There are a few things I try to do when I visit my parents, and going to Warm Glow Candle Company in Centerville, Indiana is one of those things. (And if I don’t have time to go, I just take the candles my mom has bought from the store “for gifts”.)
Warm Glow was started in Indiana in 1995, and purchased Sweet Liberty Candle Company (out of Lancaster, PA) in 2000. The candles are distinctive because they do not come in glass jars, are hand-dipped and have a bumpy, “primitive” appearance like an unfrosted cake. (In fact, the lunch teacher put her candle in the fridge thinking it was, indeed, a piece of cake or bread.)
You can see the Warm Glow store from the highway–part of the building is shaped like a giant candle. It boasts “the nicest restrooms on I-70” and is handicap accessible and pet friendly. It has ample parking, a pond with fish, and numerous Big Foot sheet metal silhouettes outside.
The store itself is jam-packed with everything from their iconic candles to paintings, wall hangings, dried flowers, local beer and wines, country-themed everything… If the Midwest were a store, it would be this. (Or maybe Cracker Barrel. Feel free to fight in the comments.)
My favorite scents used to be foodie scents, but I’ve started loving foresty, natural and rich scents. I picked up a mini-hearth candle in their scent Grey Cashmere (“a soothing blend of bergamot, rosewood, cypress, vanilla and a hint of amber”) for myself. (Okay so that wasn’t the only candle I picked out for myself, but that was the one I earmarked not to be accidentally given away to a co-worker.)
I like their mini-hearth candles, which are slightly bigger than votive candles and feature that lumpy appearance that sets Warm Glow apart. You can also buy a little tin disk to set your candle on. If you’re looking to buy the mini-hearth candles, you have to walk around the various pillars in the store, which have one scent per side. The votive size are all in one part of the store, so you can make decisions there, but with the mini-hearth, you have to make a snap decision whether to get a scent or not, because once it’s in your shopping cart, you’re probably not going to put it back even if you find a scent you like better. I like to think of this as a psychological trick, rather than just my mom and I being candle hoarders.
In the building to the west of the giant candle is another building with even more americana-style, locally-made things to buy. I didn’t walk around that building, as I was making a bee-line to the cafe located in the building. To my surprise, they even had oat milk, so I was able to get an iced oat milk latte. It was good and the barista was nice, 8/10.
If you find yourself on I-70 for whatever reason, stop into Warm Glow for a sniff!