Farmington Hills resident Jason Stoops still remembers using the first soy candle he made five years ago.
"We burned it, and the whole living room smelled like coconuts," said Stoops, who has moved the home-based business he operates with his wife, Lisa, into the Village Mall on Grand River in downtown Farmington. They started in the building's basement, but recently moved into new digs on the first floor.
Jason started making candles for family and friends, getting nothing but rave reviews. Finally, the Stoops set up a website and started selling them. Their business, called The Scented Bean, was soon shipping Jason's hand-made candles across the country.
"Bringing the business to Farmington was something my wife thought would be a good thing," Jason said. "We have three kids, and it gets a little crazy making candles in the house."
Scented Bean candles don't contain any harmful chemicals, and the candles melt into a clear liquid that is completely consumed. The soy melts at a lukewarm temperature, Jason said, so you can dip your finger into it and use it as a moisturizer.
"All of our fragrances are body-safe," he said. "We've dripped a lot of soy wax on floors and counters, and it wipes off easy."
The candles come in Mason jars or small, hexagon glass containers, and Jason is experimenting with gift items. Lisa makes customized labels, so the candles can be used as wedding or party favors. The store also carries soy-based body lotions and soaps.
Look for The Scented Bean at the Farmington Area Farmers and Artisans Market in September. The store also offers a local delivery service.