 1641 Hendricks Ave. in San Marco is in the same shopping center as Cline’s Custom Meats and Earth Pets.

Barnes said they also looked at an Avondale location because they wanted the store to be in a place where there wasn’t too much parking so people had to walk past it, no matter where they parked. 

Avondale was out of their price range, but a spot in the shopping center next to Olive Tree Mediterranean Grille, Cline’s Custom Meats and Earth Pets opened up. With a lot of retail storefronts close by, Barnes said it would be a great location.

“People will be able to move around the area so easily,” Barnes said. “At our location, we do have parking, so someone could come there, then go along easily in the Beach Buggy, go into San Marco, do what they want to do, and come back.”

The store is a partnership with The Candle Lab Corp. but not a franchise. The company helps partners open their stores but after, owners can be autonomous, without obligations or payments to the company.

Barnes said the interior is planned to have a “clean, industrial” look. 

While it isn’t somewhere people will go every day, Barnes said it’s a good option for locals, visitors to the area, group outings or parties. 

“I think they’re going to enjoy it,” Barnes said. “Just in talking to people during the process, people are like ‘Oh my heavens, a great idea. There’s a destination, something to go do.’”

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