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Encinitas duo hopeful about opening new small business despite risk

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Posted at 3:49 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 21:12:29-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) — Opening a new small business in the middle of this pandemic is a risky move, but San Diegans are doing it. Candles on Tap in downtown Encinitas is taking the chance.

"Today is a big, nerve-wracking, exciting day but we are opening to the public," CEO and co-founder Chantel Johnson said. She and CFO and co-founder Marcus Wandell are hopeful about their new venture.

"The feature event is the scent bar where you pull up a chair and pour your own blend," said Wandell.

Johnson added, "We are a custom scent bar so when people come in, they’re able to hand pour their own soy candles, diffusers, and fragrance sprays and they get to choose from over 90 scents."

Wandell says some of his personal favorites in their shop include a scent called "old books" and they also have a "cannabis" smell.

The two are well aware of what they’re getting into.

"We're opening in the middle of a pandemic and it's a brick and mortar store so what could go wrong, right?" Wandell said jokingly.

Yet, they say they see this time as the perfect opportunity.

“There's pent up energy and demand to get out and do something as long as it’s safe so we're seizing on that need in the community for folks to find an experience to do with their loved ones and friends,” says Wandell.

The pair are not alone. The U.S. Census reports almost 3.3 million business applications have been filed this year which is up 700,000 from this time last year. There were reportedly more than 1.6 million quarterly applications. In California alone, week 43 saw almost 9,000 applications which is a 25% increase from this time last year.

“Some of our friends [say we’re] so brave. This is a bold move but everyone's really excited for us,” added Johnson.

Candles on Tap is located at 687 S Coast Hwy 101 Unit 155 in Encinitas. It's open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from `12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Monday.