INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Nearly two years ago, Brianna Doles and her sister-in-law started pouring candles in their basements, located on Pennsylvania and Beech Streets, respectively. They got their candles into local restaurants like Livery and Provision and into boutiques like Homespun in hopes of someday bringing their vision of a brick and mortar location to fruition.
In January of this year, they did just that. Penn & Beech opened its doors near the intersection of College and Mass Avenue (747 N. College Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46202] next door to Peace Water Winery. People rave about the customer service and the unique experience, which goes far beyond just pouring candle wax.
“In July of last year, we were walking around and saw this [space] and it was gravel. And we thought ‘Wow this is a great place,” said owner Brianna Doles.
Doles was adamant that when choosing a location for Penn & Beech, she did not want to be in a mall. Instead, her focus was on choosing a neighborhood that met certain community-focused criteria.
“It’s walkability.... I want people to be walking around and be like, ‘What is that place? I want to go stop in there,” she said. “That way, they can pour and then they can go eat and drink and shop around.”
These days, Penn & Beech is a popular go-to spot for birthday parties, group outings and for folks who want to get creative with their candles.
Pricing can start at $15 which is for the soy wax tarts (which go in wax melters) or room sprays. Candle pouring starts at $20 and goes up to $45
The candle pouring process starts by grabbing a clip board from atop the whiskey barrel-- which was actually given to them by Hotel Tango-- then going down the line of 92 different scent options.
“They smell along they write down their favorites, not worrying if they go well together. That’s our job,” said Doles. “They will end up picking out a vessel that they like. We have about 10 different candle vessels, soy wax tarts, room sprays, reed diffusers as well.”
Then, head to the candle bar to customize your fragrance.
“We pour wax out of that big metal vat. The wax is melted down to 175 degrees... A lot of people joke and say 'I feel like I’m in chemistry class,” she said.
So how long does the whole process take?
“There’s no set time on how long the process takes— it all depends on how decisive you are,” said Doles. “Believe it not, the men take the longest but they make the best candles.”
Doles’ personal favorite scent combo is olive blossom, verbena and tomato leaf. But when it comes to summery fragrances, there are some popular go-tos.
“Our absinthe fragrance is really kind of summery. Champagne is a hot seller right now,” she noted.
Candle connoisseurs take their clean burning candles very seriously. Fortunately, so does Penn & Beech.
“We [use] soy candle wax. A lot of other candles are paraffin or beeswax and they just don’t burn clean. There are a lot of chemicals inside of them. We’re chemical free,” Doles said.
Not only will you leave with a new candle, you’ll also gain some valuable tips.
“We always give our guests the education to maintain the wick level before you burn it each time and that will ensure a nice even burn all the way down and then there’s minimal blackness at the top of the candle,” she said.
If you don’t have time to pour a custom candle, that’s okay! They also have some ready-made candles that you can just pop in and purchase.
“If you just want to get a housewarming gift or an easy, “Oh my gosh, I forgot it’s your birthday!’ gift, you can come on in and just buy a candle off the shelf for $18,” said Doles.
Four Things You Need to Know
Penn & Beech is closed on Mondays. Their hours are Tues-Thurs from 11a-8p, Friday and Saturday from 11a-9p and Sunday from 11a-8p.
Walk-ins are welcome! Their busiest time is typically Saturdays from 1-5pm. They have seating for 25 people, but if you have a group of 6 or more, it’s always a good idea to call or E-mail ahead.
There are 92 different scents to choose from, as well as about 10 different vessels to pour into. They also have soy wax tarts, room sprays and reed diffusers.
Have other things to do downtown and don’t want to carry your candle with you? No worries! They offer table side delivery service at the end of the business day so they will literally drop it off at your table if you’re at a restaurant or hotel concierge.
One other thing that customers love is their above-and-beyond customer service.
”If you come in later in the evening, pour a candle and you’re not able to come back— say you’re with a bachelorette party and you’re like “Gosh I don’t want to carry this candle with me all night,” we provide table-side delivery service at the end of the business day.
Another cool feature to note about Penn & Beech is that they actually have their beer and wine license, so you can enjoy some local craft beer from breweries like Sun King, Flat 12 and Upland.
Plus, you don’t need to set an appointment to go there. However, she did suggest that if you have a group of 6 or more, it’s always a good idea to call ahead.
For more info on Penn & Beech, check out their official website by clicking here or explore more photos and reviews on their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
While in the Mass Ave neighborhood, check out these other popular local businesses nearby, which are also great for group outings: