MEDINA, Ohio - The most serene place in the Root Candle Company's large complex of buildings in Medina, Oh., is its testing laboratory where hundreds of candles flicker in a dark and quiet atmosphere. The company continually tests its product so that if its candles burn as they are advertised.
Since 1930, the company has made candles for church and home. Half of the estimated 5 million candles produced by Root are bound for churches, "We actually sell directly to the church so we have sales people who call upon those churches and work with them directly," said Brad Root, president. He marks the fifth generation of Roots to lead the company which really began in 1869.
A.I. Root is hailed as the founder of the company in Medina. He was interested in beekeeping and in using beeswax. He was a forward thinker who was interested in many areas of business and technology. When the inventors of the first motor-powered airplane pushed their first flyers into the air, A.I. Root was there. In fact, he witnessed the first time the Wright Brothers made a complete in their airplane around a field in Dayton in 1904.
Science magazines of the day disregarded their efforts. But not A.I. He wrote about their accomplishments in his beekeeping publication, realizing what the Wright Brothers had invented would change the world. "When I read the article that he wrote regarding the Wright Brothers' flight, I realized he knew there would airplanes of multiple levels carrying people across oceans," said his great great grandson, Brad Root.
It was that passion which A.I. brought to his company in Medina. His son, Huber, was filled with that same kind of passion. It was Huber who pushed the company into a bigger piece of the candle market.
Inside the plant, employees are busy making wax candles for a variety of purposes. The candles for religious purposes contain 51 percent beeswax. The beeswax smokes considerably less and does not coat church ceilings with soot. In many ways, when religious faithful light candles in churches and offer their prayers over the flames, the Root company is there.
The other half of Root's sales are for homes. Company machines are busy turning our candles with various scents for domestic use. "Our candles reach out to people and make them feel in their homes warm and inviting feelings," said Root. "It just gives a sense of serenity."
Root said his employees pay great attention to the details of making candles. "The wax is the fuel, but the wick is the engine," said Root. "So you have to get the right marriage of wax and wick," he said.