Church Brands celebrates new candle factory

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nearly 200 people celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Will & Baumer's candle factory in the Lewisburg Business Park on Thursday.

Employees from production line workers to a CEO consultant were thanked after a prayer near machines that squeeze hot beeswax, paraffin and stearine into candles.

The 155-year-old candle company was moved from Syracuse, N.Y., where Paschal candle production was increased to accommodate the move before Easter services such as those celebrated by the brothers who now oversee the company.

"As kids, we flipped through Will & Baumer catalogs," Paul DiGiovanni told associates, city and county officials and members of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.

Their father, Ignatius DiGiovanni, started Autom church supply company in 1948 and has sold Will & Baumer candles for nearly 50 years. Now, the brothers have created Christian Brands, an umbrella company that's about 18 months old, to have a structure allowing expansion.

Mayors Barbara Woods and Joe Boyd Liggett attended, as did Eddie Wiles, chairman of the city's Industrial Development Board that's helped the family businesses move here.

Will & Baumer President Jeff Fields spoke of change, challenge, opportunity and his business attitude expressed by his favorite comic who says, "Git 'er done!"