Local candle company lights up Museum District storefront

elk hill candle 1 scaled

Elk Hill sells candles made by the company, as well as other related items. The company recently opened a store in the Museum District. (Photos courtesy Elk Hill Candle Co.)

After years of selling at farmers’ markets, a local candle maker has made the jump to brick-and-mortar retail.

Elk Hill Candle Co. recently opened at 612 N. Sheppard St. Owner Anthony Altieri is betting he has attracted enough of a following to support the company’s first physical store, where he plans to carry a wider selection of goods than his more limited itinerant offerings.

“It’s like being a turtle, it’s what you can carry on your back,” Altieri said of operating at outdoor markets. “Your retail space is limited to a tent, so it’s really hard to build up a bigger vision. We built up a nice little following and this year we felt confident enough to see if we could build on that local base of customers and open a store.”

Elk Hill makes its own candles that are sold in the store. Its Classic Scents line run from about $29 for a 225-gram candle to about $43 for a 600-gram candle. The company’s Monogram series of 300-gram candles are about $50 each, per the company’s website.

The shop also sells wax melts and diffusers. In the future, Elk Hill plans to introduce soaps, greeting cards and home goods. The store also holds candle-making classes. Sessions held in March and April were priced at $55 per participant.

Elk Hill isn’t currently selling at local events in order to focus on the store’s launch. Altieri plans to return to farmers’ markets during the coming holiday season to sell products and also promote the new store, which opened in April.

Elk Hill’s 800-square-foot space was formerly occupied by hydroponics shop Lucky Roots, which is now at 4011 W. Broad St. Altieri said the space on Sheppard Street was attractive because it was close to home but also less expensive than leasing in Carytown.

elk hill candle owners scaled

Elk Hill owners Anthony Altieri (standing) and Tony Milanez, along with Lilly the dog.

The candle shop is located in the Devil’s Triangle area of the Museum District. Other nearby businesses include restaurant The Texas Inn, as well as the Boho Studios cycling gym and Sheppard Street Market.

Elk Hill launched in 2017 in Los Angeles, born out of a candle making hobby inspired by a gift Altieri received.

“Somebody gifted me a candle that was pine-scented and I got a little fixated on pine-scented candles. I wanted to see if I could make my own,” he said.

Altieri himself started to give out his candles as presents, and later the activity transitioned into a business venture when he started to sell the candles at farmers’ markets while still on the West Coast.

The business relocated when Altieri moved to Richmond with husband Tony Milanez, who co-owns the company, during the pandemic.

Altieri said Elk Hill aspires to set itself apart from other candle companies with an emphasis on a more nature-oriented brand design. Altieri, who grew up in Roanoke, said the company’s name is an homage to his outdoorsman grandfather.

“It’s somewhere between rustic and luxury. It’s a very nostalgic brand,” he said. “We wanted it to have a kind of old-school vibe.”

elk hill candle 1 scaled

Elk Hill sells candles made by the company, as well as other related items. The company recently opened a store in the Museum District. (Photos courtesy Elk Hill Candle Co.)

After years of selling at farmers’ markets, a local candle maker has made the jump to brick-and-mortar retail.

Elk Hill Candle Co. recently opened at 612 N. Sheppard St. Owner Anthony Altieri is betting he has attracted enough of a following to support the company’s first physical store, where he plans to carry a wider selection of goods than his more limited itinerant offerings.

“It’s like being a turtle, it’s what you can carry on your back,” Altieri said of operating at outdoor markets. “Your retail space is limited to a tent, so it’s really hard to build up a bigger vision. We built up a nice little following and this year we felt confident enough to see if we could build on that local base of customers and open a store.”

Elk Hill makes its own candles that are sold in the store. Its Classic Scents line run from about $29 for a 225-gram candle to about $43 for a 600-gram candle. The company’s Monogram series of 300-gram candles are about $50 each, per the company’s website.

The shop also sells wax melts and diffusers. In the future, Elk Hill plans to introduce soaps, greeting cards and home goods. The store also holds candle-making classes. Sessions held in March and April were priced at $55 per participant.

Elk Hill isn’t currently selling at local events in order to focus on the store’s launch. Altieri plans to return to farmers’ markets during the coming holiday season to sell products and also promote the new store, which opened in April.

Elk Hill’s 800-square-foot space was formerly occupied by hydroponics shop Lucky Roots, which is now at 4011 W. Broad St. Altieri said the space on Sheppard Street was attractive because it was close to home but also less expensive than leasing in Carytown.

elk hill candle owners scaled

Elk Hill owners Anthony Altieri (standing) and Tony Milanez, along with Lilly the dog.

The candle shop is located in the Devil’s Triangle area of the Museum District. Other nearby businesses include restaurant The Texas Inn, as well as the Boho Studios cycling gym and Sheppard Street Market.

Elk Hill launched in 2017 in Los Angeles, born out of a candle making hobby inspired by a gift Altieri received.

“Somebody gifted me a candle that was pine-scented and I got a little fixated on pine-scented candles. I wanted to see if I could make my own,” he said.

Altieri himself started to give out his candles as presents, and later the activity transitioned into a business venture when he started to sell the candles at farmers’ markets while still on the West Coast.

The business relocated when Altieri moved to Richmond with husband Tony Milanez, who co-owns the company, during the pandemic.

Altieri said Elk Hill aspires to set itself apart from other candle companies with an emphasis on a more nature-oriented brand design. Altieri, who grew up in Roanoke, said the company’s name is an homage to his outdoorsman grandfather.

“It’s somewhere between rustic and luxury. It’s a very nostalgic brand,” he said. “We wanted it to have a kind of old-school vibe.”

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ETHAN LINDBLOOM
ETHAN LINDBLOOM
16 days ago

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
16 days ago

Welcome to the neighborhood!