PHILADEPHIA - In November of 2020, Stanford Ponson, owner of Old City Canning Co., opened The Chandlery Scent Studio – a 700-square foot space filled with everything from artisan candles to scented sprays, soaps, gifts, and accessories from local artisans. But after major staffing shortages and pandemic-related supply chain issues, Ponson was forced to close the shop in January 2022. Now, just in time for the holiday shopping season, The Chandlery is reopening at 1533 South Street, with an official opening date of Friday, November 11th

And while America has seen unprecedented price increases everywhere due to inflation, Ponson is going the opposite route, reopening his shop with prices as low as 20% less than average retail.

“I want to remain as approachable and affordable as possible for everyone who walks through the door,” said Ponson, a self-proclaimed Philadelphian who launched Old City Canning Co. in 2017. “I work with artisans and suppliers in a way where we can be profitable while not increasing our prices, despite the costs of goods, shipping, and almost everything going up since we opened our doors less than two years ago. And because we make most of our products from scratch, we can cut out the middleman and pass those savings onto customers.” 

Old City Canning Co. has grown exponentially over the past few years, becoming one of the top candle makers in Philadelphia, producing nearly 20,000 candles per year. Now, his product — which he and his team make by hand at Jasper Studios in Kensington — adorns the shelves of his brick-and-mortar location in the city's Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Ponson said the shop will be open Thursday through Sunday and will remain open into the evening hours for the dinnertime crowds who frequent that section of South Street.

The entire interior of the LGBTQ-owned and operated business has been redesigned, and Ponson is adding themed candle-making experiences to the store’s offerings. “Smell is the most underappreciated sense. Our candle-making workshops are designed to highlight the similarities between candle scents and other sensory activities like wine tasting, flower arranging, or tea blending. It’s a different approach than your typical candle-making class.”

In addition to candles, The Chandlery will retail locally milled cutting boards, rugs, pillows, home decor, and gifts from local florists and artisans. Just about everything in the shop is handmade or locally produced. In addition to making signature candles, Ponson also consults with customers to produce custom scents through his contract manufacturing company, Philadelphia Scent Studio. Philly Scent Studio designs and manufactures scented products for any business, from mom-and-pop shops to more prominent distributors.

“Our mission is to bring high-end smells and experiences to everyday Philadelphians. We’re ultimately trying to highlight the ‘Haute couture’ scents and make them accessible to anyone.” “We opened intending to be a modern supply shop for your home,” said Ponson, who moved to Philadelphia from Baton Rouge for law school in 2013. “I learned a lot about this neighborhood when I opened my shop in 2020, and I know the people here are looking for a fresh, fun, and positive space to buy gifts. Adding classes and more experiences to the shop is exciting, and I’m looking forward to getting the doors back open.”

Among the local producers featured within The Chandlery is RAM Floral, who supplies styled arrangements; pillows, rugs, and textiles by Minimal Chaos; coffee by Kensington’s Blind Tiger Coffee; blended teas by Haddonfield's Blushing Wren Botanicals; and handmade ceramics by ASH True Goods. The Chandlery features gorgeous handmade cutting boards made from locally-milled cherry, oak, and black walnut by Thundergust Mill. Regional purveyors include Pittsburgh's Crystal River Gems, who cut stone coasters; bath and body products by Petal & Flame; and premium cocktail mixes by Long Island's Hella Cocktails.


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