Small businesses drive our economy and in Detroit, they are popping up in record numbers.
That’s a good thing, according to Mayor Duggan, who frequently reminds residents that, ultimately, the city wants its new start-ups to stay up and become sustainable contributors to the city’s growing economy.
Detroit’s Discount Candles is representative of the ‘dream team’ of small businesses that have made it past the critical first five years of operation, which many experts site is a “make-it or break-it’ time.
The Eastern Market-based company, which has been in business more than 25 years, has proved its staying power.
The longstanding African American woman-owned candle shop has been part of Eastern Market since 1960. Having outgrown its space at its existing location, Discount Candle announced its plans to rebuild, restore and relocate to new space at 1484 Gratiot.
The expansion is headed by owner Star Lamar, who came on board as a manager and later rose to the position of co-owner. Lamar operated the legacy business with its founder Donna Adams, who recently retired.
Today, Lamar employs six Detroiters and is looking forward to continued growth and expansion.
“This is such as blessing to revamp the business,” says Lamar. “We had the opportunity to move to other locations, but the positive vibes and legacy of Eastern Market are where we wanted to be. This community works together. We want to continue to be part of the mom and pop shops.”
Lamar plans to expand programming at the larger facility.
Spiritual readings and tea days will be among new offerings at Discount Candles, according to Lamar
The business was formerly in a space that originally went by a handshake as a lease for years. Landlords changed and the store was put into a lease that went month-to-month. Rents were raised and Discount Candles knew it was time to make a move. Discount Candles connected with Dan Carmody, Eastern Market Partnership president, who put them in touch with FIRM Real Estate. It was perfect timing as FIRM had a new space coming available September 1, with additional square footage, right on Gratiot, according to Lamar.
“There is an exciting future in store for Discount Candles and we’re happy to be part of it,” says Sanford Nelson, FIRM Real Estate President and COO. “The timing worked out perfect to help keep this legacy business on Gratiot where it belongs.”
Discount Candles is open six days a week: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A website, currently under construction, will expand the candle store’s market presence, making it more accessible to its loyal customers and new patrons.