• Apothacafe, created by Nuraan Nicholas, is a small business specialising in homemade, dessert-themed candles. Made from eco-friendly wax, these candles look (and smell) good enough to eat!

    Please can you share a bit about yourself and the journey that led you to Apothacafe.

    I’ve always been interested in developing myself as a creative. I am a fashion designer and visual artist and while I was renovating my home studio, I came across a lovely candle brand and wanted to purchase from them. Unfortunately by the time I remembered to buy a candle I had completely forgotten their name! At that moment I decided to head over to YouTube and watch some videos on candle-making. I managed to find a channel that offered a course and I’ve been developing my knowledge ever since. Although the art of candle-making is new to me, I like to think my background in visual arts and conceptual design breathes life into my products.


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    A post shared by Apothacafe | The Original Scent Cafe (@apothacafe)

    What sparked the idea to bring together homemade candles and patisserie?

    I love that pastry chefs can create so many different things with the same ingredients. I truly believe there is a science behind baking. It was during the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims observe 30 days of fasting that the idea came to me. I had been practising candle-making for months but was neither fully ready to start selling nor knew what I wanted to sell. I realise now that it must have been my own hunger that led me to start making candles that smell like dessert.

    Why did you choose to use vegan soy wax and beeswax for your candles instead of other waxes?

    I wanted to ensure that anything my future customers are around is safe. The most widely used wax is paraffin wax but many studies have shown that there can be health risks associated with burning it over a long period of time. Soy wax is a natural vegan alternative and I only use it for my glass container candles due to how soft it is. Sustainably-sourced beeswax, which I use for all my moulded candles, is clean and doesn’t release any harmful petrochemicals into the atmosphere that paraffin wax has the potential to do.

    What is one of your personal favourite products?

    I’ve been obsessed with our ‘Lime Sublime’ candle ever since I first tested the fragrance. It’s one of the most refreshing and inviting scents I’ve come across.

    How can our readers place an order with you?

    Orders can be placed by messaging us on our Instagram page @apothacafe. While we offer free collection in Cape Town, we also offer nationwide shipping at an additional fee of R100.

    Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for your business?

    We will be releasing new products as part of the build-up towards launching our online store very soon. We are also planning on entering more markets across the country in central locations because we know how important it is to be able to smell the candle you’d like to buy.

    Do you have any advice for small business owners who are trying to get their business off the ground?

    Go as steadily as possible and don’t be afraid to fail here and there along the way.

    ALSO SEE: Dripping white chocolate “candle” cakes with eggnog sponge and nutmeg-rum buttercream icing

    Dripping white chocolate “candle” cakes with eggnog sponge and nutmeg-rum buttercream icing

    Feature image: Apothacafe Instagram