On a cold winter’s night in 2015, Andrew Kruep was living in Montclair and in between gigs when he realized his online cart full of candles totaled $75. Kruep had just finished a fun run in “ELF The Musical” at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, but technically speaking on this night in 2015, he was an out-of-work actor, so he emptied his cart and bought a DIY candle making kit instead. The rest, as they say, is history and Little Batch Candle Co. was born.
What started as a solution to a problem (Kruep loves candles, but candles are expensive!) became a crafty hobby while he experimented with waxes and scents and wicks, which quickly turned into a side hustle and is now a beloved local business with a strong Etsy presence and impressive partnerships with other local faves like Taproot Organics and Washington General in Hoboken.
Proudly hand-poured and packaged in Jersey City, Little Batch Candle Co. is really a passion project for Kruep and his infectious commitment is evident at every stage of the candle-making process and especially in conversation about the candle-making process. Little Batch candles are 100% natural soy wax (and contain absolutely no paraffin, additives, or dyes), meaning they burn cleaner and longer — lighting a paraffin wax candle is the equivalent of openly burning fuel in your home; that black stuff on the inside of the jar is in fact soot. Wicks are also cotton and contain no lead.
Available in 8 ounces with one wick (will burn 50-60 hours) and 16 ounces with two wicks, Little Batch Candle Co. has more than 20 fragrances and is always concocting limited edition and seasonal scents throughout the year. Shopping online for a sensory experience isn’t necessarily easy, but clever names (like Don Juan and the super popular So Long, Stress) pique interest and deft descriptions set the scene. Every element of a fragrance is listed as well which helps hone the essence of the scent.
Little Batch refined the look and feel of the brand last year with a new logo, label, and packaging, but the personal touch is still present with the batch number handwritten on every candle. Wax melts are also available and still in the works but coming soon is an ingenious travel-sized set: a 4-ounce candle, room spray, and pump soap in a convenient clear pouch.
Little Batch Candle Co.’s entire collection is available online but to get your hands on their candles and sniff in real life, you can head to Taproot Organics on Communipaw Avenue in Bergen-Lafayette for their bespoke Blood Orange, or visit Washington General to pick up their signature Hoboken scent. And keep an eye out for Little Batch at local markets this spring and summer.
In the meantime, head to Etsy to check out the full Little Batch line where, and we’ve come full circle, it’s dangerously easy to spend $75 on candles. It will be hard to resist the breezy island vibes of Lime in the Coconut, spring’s newest scent.