Grey Horse Candle Company opens Peterborough storefront

 All-natural body butter on display.

All-natural body butter on display. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Aside from candles, Grey Horse also offers a selection of soaps, creams and lip balms.

Aside from candles, Grey Horse also offers a selection of soaps, creams and lip balms. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Leyna Cannon started her Mud Pony Soap line in 2020, which was integrated into the Grey Horse selection after their 2022 aquisition of the company.

Leyna Cannon started her Mud Pony Soap line in 2020, which was integrated into the Grey Horse selection after their 2022 aquisition of the company. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Half-size candle tins await labels in the basement of Leyna and Brian Cannon’s Peterborough home.

Half-size candle tins await labels in the basement of Leyna and Brian Cannon’s Peterborough home. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

The Cannons have set up the basement of their Peterborough home for pouring and labeling candles.

The Cannons have set up the basement of their Peterborough home for pouring and labeling candles. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Grey Horse candles start out as small flakes of soy-based wax, which are melted down and mixed with fragrances for pouring.

Grey Horse candles start out as small flakes of soy-based wax, which are melted down and mixed with fragrances for pouring. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Full-size glass jars await labels.

Full-size glass jars await labels. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Wicks are held up in empty glass jars to be filled with wax.

Wicks are held up in empty glass jars to be filled with wax. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

The main room of the Grey Horse Candle Company storefront.

The main room of the Grey Horse Candle Company storefront. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

The Grey Horse Candle Company storefront at 40 Main St. in Peterborough, under Steele’s Stationers.

The Grey Horse Candle Company storefront at 40 Main St. in Peterborough, under Steele’s Stationers. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

A selection of candles on display at the Grey Horse Candle Company store.

A selection of candles on display at the Grey Horse Candle Company store. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Grey Horse Candle Company sells soy-based wax candles in a variety of equestrian-themed scents, all made by hand in Peterborough.

Grey Horse Candle Company sells soy-based wax candles in a variety of equestrian-themed scents, all made by hand in Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Grey Horse candles being poured.

Grey Horse candles being poured. PHOTO COURTESY GREY HORSE CANDLE COMPANY

Leyna Cannon of Grey Horse Candle Company fills a batch of jars with soy-based wax.

Leyna Cannon of Grey Horse Candle Company fills a batch of jars with soy-based wax. PHOTO COURTESY GREY HORSE CANDLE COMPANY

Handmade wax melts on display at Grey Horse Candle Company in Peterborough.

Handmade wax melts on display at Grey Horse Candle Company in Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

Grey Horse Candle Company co-owner Leyna Cannon demonstrates the jar-filling process.

Grey Horse Candle Company co-owner Leyna Cannon demonstrates the jar-filling process. PHOTO COURTESY GREY HORSE CANDLE COMPANY

Grey Horse Candle Company co-owner Brian Cannon demonstrates the jar-filling process.

Grey Horse Candle Company co-owner Brian Cannon demonstrates the jar-filling process. PHOTO COURTESY GREY HORSE CANDLE COMPANY

Grey Horse Candle Company owners Brian and Leyna Cannon stand in their new storefront in downtown Peterborough.

Grey Horse Candle Company owners Brian and Leyna Cannon stand in their new storefront in downtown Peterborough. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

By CAMERON CASHMAN

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-26-2024 8:35 AM

Modified: 04-04-2024 11:08 AM


Brian and Leyna Cannon, owners of the Grey Horse Candle Company, may have the best-smelling basement in the area.

That’s because it’s where they pour and label their handmade candles, which are made with all-natural, locally sourced ingredients.

“There are so many companies nowadays where everything’s just imported from overseas – especially candles,” Leyna said. “They get them pre-made and just slap their own label on them.”

But nothing like that is for sale at the Grey Horse Candle Company’s new Peterborough storefront, where the Cannons have ensured every product they offer is made in the United States, from their in-house line of candles and soaps to apparel and accessories that are handmade by small businesses from around the country.

 “We really try to source as much as possible from people like us,” Brian said.

The Cannons took over Grey Horse Candle Company in August of 2021, when they were still living in Florida, where the company was originally based. They decided to move the operation to New Hampshire in early 2022, after tiring of the heat and humidity of the Florida weather.

The equestrian-themed candle company was a more-than-appropriate acquisition for the Cannons – Leyna is a longtime equestrian, and affectionately referred to Brian as her “horse husband.”

Leyna is no stranger to New England, having been born and raised in Haverhill, Mass., before moving to Florida for her father’s job. It was there where she met Brian, and where the two owned and operated a 150-acre equestrian facility for nine years. After their children came along, they decided they wanted to do something quieter, which eventually led them to acquire Grey Horse.

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Since moving to Peterborough in 2022, the Cannons have sold their candles online and wholesale out of their home, but always wanted to open a storefront downtown. When a spot opened up under Steele’s Stationers, they jumped at the opportunity. They moved into the space in early February, and held a soft opening at the beginning of March.

In many ways, candles are a natural extension of Leyna’s first business, Mud Horse Soaps, which she began in 2020. Her soaps have been incorporated into Grey Horse’s selection, along with several other soaps, lotions, creams and lip balms that are made by small businesses from around the United States.

Unlike soaps from big-name brands, which use detergents and other harsh chemicals, the main ingredients in Mud Horse soaps are olive oil and water.

As for the main attraction – the candles – they are made with an entirely soy-based wax, from soy beans grown in Kentucky.

“We don’t source any of the candle ingredients from outside the U.S.,” Brian said.

“I like that it’s a green source, it’s renewable,” Leyna added. “I’d much rather have soy versus a petroleum-based paraffin candle in my house.”

She emphasized that using a soybean-based wax was also a great way to support U.S. farmers.

“I’ll do anything to support farmers – since I’m a farm girl at heart,” Leyna said.

The Cannons have set up the basement of their Peterborough home for pouring and labeling the candles. The basement stays cool even during the summer, making it much easier to control the pouring process, especially compared their operation in Florida, where the heat and humidity often had an effect on the candles as they were being poured.

The candles start as small flakes of soy wax, which the Cannons order in large pallets delivered directly to their home. The wax flakes are transferred into a heating vat, where they are melted down into liquid form for pouring.

To pour the candles, they use a wand that’s connected to the heating vat by a tube, which mixes the fragrance and wax together in appropriate amounts to be transferred into glass jars or metal tins, depending on the size of the candle.

The candle filler, which was manufactured by the New York-based company Cooger Products, allows the Cannons to adjust the fragrance load, which affects the strength of the candle’s scent. Candles can have a fragrance load of anywhere from 6% to 12%, although the Cannons explained many companies will lower their fragrance load to cut costs.

Not Grey Horse, though – “we max out all of our candles,” Brian said.

Unfortunately, working so close to candles every day has made them “nose-blind.” They rely on input from friends and family when testing new scents, and with their new storefront, they’ve been asking for the opinions of customers, too.

They are currently testing out three new scents – pineapple, coconut and papaya – one of which will be added to their lineup in the near future. To give input, visit the Grey Horse Candle Company store at 40 Main St. in Peterborough, right under Steele’s Stationers. They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People can also order directly from their website at greyhorsecandles.com.